The American Woman's Home Paperback – 31 Dec 1994
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"The authors of this volume, while they sympathize with ever honest effort to relieve the disabilities and sufferings of thei sex, are confident that the chief cause of these evils is the fac that the honor and duties of the family state are not duly appre ciated, that women are not trained for these duties as men an trained for their trades and professions, and that, as the conse quence, family labor is poorly done, poorly paid, and regarde as menial and disgraceful." - from The American Woman's Home or, Principles of Domestic Science --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
NICOLE TONKOVICH is an associate professor of English at th University of California, San Diego, and the author of Domestic ity with a Difference: The Nonfiction of Sarah Josepha Hale, Catharin Beecher, Fanny Fern, and Margaret Fuller. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Unfortunately the conversion to digital is poor, none of the figure images are included which are essential for understanding the books ideas. Thankfully they may be found on line.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
She was an intellectual who lived in a time when women were severely constrained by domestic drudgery. Catherine Beecher strived to ennoble women's traditional role through education:
"It is the aim of this volume to elevate both the honor and the remuneration of all employments that sustain the many difficult and varied duties of the family state, and thus to render each department of woman's profession as much desired and respected as are the most honored professions of men."
There is a great deal of moralizing in this book, about lifestyle, Christian charity, care of children and servants, and so forth. In this, Catharine Beecher was a product of her century. Yet some of the observations are surprisingly astute, even for today's readers. For instance, there is a humorous passage about cooking with butter that will have you smiling about rancid butter in every dish. In so many ways, the modern homemaker has less to worry about. We can purchase conveniences that were undreamt of 130 years ago.
This is a self-consciously "American" perspective on keeping a middle class house. Yet the French are looked to as having perfected cooking and many other things, and this sort of repetitious praise can grate on the American reader. Beecher was addressing the American woman during the Civil War and post-Abolition time period, during a great influx of European immigrants and when the population was actively expanding westward. She had it in mind to influence the young woman of a certain generation, and in many ways, her ideas were both more advanced and more orderly than what had gone before.
This book is a *must read* for students of Women's History as it pertains to women in the home. If you are interested in the 19th century lifestyle, you will find many domestic details here.
It is ESSENTIAL to find the correct edition of this book. One disappointing version published by Echo Library OMITS 100% of the original book's illustrations and diagrams.
A COMPLETE edition is published by RUTGERS UNIVERSITY PRESS and includes all illustrations and text. Enter its ISBN - 0813530792 - in Amazon's search box to find it, but be sure to "Look Inside" the book to confirm it includes illustrations...the first page of Chapter One ("The Christian Family") should show a drawing of a church. If there's no artwork shown, it's probably a text-only (thus incomplete) edition. Amazon applies the same reviews to multiple versions of the same title, even if they differ widely, so don't rely on reviews unless they specify which edition they're referring to. Double-check by looking inside!
Find the right edition, and enjoy! You will not be disappointed!