Who is Miss Abigail?

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

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About

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!

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Archive for February, 2011

Permit of Freedom

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Permit of Freedom

My dear sweet husband made oatmeal chocolate chip cookies today, and it’s the anniversary of the week of our first date (I know, sappy!), so I hereby dedicate this special Lover’s Fun Card to him.

Retaining the Sweetness of Love (1923)

Saturday, February 26th, 2011

Here wraps up the tale of Richard and Sallie (featured recently in how to win a woman, from Elinor Glyn’s The Philosophy of Love. Glyn summarizes how this couple should work to keep their love going:

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To keep love it requires the united effort of Richard and Sallie! It cannot be a one-sided affair!

To put the matter concisely:

(1) Love is caused by some attracting vibrations emanating from the two participants which draw each to each.

(2) Thus love depends, not upon the will of the individual, but upon what attracting power is in the other person.

(3) Thus obviously it lies with each to cultivate and continue to project the emanation if either desire to retain the love emotion of the other.

(4) When these points are clearly understood, intelligence can suggest the most suitable methods to use to accomplish the desired end, namely, the retaining of the power to draw love mutually.

So, as in everything we do in life, is it not well to use some intelligence and though over the great matters of Love?

For cynics may say what they please ~ Love is the supreme and only perfect happiness on earth. Everything else is second best ~ often a very good second, but nowhere near the real thing.

So why, when love is bound to come to us all sooner or later, not try to retain its sweetness?

~~

How to Win a Woman, part II (1923)

Monday, February 21st, 2011

Recently, I featured some advice from the lovely and talented Elinor Glyn on how to win a woman. Excerpted from her 1923 book The Philosophy of Love, Glyn tells the story of Richard, who is trying to woo his love, Sallie. We left off wondering if any of Glyn’s tips might have paid off for our dear sweet Richard. Let’s read on and see…

~~

He has met Sallie several times, but seems not to have been able to make much advance. He has been just ordinary and has talked of the everlasting old things that he has talked to every girl about since he first went to school. Now the next time they meet he must turn the conversation on to personal things and get her to tell him her likes and her tastes; he must make her talk about herself (not a very difficult matter with most women!), and he must plainly show his interest. He must let her feel her maneuvering to be alone with her and desires her company. And the more he lets her see that his character is strong, the more he will attract her.

It is not of the slightest consequence how masterful a man shows himself to be, if at the same time he is a passionate lover ~ the woman in the case will always adore him. It is coldness and casualness which disillusionise, and, as I said in another chapter, above all, mulish wordlessness!

~~

Glyn goes on to give some examples of ways to show that a man loves a woman, depending on the type of girl she is and what she might respond to. It’s quite long so I will cut to the chase and get back to how Richard and Sallie are doing, in particular:

~~

When he is quite sure that she loves him, and when the psychological moment has arrived that he asks her to marry him, he must see that his caresses are tender as well as passionate, for exquisite caresses are the strongest of love awakeners. The touch of a hand in passing is enough to make a delicious thrill! It starts the working of the magnet, and that is why continuous flirtations are so stupid.

Lovers always like to be close together. And if touching grows to mean nothing to them, then they may know very well that the intoxication is over, and at best a friendship is between them. Love always manifest itself in the desire to touch the Beloved One.

When Richard marries Sallie he can almost certainly keep her in love with him if he desires to do so. He has only to remain a masterful and fond lover to accomplish this miracle, and not subside into the usual stodgy, complacent husband, absorbed in business and too tired when he comes home to be agreeable!

~~

In my next post, I’ll share some parting thoughts from Glyn on how Richard and Sallie (and all of you out there) might keep that love going.

“P P” Card

Friday, February 18th, 2011

P P Card

Time for another Fun Card! Here’s one that might come in handy if you’re going on a long road trip this three-day February weekend. Instead of whining, “but dad! I gotta gooooooo!!!!!” just follow the instructions here to alert your driver of the urgency of the matter.

