Godey’s Lady’s Book was intended to entertain, inform and educate the women of America. In addition to extensive fashion descriptions and plates, the early issues included biographical sketches, articles about handcrafts, female costume, the dance, equestrienne procedures, health and hygiene, recipes and remedies and the like.
Over time, the magazine matured into an important literary magazine containing extensive book reviews and works by Harriet Beecher Stowe, Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and many other celebrated 19th century authors who regularly furnished the magazine with essays, poetry and short stories.
Between the stories and longer articles, Godey’s always included short items like the ones shown here.
THE CULTIVATION OF TASTE
No matter in what form the cultivation of taste may manifest itself — in paintings and sculptures, in the analysis of scenery, in the grouping of flowers, in the embellishment of window or the mantel, in the cultivation of criticism, and the appreciation of the true and beautiful in art generally — refinement of manners, kindliness of feelings, and a deeper devotion of religion will be its sure attendants.
There will always be enough in the events which befall us to relax the spring of our resolutions, and to moderate our best aims. Why should we enervate one another by silence when we should speak, by disparagement when we should praise, by shaking of the head when we should be patting on the shoulder, by gloomy vaticinations when we should incite to enterprise, by platitudinizing about the vanity of all things human when we should be stimulating generous and noble motives? There is not too great an exuberance of life in any of us, albeit where there is most, it may be ill-regulated or unwisely directed — and the influence which systematically lowers the action of life can only be mischievous. Brightness is health-giving as well as pleasant, and whatever imparts an impulse to the current of hope and gladness in our soul tends to make them more like, or more likely to come, what they should be.
Godey’s Lady’s Book
— Louis Antoine Godey began publishing Godey’s Lady’s Book
in 1830. He designed his monthly magazine specifically to attract the growing audience of literate American women. The magazine was intended to entertain, inform, and educate the women of America.