Pocket-sized format, facsimiles of the 1913 editionsWitty, incisive advice to dip intoIdeal gifts for other halves, or as a pair for married, engaged and newly-wed couplesA charming snapshot of married life in pre-WW1 BritainIdeal impulse purchases
'Words of wisdom for a happy marriage from nearly a century ago. The advice comes from a set of guidebooks on marriage written on the eve of the First World War which are predicted to shoot to the top of the bestseller list. The somewhat old-fashioned 'Don'ts for Husbands and Wives' penned by Blanche Ebbutt in 1913 were first published at a time when women stayed at home while their husbands went out to work. Times have changed since then, but the advice could be considered as relevant today as ever.' Daily Mail, May 28, 2007 'Tips for a happy marriage published nearly a century ago look set to be a hit this year. The guidebooks are seen now as amusing and wise - and relevant in 2007.' Daily Express, May 29, 2007 '[The author's] wit and wisdom are set to find a new audience [they] evoke a world where domestic servants were taken for granted and men viewed women as second-class citizens, to be patronised or set to work on domestic tasks. Wives receive sisterly instructions designed to make them the best possible partners for the flawed, often ridiculous men they have married.' The Times, May 28, 2007 'Today they are enough tomes about men being from Mars and weird rules of dating so it is expected that Blanche Ebbutt's oeuvre will provide more comedy value than useful advice. And yet there are eternal verities there There are plenty of gloriously retro bits about women censoring their men's socks and husbands learning to "lead" rather than "drive" their wives; but who could argue when Ebbutt says that there is an art in being married, and that you should not "exhaust your artistic power in getting married" but put some effort into staying that way What is required, Ebbutt hints from the grave, is simple niceness: be as considerate towards a life partner as towards a friend So, go on: clear up those pencil sharpenings, chaps. And women, tell Him Indoors that his hair looks nice. Can't hurt, can it?' Libby Purves, The Times, May 29, 2007 'Really charming but ultimately wise little books, great ad hoc wedding gifts and also very funny.' Matthew Perren, I-on (September 2007)
Blanche Ebbutt wrote the original editions of Don'ts for Husbands and Don'ts for Wives, published in 1913.