Here are some books that should help. Where it makes sense, I'm trying to include the date and place of publication, a description, and a quote for context. (Not all of the information in these books will be helpful, unless you don't know what consonants and vowels are.)
A Key to the Art of Letters, 1700, London:
- Earlier than your timeframe but still worth mentioning because I have it.
Q: What words are usually surprest [i.e. elided]?
A:[...] That whatever word comes to be repeated in a Sentence oftner than once, it is seldom exprest but once, to avoid a repetition of the same word which is usually very inelegant and unpleasing to the Ear; as for example, This is my Master's Book, or this Book is my Master’s, for this Book is my Master’s Book.
The Royal Universal British Grammar and Vocabulary, 1754, London:
Johnson's A Dictionary of the English Language, 1755, London:
- It's a dictionary, not a style guide, but still offers advice on word choice. You wouldn't want to use a "low word", would you?
A Key to Letters, 1769?, Norwich
The Complete Letter-writer, 1770, London:
An English grammar; methodical, analytical, and historical, 1874, London:
The Complete Art of Writing Letters, 1789, 1824, London:
- Also has "An agreeable Variety of Original Letters"!
The Comic English Grammar, 1845, New York:
- Despite being published in America, it says "American English is Comic English in a 'pretty particular considerable tarnation' degree", so... It has pictures and illustrations, which is the only thing you need to know.
Very dreadful expressions are also used by draymen and others in addressing their horses. What can possibly induce a human being to say "Gee woot!" "Mather way!" or "Woa?" not to mention the atrocious "Kim aup" of the ignorant and degraded costermonger. We once actually heard a fellow threaten to "pitch into" his dog! meaning, we believe, to beat the animal.
The Art of Correspondence, 1884, Boston:
Published in America, and mentions stuff about England. Also has sample letters, including love letters, because why not?
Mr. is applied to men in all ranks, high or low, rich or poor, while Esq. is applied to persons of marked prominence in society. In England it applies to owners of landed estates, barristers-at-law, mayors, and commissioned officers in the Army and Navy, and professional men.
The Telegraph Instructor, 1901, Indiana:
Like texting, but older.
Hw sun wi 1st 74 b rdy — How soon will 1st No 74 be ready?
Modern English, book 2, 1905, London
- The book is focused on writing and grammar with plenty of exercises. The grammar terminology is mostly still used today, but even if you're not familiar with it, it's still easy to read. Later on, it has a couple examples of letters and telegrams
Compound nouns, and expressions serving to name a single person or thing, add the possessive sign to the last word; as, my sister-in-law's letter; your brother George's mistake; the Duke of Wellington's. estate.
Correct English, 1906:
- Although it looks American, it says that it will be translated in German and distributed throughout the German Empire.
It is no use to do that.
It is of no use to do that.
Handbook of Present Day English Part 2, Part 3, 1931-1932:
The progressive when implying duration always refers to a limited time,
but it may be used with such adverb adjuncts as always, constantly, perpetually, etc. expressing repetition.