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Miss Dora Baggins' Book of Manners  by Dreamflower 13 Review(s)
Kaylee ArafinwielReviewed Chapter: 9 on 8/20/2016
My Dear Miss Dora,

The Giving of Gifts is an Important Thing, to be Sure.

For instance, my Mother's Birthday is approaching. As you Know, it is the Custom among Big Folk to only give gifts to the byrding, rather than the other way around. Hobbits seem Far more Sensible about this. It is also Usual to Buy New Presents, except in the case of Young Children's Gifts to their Parents. Mother might have accepted Flowers or a Drawing from me when I was Young, but now she would Certainly Expect me to Buy Something. (Except that she knows I can't, so I'm going to have to give her something late.)

Luckily, my Mother Understands my Financial Situation, and Shan't be Upset. But I will give her a Birthday Card at least, and I will make it myself. I hope she will appreciate it.

In any case, as I learn more Crafts, perhaps I will be able to make handmade Gifts that will cause my Family to rethink their Stance on only Buying Gifts. (And perhaps, if they must buy things for me, it will be Cards with Certain Monetary Values that may be Traded for Goods to aid me in Buying Crafting Supplies. Those would be Most Helpful.)

Please forgive me for Rambling On, my dear Miss Dora (and Dreamflower.) It Grows Late, but I cannot Sleep without Finishing my Reread of this most Excellent Book. (I hope someday, your Estimable Scribe will permit you to Complete It!)

Your devoted Reader and friend,


8SgGi9iFfwReviewed Chapter: 9 on 11/26/2015
OK, I am truely fnlailg in love with him! However, we are cross fencing our property and would not be able to take him until after January. I kind of hope that will work out for when you want to adopt him out. Do you have any idea what you might want for his adoption fee? I live in Florida, so unfortunately can not just run up there on a weekend, especially during the busy season. I work in the medical field. I have 2 intermediate horses and 1 intermediate pony now. Personality wise, do you think he would finish out with a real laid back personality. I just can't take on another intermediate personality!!! I realize he probably won't chill out until he becomes mature. Thanks!SherryPS: I understand I would still have to pass inspection! lol

Girl-who-dislikes-silly-mistakesReviewed Chapter: 9 on 2/24/2010
I really like this story, so keep up the good work! The point of this review is to tell you that you have mistakenly typed 'receipt' instead of 'recipe' at several points in this chapter. Other than that, your story is fabulous!

Author Reply: I'm so glad that you think the story is fabulous. And actually I do not mind a bit when people point out silly mistakes to me--when they are mistakes.

Actually, I used the word "reciept" on purpose. In the 19th century, the word was commonly used to mean what we mean by "recipe" nowadays. I like using old-fashioned words in my stories to help make them seem less "modern". For example, I never use the word "depressed" to describe someone's mood, I use the word "melancholy"; I don't write "stroke" or "aneurism" I write "apoplexy"; and I use "ague" instead of "flu". So if I use the word "recipe" in a story, for *me* that is a mistake!

late 14c., "statement of ingredients in a potion or medicine," from Anglo-Fr. or O.N.Fr. receite "receipt, recipe" (1304), altered (by influence of receit "he receives," from V.L. *recipit) from O.Fr. recete, from L. recepta "received," fem. pp. of recipere (see receive). Meaning "written acknowledgment of money or goods received" is from c.1600. (

When and how did the words receipt and recipe diverge in meaning? I know that Jane Austen (c. 1800) used receipt to mean what recipe now means.

Recipe appears in English in the 14th century with the sense `receive, take,' coming from the Latin imperative recipe `take,' from recipere `receive, take.' It was used in lists of ingredients for medicines and dishes, as in "Take two eggs..." Later, the lists of medicinal ingredients themselves came to be known as recipes (16th century), and then the word was applied to lists of food ingredients in the 18th century. The symbol for a prescription, Rx, comes from the use of the word recipe in the pharmaceutical sense.

Receipt was resseite `the act of receiving' in the early 14th century, reseit `a sum of money' in the about 1390, and receit `a medicinal recipe,' in 1392. It came from Anglo-Norman receite `receipt recipe,' ultimately from Latin recipere `to receive.'

Receipt lost its `recipe' sense in the 19th century.


Kaylee ArafinwielReviewed Chapter: 9 on 11/3/2009
Dear Miss Dora,

I will take this Advice on Gift Giving, and though I admit among my people it is Usual to Give Gifts for Birthdays and Weddings on the Actual Day, I think at my next Birthday (I shall be Twenty-Five) I will make a Point of Giving Gifts to my Guests instead.

Yours Loyally,

Kaylee Arafinwiel

Author Reply: Dear Miss Kaylee,

Yes, I recall a Certain Baggins Cousin of mine told me that other Races recieve Gifts on their Birthdays rather than Give them. While I find that Odd, I can understand that Some People may have Different Customs.

