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!

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Posts Tagged ‘sunburn’

The Summer Girl

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

she burns to a lobster redDon’t get me wrong. I love the beach. It’s just that as a fair-skinned gal I’m a bit more comfortable in sweaters and snow than in shorts and sand. I promise you, though, by no means do I consider myself a “belle of the Winter Salon” ~ I swear.

Where were we? Oh, yes. The following passage is from Ella Wheeler Wilcox’s Men, Women and Emotions. The rest of the chapter deals with how to actually be a wonderful Summer girl, but since my chances are slim I thought it appropriate to end right where I did.

1897: The Summer Girl

The Summer girl par excellence is, like the poet, born, not made.

The belles of the Winter salon, and the ball-room beauty, quite frequently prove ignominious failures as the Summer girl; while one less beautiful and with less style carries her world by storm.

Unless nature has bestowed certain peculiar qualities, the most charming and accomplished maiden will not succeed in the role of Summer girl. The matter of hair and complexion are vital points in her career.

The pink and white beauty who has attracted all eyes at theater and reception with her lovely tints, seldom succeeds as a Summer girl, because she burns to a lobster red each time she takes an outing.

The girl who tans a rich brown is well prepared for a Summer campaign. Tan, when evenly distributed, is not considered unbecoming by the majority of men, and even a few freckles scattered about the eyes and across the bridge of the nose are in the outing season thought piquant and pretty.

But the girl whose face become a turkey’s egg, with yellow back ground, and black polka-dots, and the girl whose nose burns and scales in the sun, may as well retire from the contest at once.

If she is a sturdy sailor and a skilled tennis-player, the men will consider her a jolly good comrade, but they will not make love to her.

And this is what the Summer girl desires, however much she may deny it.

Let her realize that her red nose stands between her and romance, and devote her Summer to the pursuit of good health, and put aside all thoughts of sentiment until the Winter time. Then, with her face bleached out into its natural pink and white tints, clothed in a pretty gown and posing on a divan before a glowing grate, her hour will come to conquer.

At ball and theater party, she can reign as queen of hearts, but the sceptre of the Summer girl is not for her.

Source: Wilcox, Ella Wheeler. Men, Women and Emotions. Chicago: W. B. Conkey Company, 1897.
~ pp. 134-35 ~