I found this little book in the charity shop the other day and bought it for £1 because I thought I could do something interesting with it. It's very tiny and measures about 4 and a half inches by two and a half.
It's called 'DON'TS For Husbands', as you can see, and was apparently written in 1913. I thought that I would read through it a bit before I started transforming it, and these are some of the things it contains:
Don't sit down to breakfast in your shirt-sleeves in hot weather on the ground that "only your wife" is present. She is a woman like any other woman. The courtesies you give to womankind are her due, and she will appreciate them.
Don't stoop, even if your work is desk-work. Your wife wants to see you straight and broad-chested.
Don't slouch. No-one who cares for a man likes to see him acquire a slouching habit.
Don't fidget. Some husbands are never still for a moment.
Don't be conceited about your good looks. It is more than probable that no one but yourself is aware of them; anyway, you are not responsible for them, and vanity in a man is ridiculous.
Don't think you can soothe wounded feelings by material gifts.
Okay. Let's stop right there. I appreciate what she's saying, but let's not take this too far. There are, of course, other ways of dealing with wounded feelings. But a small material gift is always welcome...
This book goes on in the same vein. And on, and on, and on. And on. And on. Goodness knows what sort of wife this woman was, or indeed whether any poor bloke had the misfortune to marry her at all.
I started off thinking that it might be a shame to cover up what was in this book, that it might be quaint or fascinating in some way. Instead I have decided that it needs burying as soon as possible, and perhaps I could somehow make it a celebration of the male sex. I wonder how the old bat felt if, a year after this was published, her husband had to go to war and maybe didn't come back.