Being a “Gentleman” in Regency England

ReginaJeffers's Blog

In 1583 Sir Thomas Smith wrote: “One who can live idly and without manual labour and will bear the port (deportment) and countenance of a gentleman, he shall be taken for a gentleman.” But what does “being a gentleman” entail? According toHistorical and Regency Romance UK, “The original dictionary definition of the word gentleman was strict: A well-educated man of good family. It was also used to refer to a man whose income derived from property as opposed to a man who worked for a living. It was only in the eighteenth century that it came also to mean a man who was cultured, courteous and well-educated with a code of honour and high standards of proper behaviour. By the time of Jane Austen, the gentleman had come to be defined by his personal qualities as much as by his status as a member of the landed gentry. He…

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2 comments

  1. reginajeffers · September 20, 2016

    Thanks for sharing my post with others. I appreciate the support.

    Like

    • spiritofnlmk · September 20, 2016

      You’re very welcome. You always have the most fascinating post about Regency life 🙂

      Like

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