A few centuries ago, there appeared to be nothing polite society liked better than a refined lady who had learned needlework, piano-playing and watercolour painting.
Such damsels were praised for their skills to the extent that adept piano-playing appeared to be directly connected with strong potential for matrimony. ‘‘How lovely,” the men folk still murmur in the Merchant Ivory films, as the ladies look up from the pianoforte with a shy smile. ‘‘How perfectly lovely.”...
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