Invitation Card

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Now here’s a fun card. Perhaps it counts as a new spin on the classic “why don’t you come up and see my etchings?”  Wikipedia tells me that familiar phrase has been around since 1891.

Acquaintance Card

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

Acquaintance Card

This Lover’s Fun Card reminds me of Eric Weber’s How to Pick Up Girls, for some reason. What a line!

How to Win a Woman, part 1 (1923)

Saturday, February 12th, 2011

This weekend prior to Valentine’s day, I return to Elinor Glyn’s The Philosophy of Love, which is a wonderful little book from 1923. In this excerpt, from a chapter titled “The Man’s Side,” the author provides advice to the fictional Richard, about the object of his love, Sallie:

~~

A young man should be very sure that it is the special woman who is drawing him strongly, and that he is not just imagining that she is his heart’s desire because he himself is experiencing the desire to love. Do make your own examination of your emotions, Richard, when you first fall in love with some girl ~ that is, first experience that drawing sensation which makes you desire to be near her, and causes your heart to beat, and gives you a sense of exaltation. Do ask yourself if she is appealing to your mind or your soul ~ whether you feel degraded or uplifted in spirit after you have spent some time with her. Because if it is only the physical she is appealing to, you have not much chance of future happiness with her ~ and you had better crush the feeling before it has gone too far and landed you in a morass….

Men are absolutely idiotic about women once they fall in love. They cannot see their faults; they appear to have no intuition which warns them they are being deceived; they are bamboozled and led by affectations which would not for an instant impose upon women! But because men’s senses are delighted, their reason sleeps, and they court their own unhappiness.

So do try to remain awake, Richard, and strip off the glamour from your emotion for Sallie, and see if there is “anything to it.” We will suppose you do this, and find she is quite a nice girl really, regardless of her attractions; then go ahead!

Show her that you like her, and think of little things to please her ~ she will be greatly touched if you do. Make her feel that you respect as well as love her, but that you do not intend to stand any nonsense, and the first time that she is capricious and unreasonable let her see that you resent it and will not be made a fool of.

If she is fond of you she will not want to lose you, and if she is not, you had better retire in any case ~ the abject lover is such a pitiful creature! But to make her love you in the beginning, when she seems to be indifferent, you must use intelligence.

Nothing pleases a woman so much as a quiet self-confidence in a man and his showing that he is taking trouble about her. If he asks her out to dinner, that he has arranged everything for her comfort; if he is to meet her anywhere, that he is not casual about it.

Any action which suggests to the woman that the man has used thought about her is delightful to her self-love.

Audacity, when it does not develop into impertinence, is also a great charm!

~~

Curious to see how things turn out for Richard and Sallie? Tune in to my next installment

Professor Huggum

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Professor Huggum

Yet another card in this month’s Fun Card series: “Wholesale dealer in Love, Hugs, Squeezes and Kisses… samples free on request!” Hee! This one speaks for itself.

Special Driver’s Permit

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

Special Driver's PermitDid you score a group date with some friends this weekend? Today’s installment of the Lover’s Fun Card Set is one that could come in handy, particularly if you plan on cruising around with a carload of friends who are more into whooping it up, and less into safe driving. No worries about being considered a dullard – just fill in your name and present this to the driver. I’m sure he or she will respect your driving opinions. While we’re at it, here’s a some advice from the site on the topic of automobiles.

This one about “joy-riding to the roadhouse“, from Elinor Glyn, is a favorite of mine.

I’d Like to Make a Date With You

Saturday, February 5th, 2011

I'd Like to Make a Date with You

The first card in our Lover’s Fun Card Set suggests an easy way to express interest in a girl or guy that you’ve got your eye on. Why not print up a stack of these and carry them with you? Of course if you strike out and he/she hands the card back to you, you might not need a whole lot of them.

If the card doesn’t work, I’ve got a number of tips for asking someone out on this site. Girls who are afraid to make the first move might be inspired by Ellen Peck’s advice. A Miss Abigail classic is this one, which instructs you on how to ask someone out by telephone. And boys, here are some more tips for you to help you get up the nerve to ask a cute girl out.

Good luck!