A perfect Valentine's Day gift from the Bodleian Library

14.02.2008

Both_covers_togetherWhether youíve been married a few months, a few years or a few decades, marital bliss is only a book (or two) away. With timeless advice on how best to look after yourself and your loved one, the wonderfully nostalgic How to be a Good Husband and How to be a Good Wife will provide lots of laughs and, perhaps, just the odd bit of good advice!

These little guides were written to remind men and women of Ďthe correct conductí. Filled with nuggets of guidance, many of which are still as remarkably relevant as the day they were written, they were written for the middle classes of the 1930s who were reading some of the first modern self-help books. The books contain advice by turns delightfully arcane and timelessly true. Donít squeeze the tube of toothpaste from the top instead of from the bottom. This is one of the small things of life that always irritates a careful wife.

It is a wifeís duty to look her best. If you donít tidy yourself up, when you have done the bulk of the dayís work, donít be surprised if your husband begins to compare you unfavourably with the typist at the office.

Donít think that your wife has placed waste-paper baskets in the rooms as ornaments.

 Donít tell your wife terminological inexactitudes, which are, in plain English, lies. A woman has wonderful intuition for spotting even minor departures from the truth.

Donít forget that a wife can always set the standard of behaviour for the home. If she allows laxities of dress or conversation at the table she will soon find that they become a fixed procedure.

Do cultivate the habit of coming down to breakfast with a smile. Remember that as the head of the house, it is your duty to see that everyone starts the day in an atmosphere of happiness.

Donít forget that very true remark that while face powder may catch a man, baking powder is the stuff to hold him.

Donít criticise the food at your own table when you are entertaining and especially refrain from doing so before the servants.

After all is said and done, husbands are not terribly difficult to manage.

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All the Bodleian Library publications can be purchased online at www.bodleianbookshop.co.uk

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