Fables for the Female Sex
. Unknown (title page missing) , [s.n.] . [London?]
PR3605.M3 F2 1783 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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A book that apparently went through a number of editions. 1783 seems to be some bookdealer's guess for this one. 16 fables strong on morality, less good on story. Thefable itself really becomes a derivative illustration of what is basically either sermon or satire. The woman's world that emerges here is frightening to imagine today. Frail fair thing, if she loses her honor once, a woman is doomed forever (The Female Seducers). Parents giving her to a man whom she has not chosen are the mother sheep giving her lamb to the wolf! Vanity claims in the last fable to rule the whole female race: Trust me, from titled dames to spinners,/'Tis I make saints, whoe'er makes sinners. The manifold advice may not be easy to put together: character will keep a man much more than looks; clothing should make a man imagine--not see--the best;striving nature to conceal/you only her defects reveal. A woman has fleeting beauty and gives it to a man for protection; he is grateful for the gift remembered and continues to protect her out of gratitude for what once was. Do not tease the man to whom you have said yes.