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What a Young Woman Ought to Know by Mary Wood-Allen
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What a Young Woman Ought to Know

by Mary Wood-Allen

What a Young Woman Ought to Know by Mary Wood-Allen might be easy to snigger at, but it was published in 1889 by a God-fearing, temperance-loving woman of the Victorian era. This book is the equivalent of your 150 year old aunt pulling you aside to give you advice about the birds and the bees. But, to her credit, Mary Wood-Allen was fighting for the rights of women, and this is her best effort to create a legion of bright, chaste, sober, and productive young ladies. Here are some chapter headings:

WHAT ARE YOU WORTH?
CARE OF BODY
FOOD
SLEEP
BREATHING
HINDRANCES TO BREATHING
ADDED INJURIES FROM TIGHT CLOTHING
EXERCISE
BATHING
CREATIVE POWER
BUILDING BRAINS
YOU ARE MORE THAN BODY OR MIND
BECOMING A WOMAN
FEMALE DISEASES
CARE DURING MENSTURATION
SOLITARY VICE
BE GOOD TO YOURSELF
FRIENDSHIP BETWEEN BOYS AND GIRLS
FRIENDSHIP BETWEEN GIRLS
LOVE
RESPONSIBILITY IN MARRIAGE
THE LAW OF HEREDITY
HEREDITARY EFFECT OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, ETC.
EFFECTS OF IMMORALITY OF THE RACE
THE GOSPEL OF HEREDITY
ENGAGEMENTS
THE WEDDING

In a modern context this book might only be interesting to historians, fundamentalists, or for those looking for a giggle. Perhaps a shock here and there as well at such outdated thinking about such things as heredity (i.e., sins passed on to children as deformities). A quick skim of this book will make most everyone rejoice that it's 2010.

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