Norton of Morton

Read a new instalment of Norton of Morton every Saturday at 4 o'clock

Saturday 5 January 2013

Year of the Gentleman

In which G.M. Norton issues a rallying cry to the male of the species to find their inner gentleman.

Whatever happened to strolling in the moonlight, picking flowers for the woman of your dreams and generally being a chivalrous sort of chap?

In today’s society it seems that too many men are rude, badly-dressed and spend far too much time watching football and drinking beer, more often than not with their hands stuffed down their trousers.  

However, I really do believe that there is a desire for change bubbling beneath the surface. A desire to become a better man. To become a gentleman. Can you feel it?

I would like to encourage the gentrification of the polyester-clad masses and to celebrate the chivalry that is still alive and well. To achieve this, I am calling upon the knowledgeable and eminent readership of Norton of Morton to support my crusade for 2013 – Year of the Gentleman.   

Let us make 2013 the year to stand up and be counted. For man to take his first tentative step towards Gentleman. To become the envy of his peers. To be viewed in wide-eyed admiration from fair maidens. To be the kind of man his children (or future children) can look up to and want to be like. Given a little work, almost any man can exude the most David Niven-panache. 

Of course, I understand that times have changed and not all men would feel comfortable treading the same path that their great-grandfathers followed. We now live in a different world compared to one hundred years ago when the archetypal English gentleman would have been gallant to the fairer sex, had a pew in the church, was privately educated and had a stiff upper lip.

Although 2013 is a completely different place to how it was in 1913, the same gentlemanly principles still apply – good manners, decency, dressing smartly and the desire to properly woo and worship a lady.  

My aim for 2013 is to make it my mission to turn more men into gentlemen by offering tips, encouragement and sharing my experiences. I do hope you will join me.

The revolution starts now.

G.M. Norton
Protagonist of ‘Norton of Morton’

P.S. If you witter on Twitter, please do use the hashtag #yearofthegentleman 
P.P.S. Thank you to dear Porcelina for bestowing upon me my second Liebster blog award. I have now constructed a trophy room to proudly display them.


  1. You can count me in, old sport. What a topping idea - I look forward to seeing (and toasting) its success.

    1. Thank you for your support, dear boy. With a bit of luck, Year of the Gentleman will prosper. I do hope people take part, chivalry deserves to be properly celebrated and we may even inspire a few men to follow the path signposted Gentleman.

  2. Such a fantastic and much needed idea. I will do my part on this side of the pond to further the cause in the hopes that it will supplant such things as the ridiculous notion of 'meggings' in the hearts and minds of the style-conscious public.

    1. Good day, sir. It is super to have an American chumrade across the pond join this noble crusade. I wish I was oblivious to the term 'meggings' but alas no, the image of a man wearing them will forever be etched in my rather delicate mind.

      Together, our fearless band of ladies and gentlemen can make the world a more stylish and refined place.

  3. Lovely idea, it doesn't do any harm to dress dandier and be polite!

    1. Absolutely, it's a pity more people don't have the same mindset but hopefully we can encourage an improvement! Since enjoying your latest blog post, I was rather hoping the mention of football would strike a chord with you, fair lady.

  4. I am a girl but I support your mission. If it means more chivalry and and fewer charmless chavs then I think your goal is an admirable one.

    Just out of interest Monsieur Norton, we can all name gentlemen of yesteryear who inspire but who do you rate these days for a good gentlemanly role model in terms of style and charm?

    1. What a spiffing question, dear lady. For a good gentlemanly role model that is super stylish and exudes that all-important charm, I would have to say either George Clooney or Leonardo DiCaprio. For examples closer to Blighty, the two that spring to mind are Ewan McGregor and Colin Firth.

      Two young thespians also showing gentlemanly promise are Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ryan Gosling.

      I would be most interested in discovering who you think are modern gentlemanly role models.

  5. Mr DiCaprio has certainly formed into a gentleman as he has aged.
    McGregor is an interesting choice that would not have sprung to my mind, but now I think of it... yes. Quiet... refined. Usually!
    As for Gosling, I agree. Certainly his style is mature and smart, and in interviews he seems witty and charming. And I hear he rescued a damsel in distress once thus proving his chivalric quality! I see him as the Steve McQueen gentleman type.

    I was reading an interview with Michael Fassbender where he said he used George Sanders as inspiration for his role as Lt. Archie Hicox. I think the research paid off. But whether this translates in his off screen persona too I am not sure.

    Strange that it always comes back to movie stars isn't it?
    I hear David Beckham's name mentioned as a potential gent but I do not see that myself. He is no Gregory Peck or Cary Grant that is for sure. But he does dress well sometimes and seems like a decent caring sort, just lacks the charm and wit for me to be a bona fide gentleman.
    Tom Ford seems very gentlemanly and of course he dressed the best gent of them all in Skyfall!
    Men and boys definitely could do with some more modern gentlemanly role models.


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