Story: Manners and social behaviour

Colonial snobbery

Colonial snobbery

The class basis of 19th-century manners is well illustrated in this cartoon from an 1879 issue of New Zealand Punch. Clara and Amelia, pausing for a rest while out for a walk in the New Zealand countryside, debate whether they should talk to Miss Smith, who is approaching. They decide against it because she is wearing a plain 'stuff' (woollen) dress and therefore cannot be a 'lady'.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: H-692-003
Cartoon by Arthur L. Palethorpe

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Nancy Swarbrick, 'Manners and social behaviour - 19th-century manners', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 4 December 2023)

Story by Nancy Swarbrick, published 5 Sep 2013