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The Woman Reader 1837–1914$
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Kate Flint

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780198121855

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198121855.001.0001

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Advice Manuals, Informative Works, and Instructional Articles

Advice Manuals, Informative Works, and Instructional Articles

Chapter:
(p.71) 5 Advice Manuals, Informative Works, and Instructional Articles
Source:
The Woman Reader 1837–1914
Author(s):

Kate Flint

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198121855.003.0005

The status and function of the advice manual changed only slowly during the nineteenth century. In its manifestations early in the period it may be seen as contributing to the establishment of ‘the cult of domesticity’. Aimed largely at middle-class girls in their mid to late teens, these advice manuals formed a genre written for women, and largely by women, thus ensuring the commercial circulation and dissemination of various types of domestic advice and information. Some of this, relating to routine household matters and questions of health, amplified or substituted for knowledge habitually supplied to daughters by their mothers. Much of the conversational, occasionally sententious, guiding prose worked towards establishing the centrality of motherhood itself, the home and family, to a woman’s life. This chapter discusses recreational reading, reading as social education, choice of books, methods of reading, and justification for reading in relation to women during the Victorian and early Edwardian period.

Keywords:   women, advice manuals, advice, mothers, motherhood, family, recreational reading, reading methods, social education, books

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