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The Gentlewoman's Companion (1675): A Guide to the Female Sex [Tapa dura]

Hannah Woolley , Caterina Albano


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Descripción del libro

1 de mayo de 2001
Aphra Behn is usually described as England's first professional woman writer, but her contemporary Hannah Woolley (Wooley or Wolley) ran her close, though recipes not bodice-rippers were her speciality (mixed with some judicious teaching, housekeeping and medical marketing). It seems amazing, therefore, that apart from a slight compendium, nothing of hers is available today - when women's studies have so strong a following. Her output is confusing and disputed, even the portrait in this second edition of her book is not of her but one Sarah Gilly, but all is made clearer by the long introduction by Caterina Albano, who has studied women's domestic literature for this period, and who urged us to produce this new, unabridged setting of the book (it is not a facsimile). The Companion is a conduct- as well as cookery-book (the recipes are mainly derived from her earlier works). It also contains an autobiography of the author. In truth it is a rank, but captivating, miscellany, including recipes, medical prescriptions, advice to servants and governesses, hints on upbringing, cosmetics and education, rules of social comportment and conduct, instructions and model letters for correspondence (mainly for young ladies), and 'Pleasant Discourses and Witty Dialogues' between gentlemen and ladies. Great bedtime reading. The editor puts it all in long perspective.

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