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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

FREE Vintage Resources for Homekeepers - Marian Harland

Today I wanted to share some FREE resources I've found on the Internet.  I've been collecting these

links and downloading resources for years and I have a complete library of vintage homekeeping books.  These gems from days gone by are fun to read if only for the nostalgia, but many of them have ideas and recipes that are still relevant and tasty today!

One of my favorite authors of vintage homekeeping books is Marian Harland, which is actually her pen name, her given name is Mary Virginia Hawes.  Marian grew up in Richmond, Virginia and began writing as a child.  In her early days she focused primarily on novels, but after marrying her husband, a minister, she moved North. Shortly after settling she began to struggle with household tasks and cleaning and realized that there was a serious need for detailed, practical manuals for maintaining a household. Her response to that need, published in 1871, was Common Sense in the Household: A Manual of Practical Housewifery,  which sold more than a million copies and was kept in print for the next fifty years. Through this book and others of its kind that followed, Marion Harland became a household name.

Her works on cooking, housekeeping, and etiquette all celebrate "the talent of home-making, precious and incommunicable," as she described it in The Secret of a Happy Home (1896). Though Harland made it clear that women were duty-bound to keep a well-ordered home, she also recognized and lamented the limitations placed on women. "It must be a fine thing," she wrote, "to be a man on some accounts;—to be emancipated forever-and-a-day from the thralldom of skirts for instance, and to push through a crowd to read the interjectional headlines upon a bulletin board, instead of going meekly and unenlightened home." In the face of these challenges, however, Harland urged her readers to develop their other talents and their intellects.

Eminently practical, witty, sarcastic, encouraging and kind, Harland's manuals were a boon to women throughout the country. Common Sense, for instance, includes instructions for common household problems, such as removing stains or making a wound stop bleeding ("cobwebs and brown sugar, pressed on like lint"), as well as scores of recipes.

I've collected links to several of Harland's works, including;

Common Sense in the Household: A Manual of Practical Housewifery

The Dinner Year Book

Marian Harland's Cookery for Beginners: A Series of Familiar Lessons for Young Housekeepers

Marian Harland's Complete Etiquette: A Young People's Guide to Every Social Occasion


Of these I particularly like The Dinner Year Book, because of course, it's seasonal!

If you enjoy vintage books, and FREE books, then take a little time and peruse Marian Harland's offerings!  You won't be disappointed!  If you do spend some time perusing them I'd love to hear your opinion!

Until then, take joy, my friends!

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