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Among the most common types of literature found on home bookshelves, over the past three hundred years, has been the advice or conduct book. Since the publication of Gervase Markham's The English-Housewife in 1615, advice books for women have incorporated both philosophical and practical guidance. These works not only taught the skills of household management, cooking, gardening, etiquette, childcare, and family medical care, but they also conveyed the appropriate role of a woman in society. Intended for the inexperienced young woman, the books defined an ethical, Christian-based code of behavior, with strict gender role definitions.

This exhibition was on display in the Special Collections Gallery from February 11-June 13, 2003.

Tags: Life skills--Handbooks, manuals, etc; Etiquette for women; Women--Conduct of life; Women--Books and reading