Monday, April 8, 2013

Advice to Little Girls

In 1865 a young Mark Twain wrote a little known short storybook Advice to Little Girls.  As only Twain could do, the story encourages little girls to think independently rather than to blindly follow society's norms. His advice includes such classics as:

"Good little girls ought not to make mouths at their teachers for every trifling offense. This retaliation should only be resorted to under peculiarly aggravated circumstances."


"If at any time you find it necessary to correct your brother, do not correct him with mud — never, on any account, throw mud at him, because it will spoil his clothes. It is better to scald him a little, for then you obtain desirable results. You secure his immediate attention to the lessons you are inculcating, and at the same time your hot water will have a tendency to move impurities from his person, and possibly the skin, in spots."

Twain's classic has been rediscovered and republished by Maria Popova and  Claudia Zoe Bedrick and is available on Amazon.