Tag Archives: Godey’s Lady’s Book
Howe

The Association for the Advancement of Women in 1896

Among the hundreds upon hundreds of women’s organizations, of whose making there is no end and into whose many forms the much-talked of “woman movement” has crystallized itself, there is one unique and interesting society of which little is heard, though it is of ripe age–twenty-two years–and counts its membership in every section of the country.

From Canada to Florida, from Maine to California, are women to whom the initials “A.A.W.” stand for a new inspiration in their lives, and among its hundreds of members are included women of world-wide fame, from its president, Julia Ward Howe , author of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” down. From the fact that its working methods are somewhat unlike those of most women’s clubs, the only time when the Association for the Advancement of Women challenges universal attention, is when it calls its members from the East and the North, the South and the West, to its annual convention in some representative city. For the rest of the year it works so quietly–though none the less effectively –that to many of the outside world a brief account of the Association, its membership, and its work, will come as interesting news.

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Jean_marc_nattier_-_madame_anne_henriette_de_france

A Picture in the Room

A distinguished writer has said somewhere of the portrait of a beautiful female, with a noble countenance, that it seems as if an unhandsome action would be impossible in its presence.

Most men of any refinement of soul must have felt the truth and force of this sentiment. We have often thought that the picture of a beloved mother or devoted wife, hung up in the room where we spend our leisure hours, must certainly excite a mighty influence over the feelings and thoughts.

Cowper’s picture of his mother was a living presence, whose speaking countenance and beaming eye appealed, as no living mortal could, to his inmost soul, and stirred its profoundest depths.

But what is it that gives this power to the inanimate resemblance of departed ones? Their virtues, their moral graces and excellencies, as remembered by the affectionate survivor.

It may seem an odd thought, but we cannot help suggesting it to every female reader— to every sister, wife, and mother— that it is a worthy ambition for each of them to labor to be, both now and when dead, that picture in the house before which vice shall stand abashed, confounded, and in whose presence every virtuous and manly heart shall glow with every honorable and lofty sentiment, and be irresistibly urged to the love of goodness and truth.

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.

Image details: This painting belongs to a set of four portraits of the daughters of Louis XV of France, symbolizing the four elements (Mesdames de France). The paintings, ordered by Louis XV in 1749 to decorate the south wing of the Palace of Versailles, were executed by Nattier between 1750 and 1751.

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Housekeeper's Alliance

Mrs. Chatwitt on Domestic Help (1864)

The want of good domestic help in the United States is a great evil, and one which daily increases; and, were it not for the influx of foreigners, I do not know but necessity would drive all housekeepers to some great boarding-house system, thus banishing the holiest of all places– our homes and our private firesides.

No one can travel through our country towns, especially of the Free States of the West, without being struck with the careworn, faded expression of women scarcely thirty years of age; and the merest glimpse at their cares and duties, and the hard work that inevitably falls to their share, shows plainly, why they are broken down ere they are in their prime; shows why there are so many motherless children; why there are so many men mourning over the beloved of their youth, and the breaking up of their household ties; why there are so many with second and third wives.

The young housekeepers, the day after marriage

The young housekeepers, the day after marriage

Look at a young girl entering upon the duties of matrimony, loving and beloved, and anxious to fulfill her domestic and social duties. Watch her year by year until a little family have clustered around her; see with what energy and amiability she has striven against sickness, poor help, and all the thousand trials and perplexities that no one but American housekeepers can understand. With an infant in her arms and an inexperienced girl to help her, she superintends her housekeeping, receives company, nurses her children, acts the seamstress, and strives for her husband’s comfort; and soften her miserable help deserts her when she can least do without. What wonder health and beauty give way! And she could not retain her spirits, and hope against hope that she will be relieved in time to recruit her failing health and energies, but for that calm trust, which I glory in saying most of my countrywomen possess, in an all-wise Creator, an overruling Providence, and a kind Heavenly Father. Yet, though God overrules all things, He does not wish us to fold our hands over this evil; even with faith in Him, we must endeavor to remove it, and look to Him to bless our efforts, not our passiveness. What can be done? Will not some one take up a pen, and tell us what is practicable?– not theories; something practical?

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Collies

The Shepherd’s Dog

Without the shepherd’s dog the whole of the mountainous land in Scotland would not be worth sixpence. It would require more hands to manage a flock of sheep than the profits of the whole stock would be capable of maintaining.

Well may the shepherd, then, feel an interest in his dog.

It is, indeed, he that earns the family bread, of which he is content himself with the smallest morsel. Neither hunger nor fatigue will drive him from his master’s side; he will follow him through fire and water. Another thing very remarkable is the understanding these creatures have of the necessity of being particularly tender over lame or sickly sheep. They will drive these a great deal more gently than others, and sometimes a single one is committed to their care to take home. On these occasions they perform their duty like the most tender nurses.

Can it be wondered at, then, that the colley (collie) should be so much prized by the shepherd; that his death should be regarded as a great calamity to a family, of which he forms, to all intents and purposes, an integral part; or that his exploits of sagacity should be handed down from generation to generation?

Source: Godey’s Lady’s Book, August 1864

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.

Image: Illustration by Arthur Wardle, for A history and description of the collie or sheep dog in his British varieties (1890)

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easter-hats

Ruby’s “Easter Hat” – April 1883

For much of the 19th century Godey’s Lady’s Book’s editors used the magazine to showcase the literary work of American authors. This short story,  Ruby’s “Easter Hat”, appeared in the April 1883 issue.

Ruby’s “Easter Hat”

“I wish I was dead, so there;” and Ruby Brown stood the picture of lovely despair, gazing down at a yellow mass at her feet, consisting of six dozen crushed eggs. Poor Ruby had been a whole month saving and hoarding these treasures which were to play an important part in the purchase of a lovely “Easter bonnit,” Aunt Rushy had contemptuously called it, when Ruby had said in a pleading tone:

“But auntie, all the girls are going to have pretty new hats to wear Easter Sunday.”

“Easter bonnits, indeed,” snapped Aunt Rushy, “better be thinkin’ of the good Lord, and how he riz on that day, then hey their minds on bonnits.”

“But auntie—”

“Now, no buts, Ruby Brown; girls in my time wusn’t thinkin’ eternally ’bout bonnits and gimcracks; and Easter Sunday wasn’t made a show day for bonnits, either.”

“If I could have the eggs, auntie,” pleaded Ruby, ignoring her last remarks.

“Well, take ‘em; I don’t, know as I care, if you can save enuff ‘tween this and then. You’ll hey to hey a bonnit eny how shortly after Easter.”

Ruby ran joyfully out into the coop to gather the first installment, after giving Aunt Rushy an affectionate little hug.

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