Conversation was a polysemic practice of sociability in leisured and learned classes. Ideally, it cultivated politeness, pleasure, ease and reciprocity. At the same time, its plural meanings also accommodated tensions within the conversable world, encompassing controversy and collision of mind as well as harmony.
The Grand Tour was a form of educational travel undertaken by young aristocratic and gentry men. Travel and separation from the home had long been an important means of forming young boys but a nascent Grand Tour developed in the early modern period. It reached its most recognisable form, and the height of its popularity, in the eighteenth century.
KLEIN Lawrence E.
In the eighteenth century, the term ‘politeness’ became a powerful, if controverted, tool for thinking about and understanding social order and also for modelling and scripting social experience.