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The American Woman's Home Paperback – 31 Dec 1994

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Paperback, 31 Dec 1994
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--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product details

  • Paperback: 557 pages
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press (31 Dec. 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0917482042
  • ISBN-13: 978-0917482045
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 12.8 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,275,998 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"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.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Interesting book especially the first chapter on house design. So many people would benefit from reading this and applying it, bigger isn't better, bigger is just more overhead. Being old gender rolls are not up to date, it's certainly not relevant only to women.

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.
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Format: Paperback
The Beecher sisters and Mark Twain were comfortable neighbors in 1869, living the good life on Hartford's elm lined streets. Mark wrote humorously about world travel or of his adopted home town, what was to become the "Insurance Capital of the World" while Harriet Beecher Stowe could claim authorship of Uncle Tom's Cabin. Catherine Beecher wrote a very practical "how to" book, the American Woman's Home, with a little help from her famous sister. The life they lived had not yet been saturated with the influence of petroleum....that would take some time to get up to speed.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars 15 reviews
51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Moral housekeeping and healthly living - 1869 28 May 2000
By Pamela - Published on
Format: Paperback
Catherine Beecher's famous sister, Harriet, may have sparked some of the ideas presented, but did not actually contribute to the work of writing this book. Catherine was a childless, unmarried, middle-class woman, whose great tragedy was that her fiance was lost at sea before they were married.
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.
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Informative book, but beware of Echo version 9 April 2007
By Smuckerheide - Published on
Format: Paperback
On browsing this book, it appears very informative for those interested in Victorian households and how the prominent Beechers advised women to manage their homes. However, I purchased the version of the book published by Echo Library, unaware that this version does NOT include the illustrations that appeared in the original book. The Beecher authors refer to at least 77 figures in their writing, but since none are included in Echo's version, it was difficult for me to follow the text or completely understand what it was saying. I feel quite cheated and am thus returning the book. But I think a version that includes the illustrations would be a great reference book for Victorian historians!
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some Versions Omit Illustrations 13 Feb. 2009
By Reckless - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"The American Woman's Home" is the most complete record of historic (mid-1800s) American domestic life I've found. Originally an instructional guide for homemakers, it's now wonderful window to women's lives in a very different time. The subjects covered are too numerous to list. Use Amazon's "Look Inside" feature to read through the table of contents to see if your interests are'll be amazed by how much detailed information the author packed into this book. A great professor I once had used it as a textbook for a Women's Studies class. Every student in the class loved it - it's both enlightening and entertaining.

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!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as previous editions... 12 May 2007
By ARLHgrad - Published on
Format: Paperback
I am pretty sure earlier versions of this book featured images. This one does not... Other than having no images, it is the same as earlier versions.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great books, great author! 9 Feb. 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Her books seem very accurate for the period. I love the characters in the series. I've been going through some hard times lately & these books were JUST what I needed to escape for a time, from it all. Thank you, Louisa! I can't wait for book 4! I recommend her books to anyone who enjoys real history & a story that u become completely a part of the lives of Annie, Nate, Kathleen & all the other wonderful characters in the series. Not to forget Dandy, Jamie's dog! What a joy he is......
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