Tag Archives: Godey’s Lady’s Book
Germany countryside, rural marriage, XIX century engraving

Newlywed Advice: A Whisper to the Husband on Expenditure

This advice to newly married men on the management of household expenses appeared in Godey’s Lady’s Book in the December 1860 issue.

In pecuniary matters, do not be penurious, or too particular. Your wife has an equal right with yourself to all your worldly possessions. “With all my worldly goods I thee endow,” was one of the most solemn vows that ever escaped your lips; and if she be a woman of prudence, she will in all her expenses be reasonable and economical; what more can you desire? Besides, really, a woman has innumerable trifling demands on her purse, innumerable little wants, which it is not necessary for a man to be informed of, and which, if he even went to the trouble of investigating, he would hardly understand.

You give your wife a certain sum of money. If she be a woman of prudence, if your table be comfortably kept, and your household managed with economy and regularity, I really cannot see the necessity of obliging her to account to you for the exact manner in which she has laid it out. Pray, do allow her the power of buying a yard of muslin, or a few pennyworth of pins, without consulting the august tribunal of your judgment whether they shall be quaker-pins or minikins.

I have often with wonder remarked the indifference with which some men regard the amiable and superior qualities of their wives! I by no means intend to say that every wife possesses those qualities; I only speak of a description of females who are, in truth, an ornament to their sex— women who would go the world over with the husband they love, and endure, without shrinking, every hardship that world could inflict.

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.

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Jaquarina_ The Senorita of the Sword

Jaquarina: The Senorita* of the Sword

(Godey’s Lady’s Book, March 1896 ) If the art of fencing ever becomes general in America as an addition to the various muscle-producing pasties, its champion may properly be found, mirabile dictu, in a woman. From the far Southwest, the odor of the raven-flower still clinging to her brown tresses, comes Jaquarina, a true type of Spanish-American beauty. To be accurate, she is the champion mounted broadsword fencer of America, and the champion woman fencer of the world; distinctions which she has gained after contests with trained soldiers, men who have fought Apaches, Zulus, and Boers. She has been selected by some wealthy Californians as the sole representative of the sword for America in the Olympic games at Athens, Greece, this spring.

Most of Jaquarina’s life* has been spent on the family ranch in Ensenada, sixty-five miles from Coronado Beach, in Lower California, where she is known as “The Spanish woman Soldier;” for her chief delight has been to ride with the cavalry in their sham battles.

At an early age she showed a frail constitution, and her mother—a native of Madrid, who, like most well-trained Spanish women, was adept with the foil—taught her to fence. The exercise restored her to health, and so interested had she become the pastime that she was put in training at a private military academy.

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.

(more…)


The Importance of Female Education

The Importance of Female Education [1840]

The superiority of one man over another depends entirely upon education. His colleague may possess wealth in a greater degree, and his name stands higher in society; but education counterbalances all these. The education of females is generally thought to be only of secondary importance. If there must be a difference, that of females ought to be superior; for the future usefulness and happiness of her children depend mostly upon the training of the infant mind. The father, necessarily engaged in business the greater part of the day, cannot exert the same influence over his children as the mother, who has had the sole care of tutoring their youthful minds and is constantly with them. There are very few learned or good men, that cannot trace back the early impressions imprinted on their hearts while susceptible, by the voice of a kind and affectionate mother.

Within the last century, great changes have occurred, particularly as regards the education of females. Then an intellectual woman was considered incompatible with the social affections and virtues, which give a charm to society. Frequently persons who possessed intellectual greatness concealed it, to escape from the prejudices of the age. The fair sex was considered as a submissive, timid, amiable, and gentle race, guilty of a dreadful crime if they attempted to cultivate their minds, and were taught that ignorance was the only proof of purity. But these absurdities have in a great measure abated. An intellectual woman, now, is considered an ornament, rather than a disgrace to society.

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.

(more…)


Spring Cleaning with Godey's Lady's Book

Spring Cleaning with Godey’s Lady’s Book

Godey’s Lady’s Book magazine 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 mineralogy, handcrafts, female costume, the dance, equestrienne procedures, health and hygiene, recipes and remedies and the like.

