The Australian Housewives’ Manual is a facsimile version of a publication written in 1883 by ‘an Old Housekeeper’ who provides advice for young married women on how to care for house and home. To the modern reader, the guidance offered in The Australian Housewives’ Manual is a mixture of amusement and wisdom. When was the last time you read such exacting instructions about what time to go to bed in the evening, the temperature water should be for washing the dishes and on which day of the week to do the ironing? Suggestions to young couples about the importance of saving, the benefits of taking out life insurance and the advantages of carefully selecting quality over quantity are just as applicable today as they were in Victorian times. The Australian Housewives’ Manual would make a wonderful gift for newlyweds, anniversaries, Christmas or simply for anyone driven mad by housework and husbands!
Full Product DetailsAuthor: National Library of Australia
Publisher: National Library of Australia
Publication Date: 01 November 2012
Availability: In stock
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ReviewsEven while reminded of the feminist mantra that every woman needs a wife, it is impossible not to be charmed by the wisdom of an old housewife. Thrifty common sense laced with self-discipline and self-denial will build long, happy lives. Diligent husbands, who saved and had a £200 life insurance policy by age 18, married at "about 20 or a little later". His wife of "suitable age" should have had a few pounds for furnishings and a fair stock of clothing. The manual was for those starting out on modest means in a three -or four- room cottage. Here a wife came into her own, as on hot, dusty, summer afternoons when the husband arrived home "fierce as a hungry bear", to find his house closed on three sides, southern windows open with damp towels hung to cool the air. On his bed were fresh clothes, clean, white bath towels and a sponge. His wife had "had three clear hours of rest, so you are cool, and lightly clad in pleasant, cool-looking stuff, so your very presence as you open the door shows him something comforting and nice". Ah, wedded bliss.
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