Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Advice For Young Ladies

THE READING OF YOUNG LADIES (from the American Magazine of Useful Knowledge, December 1836, p. 91)

[A] still greater fault with man is, the reading of works which impart no important knowledge, nor tend to moral improvement; but serve only to gratify the imagination. Too much time is spent on novels, few of which are calculated to instruct or to improve. The writings of Scott and some others may be an exception. But generally, they are trash and chaff. More useful and solid works should engage the attention of the female mind. And of this description of books there is no want. Many have been written within a few years, by learned and religious persons, expressly designed for the improvement of females. Some histories cannot fail to be useful. The study of botany, chemistry, astronomy and biography will be sure to enlarge and elevate the mind. Essays on moral and religious subjects, and on the personal, social and relative duties, will also leave good impressions, and furnish motives for uniform propriety of conduct.

Read the rest here.

5 comments:

mandarine said...

Why, he forgot the patient study of sub-Riemannian manifolds and anorexic alexithymia.

Dorothy W. said...

Novels are so very dangerous, aren't they? I'd love to know who the others are, besides Scott, the writer approves of.

wplasvegas said...

Obviously, had women only acted upon this sage advice, they would be ruling the world today. A sad, sad commentary on the state of civilization's progress. I would write more, but my tears make the keyboard slippery.

LK said...

This is very funny. And sad.

Oh, Kate, where is your book?? I pre-ordered it on Amazon...

Kate S. said...

LK,
My book was officially released in the U.S. on August 30th, so Amazon should have been able to get it to you long before now. Have you contacted them to find out what's going on? If they're not able to explain themselves, I would suggest cancelling your order with them and trying another bookseller. I note, for example, that Powell's website indicates that they will ship the book in 1 to 3 days...

Please let me know what happens. I hate to think of anyone keen to read the book not being able to get their hands on a copy immediately!