Mrs. Sharp is talking about the women's literary world of the late 1800's when she introduces us to "Jenny June" a popular columnist for Demorest's Family Magazine.
One of the most appealing aspects of of her column, "Talks With Women," as well as the work of numerous nineteenth- century advice columnists, is her self-assured, cheerful, and always optimistic tone even when addressing sensitive subjects. Perhaps this is because Victorian women were not torn about their priorities and society supported their efforts in the home and raising a family.
I'm swooning as I read on.....
In August 1867 culumn by Jenny June--" It is a high and important office, that of mother, and requires all the best and choicest qualities which belong to womanhood, trained and perfected. Much love, much patience, wisdom, knowledge, judgment, self-control, with body and soul attuned to, and kept in harmony with, the laws of God and nature, compose the divinity which should hedge about a mother, but alas! too often does not... It is no light thing, no easy task to be a mother and fulfill a mother's duties. Incessant care, incessant watchfulness, and all without fussiness, or too conscious restraint, is the price of success...The making of a happy home is the first duty of a wife and mother, and the most important question to her is, How to do it?...Even under the present imperfect conditions, home is the central attraction of every human heart, the inspiration of nearly all effort, the haven of all our hopes and desires. What would it be were women true to themselves, to their high destiny, to their great work? [What would it be] were the influences of home charged, as they might be, with the electric current of active love, faith, knowledge, strength, courage, and devotion to the interests they are bound to protect?"
Oh where has our society taken us from??
Oh Lord, help me to recreate the "art of domestic bliss" within my everyday life!
If you can relate or desire as I do to feel the way that paragraph reads I cannot urge you enough to read Mrs. Sharp's Traditions by Sarah Ban Breathnach (I found it at the library =free)