|GR:Mrs Taylor's Advice.
Written by JulieW
(10/28/2003 12:53 p.m.)
published in 1816 by Taylor and Hessy, 93 Fleet Street, London.
This is an original book I have owned for some years.
It is one of those marvellous conduct books which attempts to instill some sense, in this case inot prospective brides and mothers.;what I find interesting about this book,is that for once,I agree with a lot she says.She is not too preachy,and is a fund of common sense.
I have not found any mentions of her book by any other commentators- she was obvioulsy not as well known as MRs Chapone,Thomas Gisbourne,Dr Gergory,but I find her advice none the worse for that.
I thought you might be interested in some of her views.Especially as they come from the early 19th century, and she railes against the type of "genteel and ladylike" behaviour Amanda Vickery thinks uncharacteristic of the 18th century woman.
Mrs Taylor tends to give kindly but quite direct advice.
From the Introduction:
Many a female, because she has been educated at a boarding school, returns home, not to assist her mother, but to suport her pretensions to gentility by idleness , dress and dissipation.She concieves herself degraded by domestic occupation, and expects to lose her credit if she is known to be industrious...
From "Conduct to the Husband ":
The first object that should claim your attention , is that being with whom you have united your fortunes.When he vowed to take you for better or for worse, he staked the happiness of his future life;a treasure for which the most ample portion[money-JW] is insufficient to compensate.......by degrees the discovery will be made that you have married a mortal, and that the object of your affection is not entirerly free from the infirmities of human nature.Then it is, that by an impartial survey of your own character , your dispostion maybe moderated;and your love , so far from declining ,may aquire additional tenderness, from the conciousness that there is room for mutual forbearance.
From the Chapter concerning Step-Mothers(sadly, a practical sign of the times):
If the task is so important,the responsiblilty so great,which attatches to a mother with what caution should a female undertake a charge, in which she has not the co-operation of natural affection!
Mrs Taylor advises studying the attitude of the father( and prospective husband) towards his children and the memory of his dead wife..If he is not affectionate,then do not marry him! Hmmmm.........
I find her advice very practical and sensible. It may have benefited some of the couples we are studing , IMHO.
I'll post some more, with your indulgence , when we read the latter part of the book.
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