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Tag Archives: literature

Jane Austen’s Principles of Good Conversation

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Jane Austen as painted by her sister, Cassandra

Jane Austen as painted by her sister, Cassandra

In the novels of Jane Austen, being able to carry on a pleasant conversation is a mark of a virtuous character. (Although not a sufficient one—the villainous Misters Willoughby and Wickham are enchanting conversationalists.) But most of the best conversations in her novels—and in our own, twenty-first century lives—assume the same six principles, all of which stem from intelligence and thoughtfulness. By following these principles we not only make conversations more enjoyable, we can also become better, wiser people. Read the rest of this entry

Twelve Months to a Better Woman: A Month of Self-Giving

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givingI spent January thinking about taking care of myself and February rediscovering who I am. I’m ready to turn my attention away from myself and toward others.  It’s all part of my Twelve Months to a Better Woman project.

In my experience, generosity isn’t nearly so hard as knowing when, where, and what to give. I’m often willing to share my time, resources, or wisdom, but if others don’t need what I have to offer, I’m not really giving them a gift at all. So this month I’ll focus as much on on seeing others’ true needs as on meeting them with a positive attitude and open heart.

You can look forward to posts about giving yourself to your partner, different ways to make giving a habit, and people who have found their own unique ways to give to others. Read the rest of this entry

History’s 10 Greatest Love Letters from Wives to Their Husbands

The Letter by Alfred StevensMen and women have used writing to express their feelings to one another since the dawn of recorded time. Most of those heartfelt words are lost to the press of history. Even from what survive, there may be more beautiful and earnest love letters. But these 10 letters demonstrate the qualities that make a love letter a moving tribute to the beloved—and provide some guidance for writing beautiful love letters of our own.


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Winner of the Bringing Up Bébé Giveaway

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Last week, I wrote about Bringing Up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman, a heartfelt memoir about the experiences of an American parent raising her children in France. I was deeply touched by the story and I wanted to share that vision of parenting with others, too.

That’s why I’m happy to announce that Lady of Quality is the winner of our competition. Send me an e-mail to claim your copy.

Read more about Bringing Up Bébé…

Experimental Wifery’s Guide to Gifts for the Women on Your List

Buying something for everyone on your list is easy. But buying something truly thoughtful, something the women on your list will cherish and use?–that’s tricky. Experimental Wifery brings you a list of gift ideas for the women in your lives who are trying to be better women and wives. Read the rest of this entry

“To My Dear and Loving Husband”

Early pilgrim writer Anne Bradstreet was the first published female poet in the New World. She left her father’s aristocratic English home to follow her husband and their shared religious vision to Massachusetts in 1630.

During her husband’s frequent business trips, Anne deeply missed him. Her poems about him reflect a deep, spiritual connection and a romance most Puritan couples tried to spurn. Anne recognized her marriage as a central part of her vocation and loving her family as her way to love God.

At this time of year when we give thanks, it seems only fitting to share a poem about a woman who feels as thankful for her husband as I am for mine. Read the rest of this entry

10 Great Books for Girls Written During Their Lifetimes

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I’m too young to have adolescent or teenage girls, but I do teach them. And I know that, for some of them, a “classic” book is just too old to be appealing. Just because they won’t pick up Little Women or The Secret Garden doesn’t mean they have to miss out on beautiful, well-written, and affirmational books. These ten great novels written during the last ten years are timeless stories for you and your daughter to enjoy together. Read the rest of this entry