Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
The Glory of Woman: Prescriptive Literature, 1750 - 1799
- Bradley, Martha. The British Housewife, or, The Cook, Housekeeper's and Gardiner's Companion. Blackawton, Devon: Prospect Books, 1996, [orig. 1756 or 1757].
These six volumes explain "what is necessary to be done in the Providing for, Conducting, and Managing a Family, throughout the Year."
- Fielding, Sarah. The Governess, or, The Little Female Academy. London: Printed for A. Millar, 1768.
Fielding’s novel, “calculated for the entertainment and instruction of young ladies in their education,” focuses on a widowed teacher as she develops a model school for girls.
- Fordyce, James. Sermons to Young Women: in two volumes. London: Printed for D. Payne, 1770
The author addresses female virtue, piety, and meekness, asserting that “men of sensibility desire, in every woman, soft features, and a flowing voice, a form not robust, and a demeanour delicate and gentle.”
- Gisborne, Thomas. An Enquiry into the Duties of the Female Sex. London: Printed for T. Cadell jun. and W. Davies, 1797.
Discusses women’s duties in society and in the family, such as “contributing daily and hourly to the comfort of husbands, of parents, of brothers and sisters, and of other relations, connections and friends.”
- Glasse, Hannah. The Servants Directory, Improved; or, house-keepers companion. Huntington, IN.: Huntington Laboratories, Inc., 1971, orig. 1762
Glasse explains the duties of servants, including “the chamber-maid, nursery-maid, house-maid, [laundry-maid, and], scullion, or under-cook.” Includes a “TABLE to cast up Expences or wages by the Day, Week, Month, and Year.”
- The Ladies’ Diary: or, the womens almanack [serial]. [London]: Printed by J. Wilde, 1751.
Library has: 1728-1730; 1732-1735; 1747; 1751; 1770; 1774; 1798-1812. An edition of one of the earliest serials for women, containing poetry and domestic advice, as well as mathematical questions and “enigmas” to solve.
- The Lady’s New and Elegant Pocket Magazine [serial]. London: Printed for the editor by Alex Hogg, 1795.
This serial features articles “on every curious, useful, and entertaining Subject,” including history, geography, music, cookery, and “The Married State.”
- Marriott, Thomas. Female Conduct: being an essay on the art of pleasing. London: Printed for W. Owen, 1759.
Marriott’s poem instructs women on proper marital conduct: “Ye Wives! ‘twill much conduce to nuptial Ease / Your Husband’s Friends to cultivate, and please; / Let a kind Welcome, in your Face, appear; / As if, by you, his Guests invited were…”.
- Moir, John. Female Tuition, or, An Address to Mothers, On the Education of Daughters. London: Printed for messrs. Murray and Highley, [between 1797 and 1799].
Moir addresses maternal authority, virtue, honor, and appropriate amusements for girls: “Family affairs are by far the most proper objects to engross their minds, or occupy their talents. This is their natural province.”
- Moxon, Elizabeth. English Housewifry: Exemplified in Above Four Hundred and Fifty Receipts... Leeds: Printed by J. Lister, [175-?].
"A Book necessary for Mistresses of Families, higher and lower Women Servants, and confined to Things USEFUL, SUBSTANTIAL, and SPLENDID, and calculated for the Preservation of Health, and upon the Measures of FRUGALITY, being the Result of thirty Years Practice and Experience."
- Peckham, Ann. The Complete English Cook, or, Prudent Housewife. Leeds: Printed by G. Wright, 1767.
This cookery book pays particular attention to “elegance and economy, and most especially to what is nourishing and wholesome, both in the choice and in the preparation of such provisions as the different seasons of the year afford.”
- Wilkes, Wetenhall. A Letter of Genteel and Moral Advice to a Young Lady. London: C. Hitch and L. Hawes, 1753.
Wilkes presents “A system of RULES and INFORMATIONS…to qualify the FAIR SEX to be useful, and happy in every Scene of Life.” Topics include the use of time and money, education, Christian conduct, and the duties of a wife.
- Wollstonecraft, Mary. Thoughts on the Education of Daughters, with Reflections on Female Conduct in the More Important Duties of Life. London: J. Johnson, 1787.
“No employment of the mind is a sufficient excuse for neglecting domestic duties, and I cannot conceive that they are incompatible. A woman may fit herself to be the companion and friend of a man of sense, and yet know how to take care of his family.”
- The Young Woman's Monitor. London: Printed for F. and C. Rivington, 1799.
This booklet emphasizes "the great happiness of early piety, and the dreadful consequences of forsaking the path of virtue." With advice on religious deportment, avoiding sin, appropriate dress, and Christian marriage.
The Ladies’ Diary: or, the womens almanack
The Young Woman's Monitor