How to be a Good Wife

How to be a Good Wife

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Marriage can be a series of humorous miscommunications, a power struggle, or a diplomatic nightmare. Men and women have long struggled to figure each other out-and the misunderstandings can continue well after they've been joined in matrimony. But long before Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, couples turned to self-help booklets such as How to Be a Good Husband and How to Be a Good Wife, two historic advice books that are now delightfully reproduced by the Bodleian Library. The books, originally published in the 1930s for middle-class British couples, are filled with witty and charming aphorisms on how wives and husbands should treat each other. Some advice is unquestionably outdated-"It is a wife's duty to look her best. If you don't tidy yourself up, don't be surprised if your husband begins to compare you unfavorably with the typist at the office"-but many other pieces of advice are wholly applicable today. They include such insightful sayings as: "Don't tell your wife...

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