Advice for young ladies (new acquisition)

   Posted by: rring   in Uncategorized

The following is a nice addition to our collection of conduct guides for youth (women and men), which we hope some day to be the subject of a full exhibition:

The Young Lady’s Pocket Library, or Parental Monitor (Edinburgh, 1793).  The Pocket Library collects three of the most popular conduct manuals for women in the eighteenth century: John Gregory’s Father’s Legacy (1774), Sarah Pennington’s Unfortunate Mother’s Advice(1761, when she was unfortunate in being separated from her husband and children by unexplained marital discord), and the Marchioness de Lambert’s Avis d’une Mere à sa Fille (1728, translated in 1729). Also present is Edward Moore’s verse Fables for the Female Sex (1744), which is in a different vein, written for amusement but still sometimes moralizing and cautionary.

Here is a quote from the Marchioness to her daughter:

“The world has in all ages been very negligent in the education of daughters . . . they design them to please; they give them no instructions but for the ornament and graces of the body; they flatter their self-love; they give them up to effeminacy, to the world, and to false opinions; they give them no lectures of virtue and fortitude: surely it is unreasonable or rather downright madness to imagine that such an education should not turn to their prejudice.”


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