The American Pictorial Home Book
or Housekeeper's Encyclopedia - online book

A reference manual of household management in Victorian times.

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"Of making many books/' says Solomon, "there is no end." But this was said long ago. What the wise king would say in such a publishing age as this, with all its societies and newspaper men, is beyond our comprehension. Have we too many books ? Yes, the number of worthless, bad books is legion. But how is it to be helped ? The demand calls for the supply and the supply increases the demand. The monster grows upon what feeds it. The age of sumptuary laws and of fetters for the press has passed and is never to return. A fair field and a free fight is all we can ask, nor do we fear. Light puts darkness to flight; Truth must prevail at last. It is not to be supposed that Solomon meant there should be an end to book making. The writer of this introductory notice is constrained at least to recommend another book. Not a volume upon war or politics, but "The Housekeeper's Encyclopedia," of twenty thou­sand practical receipts. This work has been carefully prepared by a Christian lady who has had ample experience. She is practically acquainted with good housekeeping, and labored for a number of years as a missionary in a distant land. Among all the works that have fallen under our observation, Mrs. Suddoth's seems to us de­cidedly the best. It is practical, easily understood and calculated to do much good. The style is not ambitious, there is no attempt to walk on stilts, nor to conceal thought, or the want of it, by fine writ­ing. The aim throughout is to do good, such good as a mature, in­telligent and pious lady would desire to do. The volume treats of " The beauties of a well-ordered home, its influence.—The family relation.—The Christian mother's influence.—The Bible, the fireside pleasure.—Comforts of home.—Table conversation.—The mother and the wife, her sphere, duty to servants, neighbors and church.— Her influence not reckoned in time.—Her compensation in eter­nity."
The writer gives this introductory notice as a labor of love, be­cause of his esteem for the Christian character of the author, and be­cause of the noble purpose for which the volume is offered to the public, hoping that it will find a place in thousands of families, es­pecially on this side of our continent, in the homes of our mountains and valleys, where everything is yet in a forming state, and where the foundations of future greatness should be wisely laid and firmly