Still, I am glad that you are considering Adopting the Hobbit Custom. It is a good way to show Gratitude to all those Friends and Family who Care About you.

Miss Dora

Miss Dora has told me that if you should wish to give Her a gift on your Birthday, she will gratefully accept it. ;-D

ImhirielReviewed Chapter: 9 on 9/23/2006
(This is a review for the 9 chapters that are currently published)

What a wonderful idea! You have exactly nailed the tone of a prim and proper, but all-in-all benign, older lady. The wording - complete with quirky capitalizing - mimicks excellently the style of similar real life Books of Manners, very neatly adapted to Shire society (The emphasis on things to do with food, for example, or how desirable "Predictability" is).

And despite the fun of the story, most of the advice is actually very valid and reasonable, which gives the story an additional layer of depth. There are quite a few people in the real world who should take a leaf out of that book!

Did you have some specific models you consulted while writing the different chapters, apart from the links you mentioned?

Author Reply: Oh thank you! That's *exactly* what I was going for--Miss Dora *is* prim and proper, but, as you said, "all-in-all benign".

I enjoy doing the capitalizing--it's fun to figure out which words she would emphasize. And of course, there are definitely parts that would apply to "Hobbits only". (I feel that in the absence of religion, and given the frequency of meals, food would come to occupy a central place in Shire society. And we know that "respectable" hobbits would never do anything "unpredictable", LOL!)

I'm glad you feel that much of the advice is good. I want Miss Dora to come across as a rather wise and observant old spinster. Of course, it's also somewhat idealized, and I think that Hobbit children are probably a good deal more biddable than human children. (There's a canon basis for that assumption in some of the remarks JRRT makes about them, as well as in Pippin's behavior in the early parts of the Quest.)

No, I've just always been very fond of those sorts of books, so I have sort of an idea in my head. A lot of it is from my fondness for "Miss Manners", who, though modern, has also successfully mimicked that style. But the ones where I've given links, definitely I've used.

Nienor NinielReviewed Chapter: 9 on 9/7/2006
Well thought of again!

A little hint of Bilbo's leaving, too (in fact rather two hints), I think.

I like the traditions you came up with for the different parts of the Shire. And the fact that there can't be a thought of a Hobbit travelling anywhere outside it!


Author Reply: Miss Dora Names no Names, but you can bet that she often has Specific Relations in mind when she writes!

I thought it likely that the different farthings would have a few different customs. And *why* would a hobbit do something so Unrespectable as Travel Outside the Shire!? (Disregarding those who are infected with Tookishness, of course!)LOL!

Queen GaladrielReviewed Chapter: 9 on 9/5/2006
Ah, sometimes I think it would be nice if our society was more like the Shire. In the past couple of years I've taken up the custom of giving gifts to my friends who are fellow LOTR-lovers on my birthday (my family thinks I'm nuts, or I'd give to them too) and it's delightful! The different gift-giving customs to be found in various parts of the Shire are very interesting. And how nice that you included Larner's tradition! *grin*
God bless,

BodkinReviewed Chapter: 9 on 9/5/2006
A Reputation for Showing Off - wouldn't want one of those! Most unhobbity.

Life among hobbits must have involved receiving so many gifts - it's just as well they also developed the custom of passing on mathoms.

Miss Dora has some more excellent words of wisdom here. I hope her Book had a wide circulation among those Concerned with Correct Behaviour.

Author Reply: Certainly. I think Bilbo's tendency to flamboyance must have made his genteel cousin wince!

I am quite sure that the passing on of mathoms was a direct response to the constant giving of gifts--otherwise, they would have more clutter than they knew what to do with.

I hope it did, too! She seems to have had a Good Deal of Enjoyment in writing it! LOL!

harrowcatReviewed Chapter: 9 on 9/4/2006
I think that we all like Tolkien's ideas on gift giving at birthdays and I love this extension on it, especially Larner's take on the giving of recipies and yours on twining the tress for newly-weds.

Author Reply: It is so much fun to extrapolate onto what he left for us, adding our own ideas to his! I thought Larner's idea was brilliant! And I'm glad you liked the trees!

LarnerReviewed Chapter: 9 on 9/4/2006
I am, of course, flattered indeed! And am so glad Tolkien's own letters give us such a detailed look at the social activities of Hobbits and the gift-giving.

Wonderful advice as usual from Aunt Dora! I love the dear lady, myself.

Author Reply: Well, after your lovely little tale of Dora's book, and the fact that the idea of the recipes being a courtship gift was just so very darn *hobbity* and perfect--well, I just could not resist! 8-)

She's turned into a very loveable old lass, hasn't she?

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