Wednesday, 18 August 2010

A Guide to the Female Sex.

A woman's role in the 17th century was to be subservient to her husband. In 1675 Hannah Woolley produced a useful guide to help the sisterhood of women who's almost inevitable fate it was to marry. The volume was intitled, 'The Gentlewoman's Companion or A Guide to the Female Sex,' by this she means a guide as to how the female sex should behave!
Some of the more salient points on married life include:

- It is your duty to hide his (the husband's) faults and infirmities, neither to discover them yourself nor cause them to be discovered.

- Be careful to keep the house in good as to disengage his fancy for taverns which many are compelled to use by reason of dissatisfaction at home.

- Be quiet, pleasant and peaceable to him (the husband, endeavour to pacify him with sweet and winning expressions.

- Breed up your children into as much if not more to him than yourself, and keep them in awe so they show so much awe rather than rudeness to him.

and finally:

- suffer not your expenses to exceed the receipt of your husband's income.

For mor historical comment see also:

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