Philadelphia & London: Lippincott, . First edition. Original blue publisher's cloth binding stamped in white on spine and front board. Some faint foxing to edges extending onto some margins toward the rear of the text block. Overall a tight, clean, pleasing copy of this early medical book designed to teach girls about their own bodies. The only copy currently on the market, this book is rare in institutions as well; OCLC reports only 16 copies at libraries worldwide.
Following a popular series of talks on female sexuality and reproduction for the Hebrew Educational Society of Brooklyn and the Florence Memorial Aid Society, Dr. Steinhardt converted his lectures into a book. The inability to open the doors of his lectures to a sufficient number of women, and the number of requests he received to continue his lectures, inspired the decision to publish. "The fact that whenever the author delivered [lectures] the assembly rooms proved too small to accommodate the would-be audiences shows the need for simple, instructive talks on sex." For Steinhardt, early knowledge of the body is critical and girls should not be held back by the Victorian attitudes of the generation before them. "In no direction are intelligent guidance and understanding more essential than with reference to the preparation for the normal and wholesome discharge of our bodily functions." Endorsed by female doctors and women's clubs for its clarity and scientific accuracy, the book provides textual information on puberty and sexual organs as well as diagrams and illustrations to help girls understand the changes occurring in their bodies. A frank and valuable discussion of female sexual anatomy and health, and one of the earliest designed specifically for younger girls. Fine (Item #2494)