New York: The Success Company, 1897. First edition. Original pictorial cloth binding embossed in gilt and green. Some sunning to spine and rubbing to rear board. Light shelfwear to extremities. Font hinge a bit tender and first signature loose but holding well, with text block else tight and square. Contemporary ownership signature of Mrs. F. E. Gale to the front endpaper. 504 pages including 75 illustrations, most of prominent women in history. Excluding e-book holdings, OCLC reports 12 universities with copies of this scarce work on women's education and employment, which is the only first edition currently on the market.
"When we see a boy, the question instantly springs up, 'What are you going to do?' but when we see a girl it is 'What are you going to be?' The whole of life and destiny is bound up in these two interrogations, and the mistake of the world has been that it did not put both queries to the boy and girl alike...we do them an injustice." This is the foundation on which Willard, a noted American women's activist, sets her book. While her lengthy tome includes chapters on the more traditional domestic occupations of women such as raising children, running a home, dressmaking and mending, or cooking and pickling, the vast majority of chapters deal with new and emerging fields. Chapters on Women in Advertising, Real Estate, Banking, Medicine, Politics, Dentistry, Newspapers, and Investing reveal just how much the world was beginning to change at the turn of the century. Aware that some women might now know how to enter these fields, she also includes chapters on Where is My Place? and How a Girl May Work Her Way Through College. Not to exclude women with disabilities, she also gives guidance on What the Blind Can Do. Not surprisingly, as a woman who lived on her own and supported herself much of her life, Willard was invested in opening as many doors to women as possible. This sizeable reference guide aims to accomplish just that, giving inspiration as well as practical advice to a rising generation of modern, young women. (Item #2906)