Etiquette at the dinner table; also known as why can’t I eat my peas with a spoon?

Vintage table setting
Vintage table setting courtesy of

As Easter dinner approaches it is a good idea to keep these tips on etiquette as found in the 1869 book “Good Manners; A Manual of Etiquette in Good Society” close at hand.

A few of the tips I found interesting. In this time period, etiquette advised to start eating as soon as you are “helped.” It’s interesting how these habits have changed. I’ve always been under the assumption that you wait to eat until everybody is served. Murphy’s Law always states that the slowest eater at the table (usually me) is served last. I’ll also have to try to remember not to “bend the head voraciously over the plate.” I don’t want to convey a “shocking want of good breeding,” right mom?

These are for your enjoyment and in the hopes that you become “a very expert fruit eater.” If there is ever one out there, I’d truly like to meet them!

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