Mind your manners this holiday season

December 16, 2013

With holiday parties and visiting relatives, December can be hectic and nerve-wracking for all. The Smithsonian Libraries comes to the rescue with a stockpile of works to help you navigate the muddy waters of social and familial obligations! As part of the Cultural Heritage Library, the Smithsonian Libraries has digitized at least nine etiquette books from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These  precursors to Emily Post, the grande dame of more »

Women’s History Month: Homemaking

Mrs. Lydia Green Abell, Woman in her various relations; containing practical rules for American females, 1853, The title page from "Woman in her various relations" emphasizes the sanctity of motherhood. In her book, Woman in her various relations; containing practical rules for American females, etiquette expert Lydia Green Abell wrote on topics she felt would interest women of the mid-19th century such as: THE BEST METHODS FOR DINNERS AND SOCIAL PARTIES—A CHAPTER FOR YOUNG LADIES, MOTHERS, AND INVALIDS—HINTS ON THE BODY, MIND, AND CHARACTER—WITH A GLANCE AT WOMAN'S RIGHTS AND WRONGS, PROFESSIONS, COSTUME, ETC., ETC. She talks about the American Woman in the introduction: The present volume is offered to the public, dedicated to American Females. We are living when the allotments and responsibilities of Woman, in her own appropriate sphere, should be brought before the mind in their true weight and importance. And expands on the modern American Woman later in the text: Woman, as mistress of a family, occupies a station where her influence is deeply, if not widely felt. more »

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