New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1894. first edition. Two volumes, large octavo, (25cm x 17cm), xii, (4), 400; xii, 397 pages. This detailed pair of volumes called on experts in many fields to include 18 chapters, which include William Stoddard on Women in Their Business Affairs, Lillian Betts on the Principles of Housekeeping, Constance Cary Harrison on Society and Social Usages, P.G. Hubert on Occupations for Women, Kate Douglas Wiggin on the Training of children, Elizabeth Bisland, who raced Nellie Bly around the world for their publications post-Jules Verne, Thomas Wentworth Higginson on Books and reading, Samuel Parsons Jr. on the Home Grounds, and Helen Churchill Candee on House Building. There are 400 illustrations, including a dozen color chromolithographs, plus myriad drawings and photographs in black and white. The books are in extremely good condition. Most of the color plates retain their laid-in tissue guards, which have left left acidic stains on facing pages, and there are a few sprinkles of foxing on the endpapers, and a narrow paper split at the gutter margin threads on page 161. Otherwise,there is not a mark or dog-ear or stain in the pair of books, which is one of the most interesting Victorian compendiums ever produced. A fine set, bound in deep blue-green cloth stamped silver. Item #7080
The running text that composes part of the border on the front cover reads: "The Home / Social Life/ The Garden / Dress / Education / Books and Reading / House Building / Furnishing / Rugs / Hygiene / Housekeeping / Children / China / Occupations / Outside Opportunities / Business Affairs." In a brief note, the publisher comments: "The title of this work accurately describes its purpose. The Plan has included the treatment of all the larger subjects which to-day interest and concern women (though many of the topics treated are of equal interest to all readers); and it is hoped that the work will become a thoroughly home book, to be read, consulted, and relied upon in thousands of households." Less that a dozen American libraries own actual printed copies -- most of the library holdings are electronic.