How to Be a Good Wife

Edited by the Bodleian Library

Edited by the Bodleian Library

Distributed for Bodleian Library, University of Oxford

96 pages | 10 line drawings | 3-1/2 x 4-1/2 | © 2008
Cloth $11.00 ISBN: 9781851243815 Published February 2008 For sale in North America only
Don’t think that your wife has placed waste-paper baskets in the rooms as ornaments.
 
Don’t forget that very true remark that while face powder may catch a man, baking powder is the stuff to hold him.
 
Marriage can be a series of humorous miscommunications, a power struggle, or a diplomatic nightmare. Men and women have long struggled to figure each other out—and the misunderstandings can continue well after they’ve been joined in matrimony. But long before Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, couples turned to self-help booklets such as How to Be a Good Husband and How to Be a Good Wife, two historic advice books that are now delightfully reproduced by the Bodleian Library.

The books, originally published in the 1930s for middle-class British couples, are filled with witty and charming aphorisms on how wives and husbands should treat each other. Some advice is unquestionably outdated—“It is a wife’s duty to look her best. If you don’t tidy yourself up, don’t be surprised if your husband begins to compare you unfavorably with the typist at the office”—but many other pieces of advice are wholly applicable today. They include such insightful sayings as: “Don’t tell your wife terminological inexactitudes, which are, in plain English, lies. A woman has wonderful intuition for spotting even minor departures from the truth”; “After all is said and done, husbands are not terribly difficult to manage”; or “Don’t squeeze the tube of toothpaste from the top instead of from the bottom. This is one of the small things of life that always irritates a careful wife.”

Entertaining and charmingly illustrated, How to Be a Good Husband and How to Be a Good Wife offer enduringly useful advice for all couples, from the newly engaged to those celebrating their golden anniversary.
 
Chicago Tribune
"Charming little volumes in matching red covers just right for Valentine's Day."
Contents
I      From One Wife to Another
II     Personal Relations
III    Personal Habits
IV    Food and Cooking
V     Dress and Toilet
VI    Children
VII   Finance
VIII  Entertaining
IX    Conversation
X     Out and About
XI    Health
XII   General
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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