Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Debrett's New Guide to Etiquette and Modern Manners
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on June 19, 2002
The book Etiquette and Modern Manners by John Morgan, who died much too young in a tragic accident in 2000, is published by the British publishing house Debrett's, publisher of many authoritative social reference guide books. Some advice you might find overdone. However, if you follow the suggestions when in doubt you can hardly go wrong. This guide covers many things, such as entertaining, dressing or writing letters in correct style. For example, this book informs you about the correct way to address people with titles and what to do if you are invited to a shooting party. We like John Morgan?s style as he always tries to explain why an etiquette would make sense. For some it might be an old fashioned thing of the past, but if you would like to be prepared for that social occasion, this book will give you some reliable advice.
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VINE VOICEon November 15, 2005
Author John Morgan has successfully compiled modern changes and adaptations to the traditional code of civilized behavior in the form of "Debrett's New Guide to Etiquette & Modern Manners: The Indispensible Guidebook."

Morgan covers nearly every social situation imaginable and offers the very best of tradional standards with the latest rules of grace and etiquette.

The text is divided into two parts. Part I, "Rites of Passage," of the volume advises on situations from Births and Baptisms; Weddings, Separation and Divorce, Remarriage, and Deaths and Funerals. Part II, "Social Life," advises on proper form at Royal, Diplomatic and Other Formal Occasions; the Written Word, the Spoken Word, Perosnal Relationships, Manners, Entertaining, Business Manners, Dress, and more.

Suffice to say that any text offering advice upon the topics of form, decorum, manner, address, etc. has much to offer to and is thus worth much to society. Without reservation a five star rating.
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on April 6, 2004
This book is an excellent resource for tips on manners from mobile telephone and internet etiquette to throwing a party for the Queen. Almost all of the tips are correct - though I have my doubts about the suggestion that a man help a lady into a taxi and then follow her in through the same door (forcing her to slide along the taxi seat).
The biggest problem I found with this book was the author's occasionally affected style of writing and the frequent use of non-English phrases (which is considered extremely bad form in written English). I was very surprised that the master of modern manners would be lacking in knowledge of the rules of good English writing.
Despite its shortcomings, this is still an essential book. I give it four stars because its content is so useful. It loses a star because of the affectation and poor English style.
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on January 10, 2007
I found this book most amusing. First of all it is, for me, quite intriguing to compare the do's and don't's in UK with the same in Sweden. I have actually used some of the examples in the book in some of my courses in Sociology in terms of transcultural sensitivity and intercultural encounters. Secondly it is a bit amazing to get a glimpse of British upper as well as upper-middle class and their "stiff upper lip". Whatever the splendid author says in the introduction in terms of "classlessness" he is nevertheless concentrating/focussing - for obvious reasons - on this. To some of my friends I have said something like; read it, ponder about it, and weep!
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on May 28, 2008
Some people read cook books. Some people read garden tips. I read etiquette books, old and new, domestic and foreign. I like this about one, or that about another. This wonderful book is delightful. It is in many fewer sections than the Vanderbilt or Post. It sort of heads things out in the universal take (with something of a more Anglo sensibility than Post is say "American" but it works in the writing style) then with the slight variations for subsets of areas of difference (religion or regional et cet) The author has a very droll sense of style and humor that is appealing. I know that I haven't mentioned how it is as a reference book- it is good. Granted, I haven't received my invitation from the palace yet, but should I -- it lays out exactly what one should and should not do. Highly recommended, highly enjoyed.
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on March 17, 2010
This book is full of information on how to steer your way through most social situations. At times, it is very amusing and entertaining as it seems a bit over the top but the information is invaluable if you are attending high end social events or just want to know how to behave in a more refined fashion.
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on March 11, 2013
An enduring classic of British etiquette. In all its many editions, Debrett's has managed to stay a book for today, not for getting a job at Downton Abbey.

Non-Brits (of which I am one) may be suprised to learn that British etiquette is much less stuffy and hide-bound than its American equivalent. Indeed, one of Debrett's indirect lessons is how much more class-bound and stuffy American etiquette is compared to the British. An example: Americans retain their titles unto death. The British lose them after moving on. For example, in the USA, I am compelled to refer to "President Carter", "General Powell", "Senator Bratwurst", "Speaker Halfwit", and "Secretary Rice", long after they have left their positions. In non-American etiquette they would be Mr Carter, Mr Powell, Mrs Bratwurst, Mr Halfwit, and Ms Rice.

It would certainly get up my nose if the Earl of Grantham insisted I call him "Your Lordship", just as it would that I call the late Mr Sanders and Mr Parker "Colonel", neither of whom had spent one day at that military rank.

So even for non-Brits, this book has much common-sense advice to commend it.
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on January 24, 2007
I recommend this book for individuals who are at least part-time residents of the UK. The book primarily addresses UK etiquette, and when there's room something about "America" is thrown in. Much of the book is useless to an American citizen on a practical level, but perhaps a fine reference of another culture nonetheless.
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on January 19, 2013
With the care of an anthropologist and the pizazz of Jacqueline Susann, John Morgan brings the life of the English upper classes (and the whalebone corsetry of customs that confine them) to life. I would have given four stars, except that there are places where the author's imagination dips towards the mundane, and Morgan's chapter on hunting goes several paces beyond the plausible. If you've never cried tears of laughter, I recommend this work.
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on March 12, 2015
Helpful hints for a variety of occasions. Some may seem dated or more appropriate to the other side of the atlantic. Nevertheless, a handy companion.
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