It was first published in 1899 and is really rather sensible and modern in its advice. It encourages healthy exercise, employment ('the more remunerative the better) and warns against the vagaries of fashion. It weighs the merits of matrimony over the single life and comes to some surprising conclusions. Good stuff.
'Single women who have been industrious, and who have boldly carved out a career for themselves, can afford to snap their fingers at lost lovers, and thank the fate that at length designed them for a life of single success rather than the possible one of married misery.' 'All women would be healthier and none the less beautiful if they possessed firm muscles and strong limbs.' 'Most of those who have married have no idea how they ever came to do such a thing.' Published in the last years of Queen Victoria's reign, this fascinating book provides sensible, remarkably modern guidance for Britain's unmarried women and girls. In the age of the idealised 'New Woman', it encourages activity and even employment ('the more remunerative the better') as an alternative focus, and acknowledges a new era of social change: 'We may all some day think no more of the sex in bloomers giving high kicks at football than we do now of cycling skirts and golf-playing'. Advice to Single Women explores the perilous fashion for tight-lacing corsets and the dangers of contemporary. cosmetics, in contrast to the benefits of healthy exercise and the emerging trend for rational dress. It weighs the merits of matrimony and the single life, with conclusions to surprise and cheer its readers. And for those still seeking to marry, the book offers a suggestion of Bridget Jones-style guile: 'Appear as though you do not, but mind you do it sweetly.'