Tag Archives: Godey’s Lady’s Book

Modern Marriages as seen in 1859

Among the many strange things which we meet with in life, nothing is stranger than the way in which some people talk about marriage. They regard it as a speculation which may be good or bad— as a game to be played which requires sagacity and skill— as a question of position— as a marketable commodity— as something by which wealth is to be secured— as a mutual compact for material aggrandizement— sometimes for the building up of a family, sometimes for the extension of a trade.

Listen to a few of the phrases current in society, which will serve to prove our assertion. “She has played her cards well,” exclaims one. “What a capital hit! who could have ever expected her to be so fortunate?” says another. “A good connection, indeed: he is likely to be a rich man before long,” is the remark of a third; or, on the other side, one hears, “What a fool the girl was to throw herself away so!” “How could she refuse such an offer? She would have been well settled, for life.”

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.



Fifteen Rules for the Preservation of Health (October 1860)

This list appeared in the October 1860 issue of Godey’s Lady’s Book. In that year, this magazine was one of the most read widely publications in America. When the publisher avoided “taking sides” during the Civil War, readership dropped to two-thirds of its prewar subscriber base.

Our collection provides the complete run of Godey’s Lady’s Book, and is the only one containing the color plates as they originally appeared.

Fifteen Rules for the Preservation of Health

  1. Pure atmospheric air is composed of nitrogen, oxygen, and a very small proportion of carbonic acid gas. Air once breathed has lost the chief part of its oxygen, and acquired a proportionate increase of carbonic acid gas; therefore, health requires that we breathe the same air only once.
  2. The solid parts of our bodies are continually wasting, and require to be repaired by fresh substances; therefore, food, which is to repair the loss, should be taken with due regard to the exercise and waste of the body.
  3. The fluid part of our bodies also wastes constantly; there is but one fluid in animals, which is water; therefore, water only is necessary, and no artifice can produce a better drink.
  4. The fluid of our bodies is to the solid in proportion as nine to one; therefore, a like proportion should prevail in the total amount of food taken.
  5. Light exercises an important influence upon the growth and vigor of animals and plants; therefore, our dwellings should freely admit the solar rays.
  6. Decomposing animal and vegetable substances yield various noxious gases, which enter the lungs and corrupt the blood; therefore, all impurities should be kept away from our abodes, and every precaution observed to secure a pure atmosphere.
  7. Warmth is essential to all the bodily functions; therefore, an equal bodily temperature should be maintained by exercise, by clothing, or by fire.
  8. Exercise warms, invigorates, and purifies the body; clothing preserves the warmth the body generates; fire imparts warmth externally; therefore, to obtain and preserve warmth, exercise and clothing are preferable to fire.
  9. Fire consumes the oxygen of the air, and produces noxious gases; therefore, the air is less pure in the presence of candles, gas, or coal-fire than otherwise; and the deterioration should be repaired by increased ventilation.
  10. The skin is a highly-organized membrane, full of minute pores, cells, bloodvessels, and nerves; it imbibes moisture, or throws it off, according to the state of the atmosphere and the temperature of the body. It also “breathes,” as do the lungs (though less actively). All the internal organs sympathize with the skin; therefore, it should be repeatedly cleansed.
  11. Late hours and anxious pursuits exhaust the nervous system, and produce disease and premature death; therefore, the hours of labor and study should be short.
  12. Mental and bodily exercise are equally essential to the general health and happiness; therefore, recreation and study should succeed each other.
  13. Man will live most healthily upon simple solids and fluids, of which a sufficient but temperate quantity should be taken; therefore, strong drinks, tobacco, snuff, and opium, and all mere indulgences, should be avoided.
  14. Sudden alternations of heat and cold are dangerous, especially to the young and the aged; therefore, clothing in quantity and quality should be adapted to the alternations of night and day, and of the seasons. Drinking cold water when the body is hot, and hot tea and soups when cold, are productive of many evils.
  15. Moderation in eating and drinking, short hours of labor and study, regularity in exercise, recreation and rest, cleanliness, equanimity of temper, and equality of temperature, are the great essentials to that which surpasses all wealth— health of mind and body.



Reading Aloud for Better Health (1861)

Reading aloud is one of those exercises which combine mental and muscular effort, and hence has a double advantage.

To read aloud well, a person should not only understand the subject, but should hear his own voice, and feel within him that every syllable was distinctly enunciated, while there is an instinct presiding which modulates the voice to the number and distance of the hearers. Every public speaker ought to be able to tell whether he is distinctly heard by the farthest auditor in the room; if he is not, it is from a want of proper judgment and observation.

Reading aloud helps to develop the lungs just as singing does, if properly performed. The effect is to induce the drawing of a long breath every once in a while, oftener and deeper than of reading without enunciating. These deep inhalations never fail to develop the capacity of the lungs in direct proportion to their practice.

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 New Woman, Athletically Considered (1896)

This extensively illustrated article by W. Bengough appeared in the January 1896 issue of Godey’s Lady’s Book.

The New Woman, Athletically Considered by W. Bengough

Our attention has been called to the “new woman” so frequently of late, and in such indefinite terms, that it is of some interest to inquire whence she came and whither she is going.

We are inclined to suspect that the professional paragrapher, ever upon the alert for some new thing, is to a great extent responsible for the prominent place which she has taken in public attention. He was her discoverer and christener, and in the capacity of advance agent he has created public interest and curiosity, and, without doubt, has made such a fad of her newness that the genuine “new woman” is in danger of being lost amid a myriad of shallow imitators.

Let us not be deceived. The “new woman,” as I mean the term, is not a temporary fad, but, on the contrary, the inevitable product of evolution. She has been slowly developed from carefully scattered seed, which, fifty years ago, amid the jeers and mud-throwing of scandalized conservatism, a small band of determined “new” women started out to plant, making the first efforts to obtain some recognition of the then scouted idea that women were men’s intellectual equals if only given an equal chance. These were the property called “strong-minded” women of our fathers, and results have proved that the name was well chosen, but it has become an honored title instead of a contemptuous one, as originally intended.

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.



Dr. Gregory on Medical Instruction for Women (1860)

(Godey’s Lady’s Book, May, 1860) At a public meeting lately held in this College, Dr. S. Gregory, the indefatigable friend and promoter of the movement to give medical instruction to women, made some statements that show the steady progress of this good cause.

“He remarked that one of the results of the discussion and prosecution of the cause of female medical education during the past twelve years had been, as was intended and expected, a gradual transfer of the practice of midwifery from the hands of men to those of women.”::godey:: (more…)

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