The day after Christmas: the perfect time to gather in front of the TV and watch some Jane Austen movies, and of course, play the Jane Austen Drinking Game. We're up to Failure to Preserve Distinction of Rank, and when that happens, it could mean the End of the British Empire As We Know It. Well, look what's happened to that in the last 100 years.
In spite of; indeed, because of the trend in the 1800s of just anyone being able to become very wealthy and/or educated, those who inherited their importance by way of feudal lands and titles had to work extra hard to keep everyone reminded of the fact they they were The Upper Class and The Nobility. A dirt-poor person with a title was a gentleman, while someone who had made millions through industry was an upstart. Failure to give that gentleman his due was a huge social blunder.
Dolly and Minerva are visiting the palatial home of Lady Wrattle, and Minerva, just as I would do, has brought along a book, in case things get dull.