Here are just a few snippets from this treasure trove of a book. In an early 17th century finishing school, Anne Colston, a young gentlewoman, was to be brought up for five years in the art of bone-lace making, working of parchment, and taking out of all manner of laces; also in making all sorts of bands and plain work in sewing with a needle and all other things belonging to a spinster, but not to do any servell worke.
Girls were to be given after their training a pattern of every sort of lace they had learned to make.
And here we learn a little more about the creation and purpose of samplers. This illustration from the book shows us an excellent example of a bi-directional sampler, the image above is a flipped excerpt taken from the full sampler below.
For Martha Tristram in the 1620s, £20 was paid to Mrs Beekes by instalments, for her to learn during eight years, button-making, the making of pin cushions, and sheathes for knives.
In 1720 the Charity Schools came under attack: In a free nation where slaves are not allowed, the surest wealth consists in a Multitude of the laborious Poor. Every hour poor folk's children spend at their books is so much time lost to society, besides unfitting them when they grow up for downright labour.
The SPCK responded: Labour was to be added to the instruction given to Children in the Charity Schools; as Husbandry in any of its Branches, Spinning, Sewing, Knitting to effectually obviate an Objection against the Charity Schools that they tend to take poor Children off from those servile Offices which are necessary in all Communities and for which the wise Governor of the World has by His Providence designed them.
The book has a number of black and white plates, some of which are shown here together with the contents page below.
This is a very neat, clean first edition of the book published in 1929 by Oxford University Press and if you have an interest in the particular histories of girlhood education, you will be totally enthralled by this book.