The American Womans Home, originally published in 1869, was one of the late nineteenth centurys most important handbooks of domestic advice. The result of a collaboration by two of the eras most important writers, this book represents their attempt to direct womens acquisition and use of a dizzying variety of new household consumer goods available in the postCivil War economic boom. It updates Catharine Beechers influential Treatise on Domestic Economy (1841) and incorporates domestic writings by Harriet Beecher Stowe first published in The Atlantic in the 1860s.
Today, the book can be likened to an anthology of household hints, with articles on cooking, decorating, housekeeping, child-rearing, hygiene, gardening, etiquette, and home amusements. The American Womans Home, almost a bible on domestic topics for Victorian women, illuminates womens roles a century and a half ago and can be used for comparison with modern theories on the role of women in the home and in society. Illustrated with the original engravings, this completely new edition offers a lively introduction by Nicole Tonkovich and notes linking the text to important historical, social, and cultural events of the late nineteenth century
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NICOLE TONKOVICH is an associate professor of English at th University of California, San Diego, and the author of Domestic ity with a Difference: The Nonfiction of Sarah Josepha Hale, Catharin Beecher, Fanny Fern, and Margaret Fuller.Review:
The authors of this volume, while they sympathize with ever honest effort to relieve the disabilities and sufferings of thei sex, are confident that the chief cause of these evils is the fac that the honor and duties of the family state are not duly appre ciated, that women are not trained for these duties as men an trained for their trades and professions, and that, as the conse quence, family labor is poorly done, poorly paid, and regarde as menial and disgraceful. - from The American Woman's Home or, Principles of Domestic Science
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