Tuesday, 27 September 2011

10 April, 1886 - Answers to Correspondents - Miscellaneous


GINGER:- What do you mean by "some one"? The best way to make your brothers and sisters care for you is to be unselfish, thoughtful and helpful for them, and sweet-tempered. If we had a recipe for quickly making you thinner we should decline to give it. We fear you are a very weak-minded little girl.
A "PLEASANT" INQUIRER:- We wish we could, on our part, return the compliment, and believe you to be an "imaginary" correspondent, as you are so rude a little girl. We do not care to answer the questions contained in such disrespectful epistles as yours. We recommend you to procure a spelling book.

Monday, 26 September 2011

12 December, 1885 - 'Money Obligations' by Ardern Holt

In which Mr Holt mansplains personal finance. Autres temps, autres moeurs etc, but over a hundred years later you can still all but smell the condescension wafting up off the pages. On the one hand it's great that it's 1885 and we have an article addressing personal finance as something young women have the autonomy to consider at all; on the other it's all very well to finger-shake about spending but holy shit the amount of stuff that women had to afford for themselves if there wasn't a father or husband to provide the means.  

There is a good deal more mischief done in this world by want of thought than from malice propense and this remark more particularly applies to matters relating to money, especially when they concern women. As a rule, women are not only careless, but extremely ignorant about money matters, such ignorance being more culpable than ever now that the recent Married Women's Property Act recognises that the fair sex are capable of managing their own affairs and, moreover, gives them the power to do so.

For the first time they are made legally responsible for their own acts. It they over spend, their husbands are no longer liable, and their creditors can come upon their own separate estate for payment. They may invest their own  money at will, provided it is not vested in trustees; they may trade on their own responsibility, and they may go to law on their own account without the intervention of their husbands. If, then, as married women, such grave liabilities will in the future rest on women's soulders, they cannot begin too early to learn the value of money, and the duties which its possession entails.

9 February, 1889 - Answers to Correspondents - Miscellaneous

IDA VILLIERS:- It is not often that we are asked to help thin people to get fat; it is generally the other way. First, we should advise you to sit down and be quite tranquil for at least half an hour after your meals, and to cherish a thankful unrepining loving spirit; and get all the sleep possible. Eat butter, fat meats; take cream, milk, coca, chocolate, bread, potatoes, peas, parsnips, carrots, beetroots and all farinaceous foods; pastry, custards and sugar. Avoid acids and do not tire yourself with exercise. You must remember however that the very slightest thinnest people often become stoutest in middle life.

BLANCHETTE and PENELOPE.:- The peeling of the lower lips in large flakes is often to do with the digestion. You had better consult a doctor. A good lip-salve might help you, bought of a chemist who makes it himself.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

2 June 1900 - Answers to Correspondents - Miscellaneous

ALISON:- You should introduce or present other people to the Bishop (not vice versa). When you have done this you should say "the Lord Bishop of -" and he should be thus styled by the servant who announces him. His place of precedence is immediately before the temporal barons, who, if present, must be presented to him.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

6 January, 1900 - 'Breadwinning at Home: Doll-Making' by Margaret Bateson

Dolls are creepy. But someone has to make them. For a pittance.

"It is very pretty work," said a worn-out little woman, gazing around her with manifest pride. Her gaze was directed towards some bundles of dolls' bodies and arms, a box of sawdust, and a heap of wood shavings. Otherwise, indeed, there was little enough upon which the eye could rest. The window looked out upon a dull off-street in Shoreditch. No carpet covered the bare boards of the room, and there was scarcely any furniture except the bed. Here the doll-maker, a widow, lived quite alone, with nothing to read, nothing to look at, and nothing else to do save to go on persistently stuffing dolls.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

23 November, 1885 - 'Dress: In Season and in Reason' by a Lady Dressmaker

Best quote of this month's fashion column is "Aprons are coming in again, not but that they have always been 'in' with those who have work of any kind to do." Thanks.

To all appearances we are gradually coming back to the long plain skirts worn twenty or thirty years ago, before we ever heard of such a thing as an "overskirt". To some people - the short, stout and ungraceful - the change will be for the better, for the much bunched-up skirts did not well suit them, and took from their small amount o height. But with the long straight folds, the very tall and very thin people must beware, for they add to their maypole appearance by assuming too austere a style, and great regularity in vertical lines is sometimes a decided mistake.

Monday, 5 September 2011

23 October, 1885 - Answers to Correspondents - Miscellaneous

WESTON-BY-WELLAND:- Our little friend at the address which we have substituted for a name, forgot two things in her letter; first she forgot to sign it and secondly she did not name her age when she asked whether she was old enough to wear long dresses. Girls' frocks are gradually lengthened as they grow older, and lengthened sometimes at an earlier age than would otherwise be considered at an earlier age than would otherwise be considered necessary, if very tall for their age. At about ten they should wear a slightly lengthened dress. Our little friend adds, "Could you tell me what to do to be as clever as you?" Alas! we know of no recipe for cleverness, but we advise her to be diligent in learning her lessons, and in filling her head with all the useful information she can get, but at the same time ever remembering that to be good is better than to be clever. We thank her for her kind wishes.

23 October, 1885 - Answers to Correspondents - Miscellaneous

The Girl's Own Paper: Answers to Correspondents. Sound advice with a side of snark.

GLADYS AILEEN:- 1. We should bury the dog's skull in an ant hill, which little animals will eat every atom of flesh upon it, and we should then wash it very well with the red Condy's Fluid, and then put it outside your window to bleach. It was rather unnecessary to inform us that your dog was not living. We could scarcely imagine his trotting about having neither fur nor flesh upon his head, although we have heard of spectral brethren of his reputed to be headless altogether. When your deceased's dog's skull has been well bleached, varnish it with white transparent artists' varnish to keep it clean and preserve it. 2. I your hair is very long and thick, it may be desirable to wear a bathing cap, as it is difficult to dry it thoroughly.

Moving house

Tumblr has turned out not to be the ideal style of blog for Highlights from the Girl's Own Paper mainly for formatting reasons and the fact that for blogs with large blocks of text the Tumblr archiving system is not ideal, especially for everyone whose dashboards get spammed when the 'Read More' function stops working. So I have moved. Rather than attempt to literally copy and paste everything from the Tumblr over here, which with my limited HTML skills would be asking for trouble, I will link both blogs. So for posts preceding September 2011 please see the original blog here.