Precedence at Bonnebouche Hall during the Holidays. From English Society. Sketched by George du Maurier. Click on image to enlarge it.

“Grandpa takes the bride in to dinner, and the rest follow anyhow.”

Between one of the male servants, probably the butler, on the left and the nursemaid holding a baby on the right, we see an enormous crowd of guests, the women wearing ballgowns and jewelry, and the man wearing white tie and tails. To the modern viewer all this looks amazingly formal, but the artist’s point here is that for these members of the upper-class ignoring rank and titles would have been comically informal, even chaotic, because rather then proceed into the dining room according to rank and prestige, once the old gentleman takes the young bride into the dining room it's all “anyhow.”

A Selection of du Maurier’s Depictions of Life in the Country and at the Country House

Scanned image and text by George P. Landow [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the person who scanned the image and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.]


English Society. Sketched by George du Maurier. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1897.

Created 1 July 2001

Last modified 26 April 2020