The good news about this is that history is a lot more valuable than you might think.
Near the end of the section there is generally one curt letter of refusal to a marriage proposal."The rules and suggestions for courtship and romance occupy most of the space in Victorian etiquette and letter writing books.
The novels I've read over the years have informed my beliefs about the world around me -- including the world of dating.
In the course of my literary education, I plowed through classic marriage-plot-centered novels, and no scrap of apparent romantic wisdom was left behind in my wake.
A younger and much less wise version of myself once had a crush on a certain boy. If I weren't looking for a Darcy to my Elizabeth, what were my other dating options?
He was cute, he was smart, and he was just a little bit too full of himself. Whenever we ran into each other, we bantered, exchanged barbs, and even argued. And, having read my Austen, I settled in and waited for him to realize that we were sharp-tongued soulmates, meant to verbally duke it out for eternity. My lively wit never prompted him to notice my "fine eyes," and no courtship whatsoever ensued. Worse, I began to realize that a lifetime of this sparring would be downright exhausting. Any reader of fiction knows how powerfully a great book can shape your view of the real world.
continued to court one another (without any of this century’s “dating” expectations), throughout their marriage.