"A gentleman does not shake hands with a lady not of his kindred, unless she offers to do so. Unmarried ladies do not give their hands in salute to any but gentlemen relations. Ladies in any case give the hand, the gentleman respectfully presses it without shaking. It is a piece of stupid bad breeding, however, not to take the hand of anyone offered in ignorance of the rule:
"The best breeding always adapts itself to the customs of those about one."
While the rules in the first part of this excerpt from 'The Home Cook Book', 1877 (Hunter, Rose and Co, Toronto) are no longer the norm, this last sentence still rings true, 140 years later.