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The Glory of Woman: Prescriptive Literature, 1850 - 1859
- Affection's Gift: a Christmas, New-Year and birthday present. Philadelphia: E.H. Butler & Co., 1855.
An anthology designed to "[form] the female character on the real and solid basis of religion; and [build] it up with the rich and durable material of high intellectual and moral culture."
- Alcott, William Andrus. Letters to a Sister; or, woman's mission. Buffalo: G.H. Derby, 1850.
Alcott “[shows] women, in a plain and distinct manner by what means, methods, and instrumentalities, her mission may best be accomplished.” 31 chapters on everything from moral character to pastimes.
- The American Ladies’ Memorial; an indispensable home-book for the wife, mother, sister. Boston: Published at 60½ Cornhill, 1850.
This “useful book to every Lady throughout the United States” offers instruction on embroidery, dress-making, millinery, floristry, etiquette, and styles of dress.
- Child, Lydia Maria Francis and Clara de Chatelain. The Girl’s Own Book. London: W. Tegg & Co., 1858.
A compilation of exercises, activities, games, poetry, and “Moral Maxims” designed to amuse and instruct young girls.
- Dunne, P.C. Young Married Lady's Private Medical Guide. Boston: Stacy & Richardson, 1853.
Translated from the French, this book discusses reproduction, puberty, masturbation, menstruation, and contraception.
- Dyer, Ebenezer Porter. The Young Maiden’s Mirror. Boston: Stone & Halpine, 1854.
A collection of edifying fiction and poetry: “Do not choose a man all work, / Nor a man all idle, / Nor a temper all too slack, / Nor that needs a bridle. / Neither get a lad too young, / Nor a rich old miser; / Be not bribed by paltry gold; / Maiden, do be wiser.”
- Leslie, Madeline. Trying to Be Useful. Boston: Shepard, Clark and Brown, 1859.
This novel portrays a girl who dutifully serves others as she grows up. Her ultimate reward is marriage to a minister: “She rejoiced…that she was chosen to be the wife of one so devoted to the cause of Christ, and was thought worthy to labor at his side in the advancement of the cause of their Redeemer.”
- Marks, Elias. Hints on Female Education. Columbia, S.C.: A.S. Johnston, 1851.
“Woman is the associate, the companion, the friend, the counselor of man. She should, in every respect, be qualified for the important duties which she is destined to perform.”
- Porter, James. The Operative's Friend…or, Hints to Young Ladies, Who Are Dependent on Their Own Exertions. Boston: Charles H. Peirce, 1850.
A unique conduct-of-life book for women “who are thrown upon their own resources, and particularly, those who are engaged in the various manufactories with which New England abounds.”
- Weaver, George Sumner. Aims and Aids for Girls and Young Women, on the Various Duties of Life. New York: Fowler and Wells, 1856.
Weaver advises young women on beauty, education, happiness, religion, and marriage: “Any Marriage before eighteen years of age is a very early Marriage; before twenty it is early. As a general rule, between twenty and twenty-five it is timely.”
The Young Maiden's Mirror