manners

Dear Mary: I can’t put names to faces – and it’s starting to upset friends

8 September 2018 9:00 am

Q. I am in my mid-sixties and have started to suffer from nominal aphasia. At a recent wedding in the…

Dear Mary: What do I say when people want to visit my family’s stately home for free?

18 August 2018 9:00 am

Q. My husband and I were among the first to arrive at a recent large house party in Scotland. We…

View of a drawing room, c. 1780 by Philip Reinagle

The short step from good manners to lofty imperialism

23 June 2018 9:00 am

Philip Hensher describes how our notions of civility and consideration slipped almost imperceptibly into a sense of superiority and a mission to civilise the world

Dear Mary: As best man, can I seduce the groom’s sister?

26 May 2018 9:00 am

Q. We often take friends to what my husband calls a ‘poncey’ pub which has won numerous awards and where…

Dear Mary: How to get out of a neighbours’ dinner party invite?

31 March 2018 9:00 am

Q. A couple who live directly opposite us in London have sent a save-the-date notice for a big party they…

I’ll never again set foot in the Eagle Club

24 March 2018 9:00 am

Gstaad A couple of columns ago I wrote about an incident that took place at the Eagle Club here in…

Dear Mary: How can I tell a friend her mole is disgusting?

24 March 2018 9:00 am

Q. Recently, during a stay in a luxurious mountain hotel in Italy, and having hurt my knee skiing, I was…

Dear Mary: How do I tell my landlords they’ve ruined my life?

3 March 2018 9:00 am

Q. For some time I have been spoiled by paying a small rent for a central flat belonging to absentee…

Why I’m moving to London (if Brexit happens. that is)

28 October 2017 9:00 am

I hate to say this, but the quality of life in the Bagel has crashed in a Harvey Weinstein-like way.…

Warhol’s obscene legacy

23 September 2017 9:00 am

As everyone who stands up when a lady enters the room knows, the once sacrosanct rules of civility throughout the…

Letters: The Benedictines did not withdraw from the world

22 April 2017 9:00 am

Benedictine engagement Sir: Matthew Parris has missed the point (‘Give me the Anglican option’, 15 April). He compares Rod Dreher’s…

If there’s a problem in the Vatican, it’s not Pope Francis

18 March 2017 9:00 am

Pope Francis’s mission Sir: Despite Damian Thompson’s intimations (‘The plot against the Pope’, 11 March), Pope Francis is going nowhere…

Dear Mary: My doctor keeps asking me for advice on selling furniture

7 May 2016 9:00 am

Q. I know it’s a gaffe to ask a doctor for medical advice at a party, but what is the…

Manners matter, even at an orgy

1 August 2015 9:00 am

We all agree that a world without manners would make this a pretty grim place to live. Offensive informality is…

Once upon a time I was very proud to be Greek. But no more

28 February 2015 9:00 am

Gstaad A naked, very good-looking young man skied down the mountain evoking shrieks of laughter and admiration from the hundred…

The battle for decency has been lost

18 October 2014 9:00 am

An intelligent letter from a reader, Stanislas Yassukovich CBE, warms my heart. It’s nice to know there are others as…