Jane is smiling on me - she led me to this book:
The Jane Austen Handbook: A Sensible Yet Elegant Guide to Her World by Margaret C. Sullivan.
With such fab info as:
How to Identify "The Quality"
How to Ensure a Good Yearly Income
How to Elope to Scotland
How to Get Rid of Unwanted Guests
How to Converse With Your Dancing Partner
Most important for our purposes: How to Become an Accomplished Young Lady.
In her intro she writes:
"We will not scold you for wanting to understand entailments and wedding clothes and the delicate politics of the ballroom. (Because it does rather bring fantasy to a screeching halt to realize one is not familiar with the intricacies of, say, paying a morning call.) We will instead undertake to explain the mysteries of life among early nineteenth-century British landed gentry--mysteries Jane Austen, writing for an audience of her contemporaries, did not find mysterious at all. Here are step-by-step instructions that will allow one to conduct one's fantasy life with perfect aplomb--or at least to better understand the background when Lizzy or Emma or Elinor or Catherine or Fanny or Anne are faced with a similar situation in the novel or films."
I love doing things with aplomb.
I've ordered a few more books that I will reveal when they arrive as a clever new idea has occurred to me that I will share with you in a few days. Appropriately, at the turn of the new year.