New York: Macmillan, 1900. First edition. Quarter morocco over red cloth with gilt to spine. Faint soiling to rear board and gentle bumps to corners. Bookplate on the front pastedown identifies this copy as a gift of entrepreneur John H.R. Molson to the newly established Fraser Institute, which had been designated for technical training of Canadian men and women. Small Fraser Institute stamp to title page. Collates ix, , 342, [2, publisher's ads]: complete. Pages 137-140 trimmed short on right margin not affecting text. Overall an exceptionally tight and neat copy of this rare work on women's employment, which is the only one on the market and is reported by OCLC to be held at 10 US institutions.
How Women May Earn a Living explores the variety of reasons why women may need to work, and presents readers with diverse career opportunities for women across a range of education and experience levels. Written by feminist Helen Candee, the book was born out of first hand experience: following her separation from her abusive husband, Candee took up work as a writer to support herself and her family. A journalist and travel writer, she later began a lucrative career as a decorator which earned her such illustrious clients as President Teddy Roosevelt. In the present work, Candee speaks directly to a female audience, providing logical and supportive input on how they can take control of their circumstances. "In a confidential feminine way we will consider the interests of the woman who is about to determine the extent of her monetary value to the world...Years ago, when there were but half a dozen occupations that society sanctioned, the talented followed art, the practical took boarders, the well-educated taught school. It was easy to know which of these things suited the case. But now, with a long list unfolded, there is a feeling of confusion which brings indirection." Candee advises her readers to consider a number of factors in settling on a profession, and she urges women to consider both fiscal opportunity and satisfaction in the job itself. Across the book she proposes careers ranging from stenography and secretarial work, to nursing, to architecture, to advertising. In each, Candee addresses practical concerns about the type of training, skills, and interests necessary to enter the field. Notably, this copy was gifted by Canadian entrepreneur and brewer John H. R. Molson to as part of the founding collection for the Fraser Institute library, where he served on the board. "The Fraser Institute hardly compared in distinction to the great libraries in Edinburgh or Boston, but it signalled a firm commitment by leading Montreal businessmen to the diffusion of popular education" (Fong). Candee's inclusion in the Institute library further signalled that working women were included as an audience and beneficiary group of its goal of public education. Near Fine (Item #2570)