The Wives of England: Their Relative Duties, Domestic Influence, and Social Obligations

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Appleton, 1843 - Conduct of life - 266 pages
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While far from modern advice, the author makes excellent points on marriage. To respect the man you married, but to first learn about him before jumping into a wedding. To do things for your husband, but never to the point you'll feel angry if he doesn't notice everything you do. Of course its chock full of sexism. But to see the advice a young woman was given 160 years ago makes it fascinating enough to look over the antiqidated things, such as give your husband first choice in all indulgences. Surprisingly, there are plenty of ageless tidbits in this book.  

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Page 104 - You are my true and honorable wife, As dear to me as are the ruddy drops That visit my sad heart.
Page 35 - WHY should we faint and fear to live alone, Since all alone, so Heaven has will'd, we die,* Nor even the tenderest heart, and next our own, Knows half the reasons why we smile and sigh...
Page 24 - ... it is the superiority of your husband simply as a man. It is quite possible you may have more talent, with higher attainments, and you may also have been generally more admired ; but this has nothing whatever to do with your position as a woman, which is, and must be, inferior to his as a man.
Page 86 - ... it. The charitable conclusion is, that a woman so situated must be content to reap the consequences of her own folly, in having made so unsuitable a choice. The best friend on earth would be unable to assist her, nor could the sagest counsel rectify her mistake. In the case of a highly gifted woman, even where there is an equal or superior degree of talent possessed by her husband, nothing can be more injudicious, or more fatal to her happiness, than an exhibition even of the least disposition...
Page 82 - As a rational, accountable, and immortal being, he consequently needs a companion who will be supremely solicitous for the advancement of his intellectual, moral, and spiritual nature ; a companion who will raise the tone of his mind from the low anxieties, and vulgar cares which necessarily occupy so large a portion of his existence, and lead his thoughts to expatiate or repose on those subjects which convey a feeling of identity with a higher state of existence beyond this present life. Instead...
Page 60 - ... for contempt ; who have been afterwards associated with sisters who were capricious, ignorant, and vain — such men are very unjustly blamed for being selfish, domineering, and tyrannical to the other sex. In fact, how should they be otherwise...
Page 79 - It is the privilege of a married woman to be able to show by the most delicate attentions how much she feels her husband's superiority to herself — not by mere personal services . . . but by a respectful deference to his opinion, and a willingly imposed silence when he speaks.
Page 106 - LIFE. IF, in the foregoing pages, I have spoken of the married state as one of the trial of principle, rather than of the fruition of hope; and if, upon the whole, my observations should appear to have assumed a discouraging, rather than a cheering character, it has arisen, in the first place, from my not having reached, until now, that part of the subject in which the advantages of this connection are fully developed ; and if, in the second place, I must plead...
Page 250 - English wife should, therefore, regard her position as a central one, and remember that from her, as the head of a family, and the mistress of a household, branch off in every direction trains of thought , and tones of feeling, operating upon those more immediately around her, but by no means ceasing there; for each of her domestics, each of her relatives, and each of her familiar friends, will in their turn become the centre of another circle, from which will radiate good or evil influence, extending...
Page 60 - ... ignorant, and vain — such men are very unjustly blamed for being selfish, domineering, and tyrannical to the other sex. In fact, how should they be otherwise ? It is a common thing to complain of the selfishness of men, but I have often thought, on looking candidly at their early lives, and reflecting how little cultivation of the heart is blended with what is popularly called the best education, the wonder should be that men are not more selfish still.

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