Press "Enter" to skip to content

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.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. She is the center flower, the main-spring, the pendulum that keeps all the delicate machinery in regular motion. Exercising this power suitably, all the parts of household occupations are performed without unnecessary pressure; the complicated and often perplexing duties moye on, and comfort for her family is provided, even at the expense of many an exhausted nerve, and an aching heart.

Mrs. Abell's book as well as many others focusing on the woman as homemaker are featured in the Libraries' online collection, The Making of A Homemaker.—Elizabeth Periale

Related link:

Gender and rhetorical space in American life, 1866-1910 By Nan Johnson

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.