ADVICE TO LITTLE GIRLS, FROM A YOUNG MARK TWAIN

i’m always discovering beautiful and thought provoking things over on brain pickings. author maria popova says this is one of her favorite posts and it’s one of mine too.

in 2011, maria came upon an italian edition of a little known story by a very young mark twain. written in 1865, and featuring artwork by russian-born illustrator vladimir radunsky, the book playfully, and beautifully, encourages girls to think independently. last year maria brought the book to america. (you can get your copy here. i just got mine.)

i am in love with these images. and this playful text. and with the concept. and with the fact that it was done in 1865. and that it was written by a thirty year old mark twain!

"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."

"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."

"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."

"If your mother tells you to do a thing, it is wrong to reply that you won’t. It is better and more becoming to intimate that you will do as she bids you, and then afterward act quietly in the matter according to the dictates of your best judgment."

"If your mother tells you to do a thing, it is wrong to reply that you won’t. It is better and more becoming to intimate that you will do as she bids you, and then afterward act quietly in the matter according to the dictates of your best judgment."