Facts for Ladies

An amazing guide to ladyness, recovered by The Lore of the Garden (also one of LoH’s three readers!)

The Lore of the Garden

Facts for Ladies, by Mrs. Amy Ayer Kinsley, with Dr. Robert A. Gunn, was self-published in 1890 and turned up on my mother’s shelf. It was her mother’s and I commandeered it.

Created with Nokia Smart Cam

It is a surprisingly thorough and forthright work, and discusses everything from “displacements of the womb” to how to decorate a “model gentleman’s den.” (Which was model, one wonders, the gentleman or the den?)

The ideal reception room The ideal reception room

There are beauty tips — such as homemade toilet water made of barley meal — and the insistence that “beauty cannot be maintained without daily bathing, preferably two or three times a day.” Featured are inspirational “Portraits of the Queens of Beauty,” among them actresses Ellen Terry and Lily Langtry (who, like Cleopatra, is said to have bathed in milk).

 Lily Langry Lily Langtry

Among the beauty advice, there’s a formula to get rid of freckles:

1-1/2 oz. Bitter Almonds
15 grains…

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