Advice to Little Girls

Here’s a different kind of approach to guiding children to learn values. It’s Advice to Little Girls written by Mark Twain in 1865 that is a Victorian-scrapbook with illustrations by Vladimir Radunsky. I don’t have a copy of the book but you can read more about it through Brain Pickings. Maria Popova and her trusty contacts were able to bring this book to life after two years.

What makes the snippets of the scrapbook featured in that article interesting are the values being taught with an interesting twist of words that is quite unique and artistic. As an adult, it makes me smile to understand what the writing actually means. I’m just not sure if the choice of words will suit its audience but maybe having to explain it to the children will be another experience altogether. I’m pasting some of these snippets here so you’ll understand what I mean.


“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.”


“Good little girls always show marked deference for the aged. You ought never to ‘sass’ old people unless they ‘sass’ you first.”

These pieces are just wonderful. I wish I could get a copy of this book to give to my future nieces, nephews or children. Once again, I’m so proud of all the talented people who can relay significant messages with much artistry.

© 2013 Dolce Vita. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. (
Photo Credit: Brain Pickings

About Mariel Tan

Artist at heart who shares the spice in her life. Visit my blogs:

One comment

  1. Pingback: Brain Pickings: The Blog You MUST Read | G E R I L Y N


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