Timeless Advice from Emily Post
The endeavor of a hostess when seating her table is to put those together who are likely to be interesting to each other. Professor Bugge might bore you to tears, but Mrs. Entomoid would probably delight in him; just as Mr. Stocksan Bonds and Mrs. Rich would probably have interests in common. Those who are placed between congenial neighbors remember your dinner as a delightful – even if both food and service were mediocre; but place people out of their groups and seat them next to their pet aversions and wild horses could not drag them to your house again!
Emily Post, Etiquette, 1922