Who is Miss Abigail?

Abigail Grotke
Silver Spring, MD
email: missabigail at missabigail dot com
twitter: @DearMissAbigail

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Miss Abigail has a collection of over 1,000 classic advice books, spanning from 1822 to 1978 and covering a variety of topics, from love and romance to etiquette and charm. The collection sparked the idea for this site, then a book, Miss Abigail's Guide to Dating, Mating, and Marriage, which has inspired an Off-Broadway production of the same name!


Archive for July, 2006

August 15 in Brattleboro, VT

Monday, July 31st, 2006

Final August book tour date is set!

I’ll be reading and signing Miss Abigail’s Guide to Dating, Mating, and Marriage:

Tuesday August 15th at 7pm
Everyone’s Books
25 Elliot Street, Brattleboro, VT 05301
(802) 254-8160

I look forward to seeing you there!

Miss Abigail on the Dr. Laura Berman radio show

Sunday, July 30th, 2006

Miss Abigail appears on the Dr. Laura Berman radio show this week to discuss how dating has changed over time.

If you are Dr. Laura Berman listener and are new to MissAbigail.com, welcome! If you are curious about the quote I read on air, here it is in its entirety: When a Fellow Gets Fresh.

Sadly the show isn’t broadcast in the D.C. area where I am, but hopefully other readers from around the U.S. will be able to pick it up. There’s an archive of past shows online ~ I will let you know when I see it up there.

Book Links: Library Thing and Book Wormz

Thursday, July 27th, 2006

A few book related sites to direct you to:

1) If you are a book fiend like myself and haven’t heard of LibraryThing yet, get yourself over to the site and get to work! Here you can create an entire catalog of your books, pull in records from all over the place, add tags, share libraries, etc. Now, you’d think that by touting this site I’m ready to proudly proclaim that all of my 1,000 or so books have been fully cataloged and are available for your purusing pleasure, but I’m lazy, so I only have a few in so far. It seems to go pretty quickly though, so I’ll continue to add as I have time… My profile is under agrotke, by the way.

2) Just learned about this one today — a directory of independent booksellers called Book Wormz. Keep the independents alive!

August 17 in North Dartmouth, Mass.

Monday, July 24th, 2006

One more book signing & event date confirmed. Look for me at:

Baker Books
69 State Rd, North Dartmouth, MA 02747

It’s not on the events calendar yet but I’ll be there!

Fun with Teachers!

Thursday, July 20th, 2006

As some of you are aware, my day job is at the Library of Congress (important disclaimer: my job is totally unrelated to this site and my book!). Today, I had the opportunity to meet some wonderful teachers from around the country. I was asked by some librarian colleagues to talk about my book collecting hobby, my Web site, and my book at a workshop on Women’s History, during a part of the program focused on household technology. Some items from the Library’s collections were shown during an evening reception, and I got to sign some books. While my portion was just one itty bitty slice of the two-day workshop, it was much fun to talk about my hobby with the teachers, and I never tire of learning about what’s in our fabulous LoC collections! See some examples in the picture below:

If you’d like to learn more about these collections, click on over to view fabulous Connie Carter’s webcast: The History of Household Technology.

1946: The Care of the Skin

Tuesday, July 18th, 2006

It’s gosh darn hot here in the District of Columbia area! But that’s nothing new. Take a look at this post from the pre-blog days of Miss Abigail: The Care of the Skin from a 1946 book titled Youth, Sex, and Life, written by Gladys Cox.

A brief excerpt to tempt you to click on that link: “The sweat contains certain waste products… and these are left upon the skin; the surface of the skin is constantly shedding dead skin cells, like leaves falling from trees in early autumn: the skin secretes, in addition to the sweat, a greasy material which keeps it waterproof. On the surface of the skin, then, there collects a mixture of sweat, grease, dead cells, together with dirt…”

Eww. I think I need a shower.

August 12 signing in Buffalo

Sunday, July 16th, 2006

Details are confirmed — I’ll be at the Borders in Cheektowaga, New York (suburbs of Buffalo), Saturday August 12 at 2pm. Stop by to say hi, hear some advice, and get a book signed!

More details at the Borders events page.

