"an opportunity to hold my arm without impropriety"

Interactions between the sexes were highly regulated by Victorian society, even those between affianced couples.  For example:

"No young lady who values her status in the eyes of society ever appears at theatres or other places of amusement alone with her [fiancé], she is either attended by her mother, sister, or some other female chaperon. Neither should she frequent promenades and other places of general resort, without the companionship of a sister or friend."

from Cassell's Household Guide (1880s).