Miscellaneous Tips

These tips on the cleaning and maintenance of the home appeared in an 1855 issue of Godey’s Lady’s Book.

  • TO CLEAN FURNITURE— An excellent method of cleaning mahogany furniture, which is not French polished, is this: Put into half a pint of linseed oil, a small quantity of alkanet-root, and a little rose-pink. Let this mixture stand for three days in a vessel that will allow stirring it, and stir it three or four times each day, and then put it into a bottle for use. If the furniture is very dirty, wash it with soap and warm water, and then rub with vinegar, and before the vinegar is thoroughly dried off, lay on, with a bit of old flannel or rag a covering of the mixture, and continue rubbing until the oil is well soaked in. Then rub with a clean soft cloth until it is quite dry and bright. If the furniture is not very dirty, the vinegar may be used without the soap and water.
  • TO CLEAN FEATHERS — Take for every gallon of clear water one pound of fresh-made quicklime; mix them well together, and let it stand twenty-four hours, then pour off the clear liquid. Put the feathers into a tub, and pour over them enough lime-water to thoroughly cover them. Stir them round and round, briskly and rapidly, for a few minutes, and leave them to soak for three days. Then remove them from the lime-water, and thoroughly rinse in clean water, and spread them to dry. They will dry better where a drought of air can reach them; and should be spread very thinly, and frequently moved, until they are quite dry. This plan may be used, either for new feathers or for such as have become heavy or impure by age or use.
  • TO CLEAN DECANTERS — Cut some raw potatoes in pieces, put them in the bottle with a little cold water, rinse them, and they will look very clean.
  • TO RENOVATE BLACK SILK — Slice some uncooked potatoes, pour boiling water on them; when cold, sponge the right side of the silk with it, and iron on the wrong.
  • TO CLEAN CARPETS — After all the dust is taken out, tack your carpets down to the floor. Then mix half a pint of bullock’s gall with two gallons of soft water; scrub it well with soap and this gall-mixture; let it remain till dry, it will then look like new. Be careful your brush be not too hard.
  • STRAW MATTING — Straw matting should be cleaned with a large coarse cloth dipped in salt and water, and carefully wiped dry. The salt prevents the matting from turning yellow.
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.


The-Baby-OG

House and Home: The Baby (1887)

This article on babies by Dr. May-Dew appeared in the House and Home pages of the August 1887 issue of Godey’s Lady’s Book.

In the magazine’s prospectus: The House and Home Department deserves careful perusal by mothers and housekeepers; the suggestive series of articles by Dr. May-Dew, and the clever, bright papers of Mrs. E.M. Babcock, whose “Over the Fence, or What One Woman Says to Another,” is one of the most original features ever introduced into this or any other periodical.

The Baby

There is a world-wide difference between the birth of a baby in what we call uncivilized lands, and among primitive people, and our own. It has been a matter of wonder with us how women, destitute of modern comforts and resources, endured the strain and pain of child-birth; how they and the children that were born survived the hardships which they must have endured. But acquaintance with the semi-savage races of our own day shows that the risk, and the pain, the long trial, and the conditions which bring such dread and suffering to modern civilized women were, and are, unknown to barbaric tribes and times. Travelers have told us that the birth of a child hardly interrupts the daily routine of the wives of the lower class of Chinese; and we are told by a writer in the present number of this Magazine, how the native women in the Sandwich Islands bear their children with hardly an hours’ departure from their every day routine, and without the intervention of either doctor or nurse. But they do not possess this hardihood when they become even partly infected with European notions and habits; for either from the effects of a change of diet, less activity, a more burdensome dress, or all combined, an attempt to follow the old ways often results in prostration and even death.

The modern civilized woman runs to the opposite extreme from her savage sister. She is afraid of everything, even cleanliness. “I should not have allowed you to take a bath so soon,” said a physician to a patient eight hours after the birth of a baby , upon finding her fresh from a nap and a warm bath. “I knew you would not, doctor; that is the reason I did not ask you, replied the lady. I had strength for the bath, but not for the battle for it; and my experience has taught me that it is the best, and only thing to quiet the nerves of the body, and put the body itself in a condition to begin the process of restoration.

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.

(more…)