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“Rules for a Young Lady” from The Journal of Health, 1829

Compiled by James J. Gormley

In the research for my health freedom book, I came upon these pearls of what would have passed for wisdom in the politically incorrect, feminism-deficient year of 1829. It totally cracked me up, political incorrectness by today’s standards aside!

What’s with the obsession with custard? And wine or a cordial for breakfast? Huh?

“Rules for a Young Lady.

Let her to go to bed at ten o’clock—nine, if she pleases. She must not grumble, or be disheartened […]

Her breakfast should be something more substantial than a cup of slops, whether denominated tea or coffee, and a thin slice of bread and butter. She should take a soft boiled egg or two, a little cold meat, a draught of milk or a cup or two of pure chocolate.

She should not lounge all day by the fire, reading novels, nor indulge herself in thinking of the perfidy of false swains or the despair of a pining damsel; but bustle about—walk or ride in the open air, rub the furniture, or make puddings—and when she feels hungry eat a custard in place of the fashionable morning treat of a slice of pound cake and a glass of wine or cordial.

In place of three of four cups of strong tea for supper she may eat a custard—a bowl or bread of milk—or similar articles, and in a few hours afterwards let her retire to bed.

At other periods of the day which are not occupied by business or exercise, let her read—no sickly love tales—but good humoured and instructive works—calculated, while they keep the mind unincumbered with heavy thoughts, to augment its store of ideas, and to guard it against the injury which will ever result from false perceptions of mankind and of the concerns of life.”

The Journal of Health, 1829

About the Author /

info@jamesgormley.com

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