If you thinking dating today is hard, try being a guy during the Victorian Era.
One morning you think you've found the girl of your dreams, and a month later you receive one of these letters.
Who knew you were an "unsuitable suitor"?
Well, you should have--if you'd read the right books.
The Victorian Period marked the rise of that most auspicious tome--the self-help book, and with it, an easy way to relay the proper rules of refined society to the growing middle class.
Here are a few of my favorite self-help books from the period, free from Google Books.
Our Deportment: The Manners, Conduct & Dress of the Most Refined Society
I love the title of this book partially because it sounds so snotty, and if you have a question on etiquette, this is the place to look. "Our Deportment" shares with its reader everything from dinner parties and vulgarisms to how to handle being a rejected suitor.
Hopes and Helps for the Young of Both Sexes
This book was written by a Reverend, and it shows. Check out Lecture III on "The Dangers of Impulse".
Happy Homes and How to Make Them
This book is my favorite of the three because it's genuinely amusing and candid, and some of the advice is universal. The author shares such gems of wisdom as "Mind Where You Pick Her Up", "Do Not Expect Too Much" (from marriage), and in a chapter on advice to the husband "Make Yourself Useful".