I’m still finalizing my Vermont and Massachusetts signings that same week, will keep you posted.

1962: It’s a Boy!

Monday, July 10th, 2006

My sister and her husband welcomed a bouncing baby boy to the world today. He was born a bit early, but thankfully everything seems to be fine and hopefully he’ll get to go home soon. With two little girls already in the house, the family might want to read up on W. Cleon Skousen’s So You Want to Raise a Boy?, which was published in 1962, for some pointers. Here’s a little something from that book to welcome my new nephew!

A Mother’s Love
From the moment a mother first cuddles her baby boy in her arms the ingredients of love are being nourished. Love is a two-way street which requires assurances of affection from both mother and son. Within days after a baby is born he looks up at this wonderful creature who cuddles and coos at him and wrinkles his face into a dimpled grin to show his appreciation. Actually, his eyes cannot distinguish too much detail as yet and a psychology lab researcher may say it is only a gas pain, but a mother knows that her baby’s smile came from his soul and was meant just for her.

Everyone say “awww”…

Recent Acquisitions

Thursday, July 6th, 2006

I had a relaxing weekend at Lake Anna (Virginia) and managed to pick up a few books along the way. First I stopped in Culpeper and visited my favorite book shop, Ace Books. It was there I found the following:

1) The Ethel Cotton Course in Conversation: The Fascinating New Way to Win Poise, Charm, Personality. Chicago/London: Conversation Studies, 1966 edition. This is a fabulous 12-part series, including booklets covering: Guiding Conversation, Overcoming Irritation, Too Tired to Talk? Humor in Conversation, Colorful Descriptions, and more.

2) Betz, Betty. Your Manners are Showing: The Handbook of Teen-age Know-How. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1946.

3) Rollin, Betty. I Thee Wed: A Collection of Marriage Vows, Past and Present, Here and There. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, 1961.

4) Lowry, E. B. and R. J. Lambert. Himself: Talks with Men Concerning Themselves. New York: Forbes & Company, 1917. I’ve got some others by Lowry, including Herself, so was excited to find this companion book.

5) Shaw, Adelaide. Etiquette for Everybody. New York: Homemaker’s Encyclopedia, 1952. Another in the wonderful Homemaker’s Encyclopedia series, edited by Miriam B. Reichl, of which I have a few…

6) Schwab, Charles M. Succeeding With What You Have. New York: The Century Co., 1917. A guide for the young business man, with a chapter devoted to “woman’s part in man’s success.” Hmm. Will have to read up on that!

7) Hanley, Jack. Let’s Make Mary: Being a Gentlemen’s Guide to Scientific Seduction in Eight Easy Lessons. New York: Phoenix Press, 1937. Ooh la la. This one looks a bit racy.

8) Cobb, Irwin S. and Mary Roberts Rinehart. Oh! Well! You Know How Women Are! and Isn’t That Just Like a Man!. New York, George H. Doran Company, 1920. This is one of those duel-sided books, one side written with the man’s point of view, the other with the woman’s (a flip is required to read the opposing view).

9) McDermott, John Francis. The Sex Problem in Modern Society: An Anthology. New York: The Modern Library, 1931. With essays by such greats as Havelock Ellis and Margaret Sanger.

And on an outing around Lake Anna, I picked up these:

Peters, Lulu Hunt. Diet and Health with Key to the Calories. Chicago: The Reilly and Lee Company, 1918. With illustrations by “the author’s small nephew Dawson Hunt Perkins the little rascal.” Mom found this one in a little country store. Thanks, mom!

And some pamphlets found in a fun antiques/junk shop that I’ve already forgotten the name of:
-Revlon’s Fashions in Hands, a “hand stylist’s” delight from 1941
~Helps to Household Economy (1920s), compliments of “Putnam Fadeless Dyes” – this is cool, has instructions for “tied dyeing”
~Care of the Eyes (Met Life Insurance Company, n.d.)
~1003 Ways to Beat the High Cost of Living (1947)
~Highways of Happiness: A Cheeriodical (1933), published by the Jensen Bridge & Supply Co., Sandusky, Michigan. After reading the article titled “Through the Ages with Pipe,” I’m happier already!