One of the most significant changes to American culture in the late nineteenth century was
the shift in women's roles. In addition to the anxiety experienced by most Americans as a result of
rapid industrialization, advice givers, like Catharine Beecher and Sara Hale, were concerned
that the home was no longer considered sacred and women were not being appreciated for their role maintaining "the light of home".
This resulted in a proliferation of advice in magazines and art. Over 50 advice magazines and books
were published per year in the last three decades of the nineteenth
century. Most of the images in this site are from the most influential advice magazine
of the nineteenth century, Godey's Lady's Book. The areas of advice that can be explored
through this website are
decorating and housekeeping,
and preserving culture.
While many women fulfilled their "responsibilities",
a large number of women responded to this attempt to define and limit their roles with their own literature and
work in the feminist movement.