Trove Tuesday: Good Manners

Sleuthing through Trove yesterday for articles on courtesy or good manners, it was interesting to see the results: a mere 46,061 containing the phrase “good manners” and 5391 including both “good manners” and courtesy. Plainly these issues were prominent discussion points over the decades.

So today I thought I’d share some of these with you. It’s fascinating to see how differently we view some aspects such as how men and women see each other, and interact, and how they changed over time.


The World's News 2 July 1921 extract
The World’s News 2 July 1921
AWW 29 Oct 1938 p17
Australian Women’s Weekly 29 Oct 1938 p17


AWW 4 Dec 1957 what's wrong with AUssie men
Australian Women’s Weekly 4 Dec 1959


AWW 11 Aug 1982 p52
Australian Women’s Weekly 11 Aug 1982.

And there you have it, a steady progression of change in “good manners” and courtesy.

I do feel for those poor “New Australian” men regarded, almost inevitably, as foreigners in 1952. Never let it be said that Australians are anything other than egalitarian…or not.

AWW New Australian  24 Sept 1952


8 thoughts on “Trove Tuesday: Good Manners

  1. Interesting post. For some time, I’ve been pondering doing a post on manners of the late 1800s/early 1900s to contrast them with what we (those who care about such things) consider good etiquette today. It’s understandable that these things change over time, but today there seems to be an absence of good manners, respect for one’s elders, etc. It is something that greatly saddens me. Good parenting is greatly lacking.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I suppose it’s a combination of parenting which no longer recognises these things, peer pressure and societal indifference. Really it’s all about kindness to others isn’t it? For example I may have grey hair now but I would stand for a young pregnant woman or an infirm person of any age, or come to that a woman with little kids who’s probably at her wit’s end.

      I had a funny experience a few years ago in Dubai on their public transport which was crowded. No one stood up for me, which I expected + my hair was still coloured, until a young woman gave the young man next to her a short burst of instructions in whichever language. He promptly stood up and I sat down, thanking him. The young woman and I had a lovely chat until our stop.


      1. Yes, I saw that frequently when I lived in Russia. The ‘babushki’ and others were very good about getting the younger crowd to give up their seats for the elderly, pregnant, and infirm. Usually nobody had to be asked. You’d just get up as a matter of thoughtfulness and being courteous. Paying attention to others, etc. Something that happens less frequently now that so many heads are buried in mobile devices!

        Liked by 1 person

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