My favorite historic “Don’ts for Wives”

I was recently given a charming little book by Blanche Ebbutt, published in 1913, called “Don’ts for Wives.” There are too many good things not to share in the book. Most are very wise, even if written in way that will rub the modern woman raw. Others, well, she was spot on.

Some faves from her collection:

Don’t greet your husband at the door with a catalogue of the dreadful crimes committed by the servants during the day.

It is your business to keep him amused in the evening. Sit with him by the fire; smoke with him if it pleases you and him; read or be read to; sing or play cards with him, or chat with him about anything that interests him.

Don’t try to excite your husband’s jealousy by flirting with other men. It is like playing with tigers and edged tools and volcanoes all in one.

Don’t let him coop you up while he is away. You must live your life; you cannot vegetate. He must trust you. Any other attitude is an insult.

Don’t forget your poorer neighbours. If every family that had enough to eat kept an eye on even one family that hadn’t, there would be much less misery in the country.

Do you have advice to add that wise women or men in your life passed on?  What does your advice look like in a 1913 voice?

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