Blast From The Debutante Past

Once again, Rockstar Book Tours is back at it. This time with a surprising time capsule, taking us all the way back to the Roaring 20’s.

Before we get into the book, we need some definitions. First, let’s define swears. Second. Define nice. Then remember that this book was printed 90 years ago, so it is NOT a modern guide to swearing, nice, or even girls for that matter. But it is a fascinating glimpse into our past, even if the definitions are a bit… old-fashioned.

So maybe Harley isn’t the intended audience for this particular gem. But, then again, maybe she is. The book when first written was aimed at the young, progressive women of the time. Forget what you think you know of debutantes and how good girls behave. No Nice Girl Swears may be almost 100 years old, but this was for girls coming of age at the end of prohibition, where speakeasies and Gatsby(esque) parties reigned supreme.

I love diving into our past. And No Nice Girl Swears does not disappoint. This is not intended to be relevant to today, but still, it’s a fascinating glimpse into what life was like at the end of the Jazz Age. Even though most of the tips and advice are very outdated, some of it is still good advice. I mean, it’s always a good idea to dress for success and we should know how to be a good houseguest.

It does require the reader to pull apart gendered commentary, and the audience of the day was definitely aimed up the upper crust of society, so readers should be aware that this may be distracting and/or irritating. I’d hate for someone to sprain their eyes from too many rolls, and to be honest, there were quite a few of those for me. But I still found a few nuggets that made up for the downfalls. The chapter on divorce was hilarious and eye-opening. It’s fascinating reading about what was considered progressive at the time, and some of the attitudes were surprisingly ahead of their time. Maybe even ours.

In all, this book is a fun read, and anyone who enjoys exploring history will have a fabulous time reading it. It’s surprising, cheeky, and entertaining from beginning to end.

Thank you Rockstar Book Tours and Apollo Publishing for including me on this tour!

No Nice Girl Swears is the original, trailblazing guide to the “new etiquette,” brimming with timeless advice on style, romance, and grace, and finally back in print 90 years after its original release. Forewords by today’s editor in chief of Town & Country and the editor in chief of Vogue from 1914–1952.

Heralded as the go-to guide for soon-to-be debutantes and ladies who’d recently made their debut, No Nice Girl Swears ushered in a “new etiquette” on its release in 1933, much to the shock—and delight—of the high-society crowd of jazz-age America. Today it is equal parts time capsule (how to dress for dinner on your transatlantic voyage) and timeless missive (how to ditch a date who’s had a few too many).

Worldly-wise socialite Alice-Leone Moats advises on everything from style and dating to travel and party throwing, and weeds through the dos and don’ts of weddings, weekend trips, and the workplace. Her wisdom, though steeped in the charm of her time, endures: treat others—and yourself—with respect, always put your best foot forward, and don’t throw a party without champagne. It’s just good manners.

This keepsake volume includes a new foreword from Stellene Volandes, the editor in chief of Town & Country, the original foreword from Edna Woolman Chase, Vogue’s editor in chief from 1914–1952, and a contextualizing preface. It encourages consideration of what etiquette rules we’d like instilled today, and shows how Moats helped usher in a world where women could speak—and act—freely.

“A book of modern etiquette for the modern debutante and sub deb, with an eye on her mother. Definitely keyed to the city and suburban communities, rather than the small town. Humor and commonsense combined in due proportion in answering such questions as: Shall I ask him in? May I call you up some time? What is the technique of being picked up? What should be done if my escort passes out on me? And so on. In addition, the author gives the latest usage in the matter of debutante parties, chaperonage (you’d be surprised!), engagements, weddings, clothes, week-end parties, and other contingencies. In good taste, and yet distinctly smart. The book itself is another experiment in colored stock—yellow this time—but since the books are to be sealed with cellophane wrappers, the prospective buyer wont know what she is getting until the purchase is made.”

Kirkus Review

“In spite of such reminiscent titles of ‘Shall She Ask Him In?’ and ‘Never Speak To Strangers Unless They Speak to You,’ these chapters contain serious advice—the pragmatism of it all cloaked in a flippant and humor-flecked style.”

New York Times

Goodreads, AmazonKindle, B&N, Kobo, TBD, Bookshop.org

Alice-Leone Moats (1908–1989) was an American journalist and author who was born in Mexico to wealthy and socially prominent American parents. She attended convent schools in Mexico City, Rome and Paris, as well as the Brearley School in Manhattan and the Fermata School for Girls in Aiken, South Carolina.

Apollo Publishers Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram 

One lucky winner will receive a $10 Amazon GC, International. Click the graphic above to enter!

Be sure to stop by the rest of the tour for some excerpts and more reviews.

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

3/30/2020Two Chicks on BooksExcerpt
3/31/2020BookHounds Excerpt
4/1/2020Mythical BooksExcerpt
4/2/2020Twirling Book PrincessExcerpt
4/3/2020She Just Loves BooksReview

Week Two:

4/6/2020Satisfaction for Insatiable ReadersReview
4/7/2020What A Nerd Girl SaysExcerpt
4/8/2020Hurn PublicationsReview
4/9/2020Locks, Hooks and BooksReview
4/10/2020The Phantom ParagrapherReview

Week Three:

4/13/2020Jena Brown WritesReview
4/14/2020Fire and IceReview
4/15/2020The Book Junkie Reads . . . Excerpt
4/16/2020Jaime’s WorldExcerpt
4/17/2020Simply Daniel RadcliffeReview

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