chapter  4
32 Pages

The List: Domesticity, Conformity and Class

The Giving and Receiving Presents directive included the question ‘Did you have a formal list?’8 Many Mass-Observation correspondents answered this particular question directly, even repeating some of its words. Of her first marriage in 1958, a teacher form Norwich stated ‘We did not have a formal list – never would have thought of such a thing.’ (B2258). Others, however, wrote about being asked to select from a list, rather than whether they had one, and used the ‘Wedding presents’ section of the directive to register their opposition to listing as a practice. One correspondent, who was unemployed and single at the time of writing, explained:

4 ‘The Wedding Organiser,’ You and Your Wedding, Mar-Apr 1998: 94. 5 ‘Wedding Planner.’ You and your Wedding, Nov-Dec 1997: 59. 6 ‘Gift List News,’ You and Your Wedding Mar-April 2003: 303. 7 I found only one positive comment about commercial gift lists within the Giving and

Receiving Presents directive from correspondent A883 and this was a specific endorsement of John Lewis’ rather than all such lists.