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!



realizing the lovely bloomsPink geraniums, orange marigolds, sonata mix cosmos, sunscape daisy nasinga white, snow crystals alyssium, brachycomb, a tomato plant, and some herbs. They should be outside enjoying the spring, but tonight they sit in my living room waiting for the season’s last frost to pass us by. I’m certainly an amateur gardener, only filling a few boxes and pots on my brick patio out front, but still, it makes me happy, and that’s what it’s all about, right? I think that Adelaide Laura Van Duzer, one of the authors of home economics textbookEveryday Living for Girls would agree.

1936: Gardening

Pleasure in gardening is age-old and universal. Many find emotional satisfaction in the beauty of growing flowers. Persons who work at high tension find relaxation in digging in the soil, planting, caring for, and realizing the lovely blooms.

Gardening is such a natural, sane outlet for creative self-expression that it is often a means to mental health and contentment. Many a woman in ugly surroundings ~ on a grim, lonely farm or in a smoke-grimed cottage above a steel mill ~ has satisfied her beauty-hungry heart with the rich colors of flowers.

To the beholder, too, flower gardens are a delight. But the grower, the one who creates, gets the most joy from his own and from others’ gardens ~ an enjoyment analogous to that of the musician in his own or another artist’s playing.

Source: Van Duzer, Adelaide Laura, et. al. Everyday Living for Girls. Chicago: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1936.
~ p. 477 ~

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