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Notices & Reviews of The Well-Bred Boy & The Well-Bred Girl

Perceived usefulness is often the standard by which etiquette books are judged, and The Well-Bred Boy and The Well-Bred Girl are no different. Reviewers agreed that both books were “useful,” with sections that were “admirable.” Only The Monthly Miscellany of Religion and Letters noted that The Well-Bred Boy has “a few passages of doubtful utility.” (Among them may be the book’s very long section on primates.) In keeping with practices of the time, the Christian Register and Boston Observer took its review as an opportunity to reprint several pages from The Well-Bred Girl. Fortunately for later scholars, Godey’s Lady’s Book, and Ladies’ American Magazine gives the only information available about the books’ anonymous author.

Well-Bred Boy: The Monthly Miscellany of Religion and Letters. November 1839

Well-Bred Boy: Godey’s Lady’s Book, and Ladies’ American Magazine. August 1840

Well-Bred Girl: Christian Register and Boston Observer. 14 November 1840

Well-Bred Girl: The New-Yorker. 21 November 1840

Well-Bred Boy & Well-Bred Girl: Christian Register. 31 August 1844

Review by “H.” The Monthly Miscellany of Religion and Letters 2 (November 1839): p. 93.

The Well Bred Boy; or, New School of Good Manners. Boston: William Crosby & Co.

A new little book for juvenile readers. It deserves examination by those who select for their children or libraries. There will probably be differences of opinion about the place it should hold. With a few passages of doubtful utility, it contains some sound maxims, some droll matter, and the example of a very neat, careful and dutiful boy. And is enriched in the end, with fifty-six short and pithy directions, which Washington is said to have written out for himself at the age of thirteen, as “Rules of civility and decent behavior in company and conversation.” These are admirable, and seem to us the best part of the book.

Review. Godey’s Lady’s Book, and Ladies’ American Magazine August 1840: 96.

The Well Bred Boy; or New School of Good Manners,” is the title of a very good little book, prepared by a Boston lady for the young. We commend it to the notice of mothers.

“A Chapter for Children” Christian Register and Boston Observer 19 (14 November 1840): 184.

We select the following passages from the first chapter of a practically useful little book, ‘The Well Bred Girl.’ Our young friends, we trust, will not omit to read it. Manners are a part of morals, and good habits early formed are a great security to character and happiness. The advice contained in the following extract, and in most of the chapters of this little book, is simple, practical and perfectly adapted to the comprehension of those for whom it is intended. We wish that all little misses from ten to fourteen years of age would imitate Miss Alice. [The opening of the book follows.]

“Gift-Books for the Holidays.” The New-Yorker 10 (21 November 1840): 159.

We have received from William Crosby & Co. of Boston the following entertaining Christmas and New-Yar’s gift-books for childrenx82all neatly printed and embellished: The Youth’s Keepsake, an Annual, with steel engravings, beautifully bound; The Annualette, an 18mo volume of prose and poetry, and The Well-Bred Girl, with hints on good manners, additional to those contained in The Well-Bred Boy. (For sale in this city by Appleton & Co.)

Review. Christian Register 23 (31 August 1844): 139.

Moral Library. 8 vols. Now ready under this title, which is true but indefinite, T. H. Carter & Co., are publishing ‘a collection of moral stories of standard excellence, partly original, and partly selected from various writers who have turned their attention to the method of interesting and benefitting the young.’ This is an excellent design, and so far as we have seen it is judiciously conducted. Nothing is more wanted than good books for the young, thoroughly good books. Of these we never have enough, and we are glad these publishers are exerting themselves to add to the number. They are sending forth moral and useful stories, in a uniform and neat dress, and a strong binding—not the least merit in this day of showy but feeble cover. Some of the stories have been published before, as ‘The Well-bred Boy,’ ‘Well-bred Girl,’ ‘Arthur’s Story Book,[’] &c.

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