Monday, September 5, 2011

A Guide For Girls.

I spent a few hours down at Mum's house yesterday, and as usual found myself rooting having a look around. I came across this little book, entitled "A Guide for Girls in the Journey of Life" by some German Reverend called Wetzel. Why a Reverend would be writing a guide for girls is beyond me, but I thought I'd give it a read anyway. It was published in 1898, so you can imagine the titbits of advice that it gives. I thought I'd share some with ye, because I got such a laugh from it.

Chapter One: A Woman's Brightest Jewel. (Or, Learn to Cook and Sew)
This chapter contains all the information that a young girl needs in order to keep their men happy and well-fed. It states that girls who work in factories, or rich girls who have housemaids, are basically, bad wives. Because they have their own incomes, they can "buy style", and therefore "remain ignorant of all household occupations." This leads to a very bad start to marriage. "This state of things does not contribute to the happiness of married life, the husband, who had expected the atmosphere of his domestic life, to be always cloudless, grows irritable and contradictious; he goes to the public house, where you can always get what you want as long as you pay for it, leaving his young wife alone with her sodden potatoes and burnt meat to pity herself." Heaven forbid...

Chapter Two: The Savings Bank. (Or, Don't Spend Money)
This is a chapter that tells girls to go out and collect little bits and bobs that other people have thrown out. It advocates mending rather than buying, and has a load of handy little tips to save produce and money. For example, "old bits of cloth and woollen rags are used in the making of blotting paper. Tobacco ashes are excellent ingredients in tooth powder. Sawdust is useful for the stuffing of dolls' bodies, packing glass and ice, and smoking of meat and fish". It also tells you not to buy anything on credit and to haggle for everything. Before you do buy, ask yourself "Can I do without this?". For example, "Can I do without this nail polish? Eh, no, I can't."

Chapter Three: The Blessing of Good Health. (Or, Don't get Sick or Fat)
This chapter says that you should take care of your health so that you'll save money on medicines and treatments. This is the advice given to anyone who does fall ill (or have a 'monster' inside them):  "You must not eat more than three times a day; in the morning take a little broth with vegetables in it, in the middle of the day a sausage and greens, and in the evening greens and an egg. If you take more food than this, the monster will grow so big that he will press upon your liver, and you will need no more measuring from the tailor, but only from the undertaker." It also gives girls some fashion advice: "the head and neck should as a rule be lightly clothed, the chest, lower part of the body, and the feet kept warm. Tight lacing is a crime against the laws of health for which nature never fails to avenge herself terribly."

Chapter Four: Never Forget the Fourth Commandment. (Or, Respect your Elders)
I had to google the Fourth Commandment, slap on the hand for the crap non-practising ex-Catholic please. Apparently, it's to "Remember the Sabbath day", but this chapter is banging on about having respect for your parents, so presumably he means the one about honouring your father and mother . Basically, it's saying that girls who "emancipate themselves from home-control and seek a lodging elsewhere, or pay their parents for their board, and then consider themselves free to do exactly what they please" will not get too far in life. This applies not just to your parents, but to anyone who is either older than you, or an authority figure.

Chapter Five: The Wedding Garment. (Or, Don't Have Sex, and Porn Will Kill You)
I had to read this a few times to actually understand it, but basically he's saying that the best 'wedding garment' is a 'pure heart'. Or, don't have sex before marriage. He includes lots of little nuggets of advice including a whole list of things to make sure you "avoid occasions of danger", like "shun the company of bad men; Never allow anyone to be too free with you; never let anyone touch you in an objectionable way either in jest or affection". "You will do well to keep out of idle lovemaking; it is the source of countless sins, and is one of the chief causes of so many unhappy marriages." This chapter also tells the lovely heartwarming story of a fourteen year old girl who was found dead on her living room floor because she had read lots of worthless immoral and frivolous books and magazines and gotten so engrossed in them that she suffocated from the fumes of the coals in the stove. You should "ask your parish priest to lend you some books."

Chapter Six: Faithfulness in Little Things (Or, Timewasting Will Kill You Too)
This chapter tells us lovely girls that basically, it's the little things that count. "How much time is often trifled away or wasted in chatter by girls? They do not seem to understand economizing time. Everything should be done at the right time and in the right order." You should "devote all your attention to what it is your duty to attend to, and never be idle for an instant. Idlness leads to illness, poverty, and basically everything else that's bad.

So, girls, have ye got all that? No sex, no porn, no timewasting, no shopping, no overeating, no indulging in basically anything, and make sure your men don't end up fecking off down the pub and leaving you with your "sodden spuds."

S xx


  1. This has to be the funniest post i've ever read


  2. Bahahaha, love it and loving your choice of pictures to go with it.

  3. Thanks ladies, I wonder if many girls actually read this back in the day thinking it had great advice :) Cheers for reading & commenting! xxx


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