Gentle Readers: to ponder whether showing one's elbow was acceptable or not, mayhap, you will find the following entry from A Governess in the Age of Jane Austen: The Letters and Journals of Agnes Porter, very interesting. The last line reminds us that though time marches on, people are people. Enjoy!
29, March 1803
With a large party at Mrs. Vilett's- a little music, a good deal of chat, with a tincture of scandal: Lady Meredith was talked of for being turned out of the Rooms at Bath by the Master of Ceremonies for having no sleeves to her cloaths-the naked elbow appears every where with impunity, but the arm above it is not tolerated as yet. The Bishop of Meath is aid to preach against female fashions in dress- he is a popular preacher, but has as yet made no great reform. Then they talked of a marriage and 'What could he see in her?' was repeated by the ladies, while the gentlemen seemed as much at the loss to account for the predilection of the bride- so goes the world: criticizing and criticized.