Etiquette & Espionage

Etiquette & Espionage

Book - 2013 | 1st ed.
Average Rating:
Rate this:
In an alternate England of 1851, spirited fourteen-year-old Sophronia is enrolled in a finishing school where, she is suprised to learn, lessons include not only the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but also diversion, deceit, and espionage.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Co., 2013.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780316190084
Branch Call Number: TEEN CARRIGE
Characteristics: 307 p. ; 24 cm.
Alternative Title: Etiquette and espionage


From Library Staff

A mysterious benefactor steps in when Saphronia's parents can only afford to send her brother to school. Soon she is learning both manners and spy craft at Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality, as well as the etiquette for managing werewolves, vampires, mean girl... Read More »

List - Ruby Red
SnoIsleLib_JackieP Oct 31, 2018

Sophronia thought she was getting shipped out to a boring finishing school that would force her to behave. Instead, her school flies and she's learning the many ways to assassinate. No one suspects the debutante, and you can hide ever so many things in a skirt.

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
IndyPL_SteveB Jul 03, 2019

A fun tongue-in-cheek (or perhaps “tongue-in-chic”) teen novel about 14-year-old Sophronia Temminnick, who is sent off to Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. It’s 1851 in an alternate steampunk England, and the “finishing school” is a school for teaching young women the arts of espionage and assassination, along with dance, dress, and deportment. The school is held aloft by blimps, powered by steam, with mechanical servants, and an unusual cast of teachers, including a vampire and a werewolf. The book’s catch phrase for the school is “The Fine Art of Finishing Others.”

There is a plot of sorts, about a missing invention that must be found and attacks by mysterious “flywaymen” (air pirates) who wish to steal it. But the fun is in the British characters, from the snooty daughters of Lords to the merely middle class, but plucky, young ladies (like Sophronia), and even a few distinctly working class boys (“sooties”) who run the coal-powered engine room. This is the first of a series. They are connected with an adult series that Carriger has written, “The Parasol Protectorate” series, which begins with the book “Soulless.”

ReadingAdviser_leni Jun 21, 2019

This finishing school is an airship! Oh, how I enjoy steampunk. Plus, the girls are learning to be spies, which is an excellent twist on finishing schools. The book is a wonderful, fun adventure with so many great characters. And the names are hilarious, for example, Mrs. Barnaclegoose.

Jun 05, 2019

why does every other book in this series have Audio CD or Downloadable versions but not the first one? this is a frequent and annoying problem in the HPL catalog.

May 10, 2019

I enjoyed this book. It started out a little slowly but did pick up as it went along. I also got a few good chuckles out of it. This is a solid introduction to a new female protagonist, Sophronia, whom I liked, and who has a lot of potential to grow even more in future books. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

Mar 23, 2019

I enjoyed this tween version of the adult The Parasol Protectorate series. Sophronia is a smart and feisty heroine who practices "question authority" with fervor. The story was enjoyable, but a little too witty at times, like it was trying too hard.

It is set in Victorian times so you have all the etiquette and dress codes, but she throws in vampires and werewolves. Sophronia is chosen, to her surprise, to attend an unusual finishing school for young ladies. Set in the same universe as Carriger’s adult series, The Parasol Protectorate, it tells the story that took place before that series. Entertaining, well-written, and intriguing, this series is good for both adults and teens. (submitted by SB)

OPL_KrisC Aug 28, 2018

Action-packed with a dash of steampunk and class. This is a book full of adventure and fun with a main character who does not conform to what is expected of her. I love how spunky Sophronia is and how the school does teach etiquette, but also teaches some serious espionage skills. Fans of Etiquette & Espionage should also try A School for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin.

LPL_KimberlyL Mar 04, 2018

Yet another Gail Carriger win! Sophronia is a lovely addition to the bright and clever heroines within the Parasolverse (the steam punk Victorian universe Gail Carriger first introduced to us in her book, Soulless). This series is suited for younger readers, but adults can also happily zoom through the wild adventures contained within this novel. The audiobook for this is particularly enjoyable.

Nov 05, 2017

Positively a blast! Engaging characters, cheeky style. Great fun!

Oct 23, 2017

This novel is so empowering and adventurous. It made me want to become a spy but still kick butt in a dress.

Check out my review of "Etiquette and Espionage" on my blog at:

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability
OPL_KrisC Aug 28, 2018

OPL_KrisC thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Jan 10, 2016

white_horse_316 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Nov 05, 2015

janetumukoro thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Feb 06, 2015

Love_Legolas_111 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

LadyLynx Aug 17, 2014

LadyLynx thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jul 19, 2014

StrawberryMilk thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Jun 15, 2014

mkastar thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Feb 01, 2014

Gr4c13 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 13 and 17


Add a Quote
Oct 16, 2016

"Who doesn't want an exploding wicker chicken?"

Sep 05, 2015

Pullover Thadddeus Plumleigh-Teignmott, what are you wearing?
They heard pillover reply querulously, "a petticoat, headmaster"

Sep 05, 2015

"Boys have it far more jolly." Vieve gave one of her dimpled grins. "I assure you, I find female dress fascinating. I simply prefer not to wear it myself.

Jul 20, 2013

Our daddy is a founding member of the Death Weasel Confederacy, and Mummy is a kitchen chemist with questionable intent, but poor Pillover can't even bring himself to murder ants with his Depraved Lens of Crispy Magnification.

Jul 20, 2013

The trifle did it.


Add Notices
Feb 06, 2015

Violence: Being a finishing school training "intelligencers", the girls are taught the finer arts of "killing", and there is some violence throughout the book. There is talk of poisoning people, including one girl relishing in the subject (she wants to poison her first husband).

Feb 06, 2015

Coarse Language: Monique angerly says "a*se" (I'm not sure if this an exclusively British profanity, but...). Pillover says "We're d***ed".

Feb 06, 2015

Sexual Content: Women's bust sizes are sometimes compared. Sophronia thinks girls like Captain Niall so much because he's "completely naked" under the greatcoat he wears. One side-character who dresses like a boy is revealed to be a girl. However, she only dresses like a boy because she reasons "boys have more fun", or something like that.


Add a Summary
cmlibrary_jcurrie Sep 23, 2018

This story is set in an alternate version of England in 1851. Sophronia comes from a large family and she is the youngest child. Her mother considers her to be a troublesome child and in desperate need of learning how to behave like a lady. Her mother enrolls her in a finishing school to learn social graces. Sophronia is dreading being sent away from home and learning all about proper etiquette for young ladies. She is quite surprised when she discovers that her school not only teaches etiquette, but it also has classes for spies in the making.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Related Authors


Subject Headings


Find it at Sno-Isle Libraries

To Top