From the Pages of History - Feminine Affection

I have recently purchased this marvellous book from the early 1900's called 'The Girls Own Annual' and I would love to share some of the excepts with you in a feature I would like to call 'From the Pages of History'. In every post under this features, I will share quotes and pictures directly from the pages of this book.

I love buying books like this that give us an insight into another time and another world. It is a way in which we can peek into the minds and society of people who lived during this time, and by reading such things, sometimes you come to appreciate how far we have come in society and other times you realise that the people back then are not much different to to the people of today. I hope you enjoy some of these excerpts as much as I do!

Firstly however I would like to share with you some of the images from the very first pages in this book, including a hand written note in the first page stating:

"Florence with love from Ida and Ethel - Xmas 1911"

It is kind of amazing to know that over 100 years ago, someone gave this book to a young woman as a present at Christmas and here I am 100 years later reading it.

These are some lovely images of women playing sport and paddling a boat on the inside cover.

And this is the first official page introducing us to the book.

Now I would l would like to share some excerpts from the very first article in this book titled 'Feminine Affection'.

Feminine Affection:

This is the very first article in this book and as I read it, I notice the article writer who is a woman seems to look poorly on women who are stuck up and selfish.

"I meet women who wish to impress everybody with their exclusiveness and their greatness. But the only thing they succeed in doing is to impress one with their stupidity, or the actual selfishness of their hearts, or the narrowness of their brains."

Poorly indeed...and she doesn't mind putting it bluntly either!

The article also touches on how young women may want to change their names to seem 'cooler' per say. It seems not much has changed at all in this sense.

"The mother of daughters has a task before her when the girls verge upon womanhood. It is a this age that a girl usually wishes to change her name. If it is Katherine she wishes to spell it Kathryn, if it is Edith it becomes Edyth, or if Mary she will try to make it May or Marie. She will also assume a supernatural sweetness and artlessness if allowed to go on posing to herself."

I wonder how a mother would have reacted back then if her daughter decided to change her name to 'Lady GaGa' or 'Pink'?

It seems that young women of this era were also self centred posers just as they are perceived today, and they blame the media just as they do now! Who knows, maybe it is not the media making us this way? Maybe it has always been that way!

"I notice in so many of the young girls I see in the street and in shops a sort of attitudinising, a self-conscious expression of countenance, together with a preoccupation so evident as to convince one that the victim of it is far away in some dreamland of her own, in which she is the central figure. Has not the cheap drama, the flimsy literature of the the time done this for us, and imbued the girl and the woman with the idea that she, too, will be a heroine when the time comes?"

These are not the only women this article writer is displeased with! She doesn't seem to be too fond of sarcastic, loud and unladylike women either!

"This sort of person delights in slang, and in bringing out her words broadly and laughing loudly. She likes to make fun of the town women, and openly thanks heaven that she is what she pretends to be. Now a little brushing up would do this woman good. Good grammar, proper pronunciation, quiet manners - none of these can come under the head of affection, any more than do the simple rules of good breeding which the boor delights to ridicule."

How dare a woman use slang and laugh loudly!? Well that rules out over half of the female population today...I also don't know what to think about the term 'good breeding' being used for people!?

Now for some thoughts to leave you with in the article's conclusion.

"The world needs plain, sensible people, who are too much interested in the actual work they are doing to give much thought to the impression they are making. And a word to parents: give your girls some reason for being. Set them to work so that they will not have so much time to think about themselves. Save them from affectations and false ideals by setting before the the nobler standard of a life devoted to unselfish tasks.

Despite some of the odd language and crude remarks, I think there are some little gems in there that we in modern society could find interesting or useful today.

What are your thoughts on this article from the early 1900's?

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