17th-century-cosmogirle.jpg The etiquette and fashion of the 17th century certainly seems hilarious in today's world. A rare 1694 manual, The Ladies' Dictionary: Being a General Entertainment for the Fair Sex, will be auctioned in September 2007. A part of late book dealer Tony Hattersley's collection, this will be auctioned at Bonhams in Oxford. This manual contains some hilarious and some bizarre information. The guide is expected to fetch up to £800.

Highlights of the Manual's content
a. To lose weight fast, take a bath in claret wine mixed with wormwood, calamint, chamomile, sage and squinath.
b. A remedy for flabby or sagging areas is to apply a mixture of chicken and goose grease, pine, rosin, pitch and turpentine kept in an earthenware pot and mixed with wax and cooled.
c. It advises a woman not to let a man get near her on the first date.
d. It advises a woman not to use too much make up as it is likely to destroy her reputation.
e. Adulterators are warned that many miseries await them for their follies.
f. One of the tips is on how one should not starve themselves for the sake of fashion.
g. Complimenting a woman on her décolletage was the fastest way for a man to make place for himself in a lady's heart.
h. Complimenting a lady on her neck was also considered romantic.
Amorous women are supposed to be more ticklish than others.

Prevalent fashion of that time
a. Floor length dresses with a low cut were the in thing.
b. Dresses were designed in such a way that it showed a glimpse of cleavage and the waists and busts were highlighted by tightly-strapped bodices.
c. Hair was worn up, with a powdered wig or hairpiece to give extra height.
d. Fans, embroidered handkerchiefs and pearl necklaces were common accessories.