How to be a Good Lover

Edited by the Bodleian Library

Edited by the Bodleian Library

Distributed for Bodleian Library, University of Oxford

92 pages | 19 line drawings | 3 1/2 x 4 1/2 | © 2012
Cloth $11.00 ISBN: 9781851242801 Published October 2012 For sale in North America only

Across the centuries, few experiences in life rival the excitement and emotional intensity of falling in love. Yet from the moment we set eyes on a special someone, the path to their heart seems strewn with devastating pitfalls. What if the object of our affection hates the way we wear our hair, finds our kisses lacking, or resents our talk of former loves?How does one go about successfully wooing a future husband or wife? Fortunately, there are time-honored strategies to avoid these pitfalls and help us attract and keep the paramour of our dreams.

Written in the 1930s for would-be lovers from the British middle-class, How to be a Good Lover is a delightfully antiquated guide that takes readers of both sexes through all the stages of a relationship, from the initial meeting to courtship, engagement, and marriage. In addition to weighing in on the proper age gap, dating outside one’s class, and the etiquette of gifting, the book brims with age-old nuggets of advice that range from practicalities such as “don’t attempt kissing in a canoe unless you are both able to swim” and “don’t kiss your lover with your hat still on your head” to more substantial advice such as the admonishment to show respect to your potential partner’s parents.     
Charmingly illustrated with line drawings from the period, How to be a Good Lover is by turns humorously old-fashioned and timeless, and it offers sage advice for all hoping to one day find love.


1. Advice to Lovers
2. General
3. The Pursuit
4. Courting
5. Flirtation
6. The Language of Love
7. Popping the Question
8. The Engagement
9. Parents and Relatives
10. Telling the Others
11. Getting the Home Together
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