In February 1882, my great-grandmother Mollie Bryan became the proud owner of the latest (1881) edition of Decorum: A Practical Treatise on Etiquette and Dress of the Best American Society, revised from the 1879 edition by S.L. Louis. I remembered seeing it among some old family books when I was a little girl and thought it might be handy for quick reference for a novel I was working on. It was a goldmine, containing everything from the portents of gemstones and the significance of flowers to proper introductions and declarations of love. One day while looking up an entry on table manners or travel etiquette, everything clicked. This well-worn, well-loved book gave me the title and the organizing theme for my novel, Decorum.