Victorian society had very strong views on the role of women in the home, their preferred behaviour, their education in matters moral and domestic - and many books were published offering guidance in these matters. This is one, by a lady who wrote a number of books addressed to different categories (Wives, Mothers, Daughters), and had considerable success with these - our book is one of the 25th thousand of this title issued. Designed to advise, inform and educate the young lady who will soon be embarking on married life, it includes chapters on 'Characteristics of Men', 'Behaviour to Husbands', and 'Trials of Married Life' - all of which may still be relevant today...
Sarah Stickney Ellis (1799–1872) was a Quaker turned Congregationalist who wrote numerous books about women's role(s) in society, arguing that it was the religious duty of women, as daughters, wives, and mothers, to provide the influence for good that would improve society. As well as
"The Wives of England", "The Women of England", "The Mothers of England", and "The Daughters of England", she wrote educational works such as "Rawdon House and Education of the Heart: Women's Best Work". She established Rawdon House in Hertfordshire, a school for young ladies offering parents the "moral training, the formation of character, and in some degree the domestic duties of young ladies."
Our copy is rare and collectable by virtue of being the only edition published by Charles & Co (many other editions are available, by other publishers). It is in excellent condition, considering its probable age (pre-1887), bound in royal blue fine cloth with a gilt, black & white illustration on the front cover, gilt titles etc on the spine, and an an impressed double line border on the back; edges are bevelled. Top edge of the text block is rather dark, and may have been lightly tinted either grey or blue. There is some foxing to the edges of the text block generally. Apart from some minor wear to corners, spine angles, and top & bottom of the spine, the exterior is in excellent condition. Inside, the sewn binding is generally firm and there are no loose pages. The foxing has affected the first few and last few leaves of the book, but does not persist into the main body of the text. A page appears to have been removed before the dedication page ('to her Majesty the Queen...'), and there is an ink-written gift inscription on the reverse of the title page, dated 1887. There is a tiny hole in the back endpaper at the spine angle. A bookseller's label is pasted at the bottom R/H corner inside the front cover. Decorative chapter headings and initial letters enhance the whole.