"What Should Girls Read?"

From the opening of William Dean Howells‘s essay “What Should Girls Read?”, originally published in Harper’s Weekly, May 16, 1903:

Whether men like it or not, women begin by being their daughters and sisters, they go on to become their wives, and end as their mothers, though of course there are exceptions to the general rule. Women are here apparently to stay; their good and their evil are the good and the evil of men; there is not one law for women and another for men. They inherit their fathers as well as their mothers, whom sometimes they resemble solely in sex; they mirror their fathers’ minds in quite surprising measure, and they are often, fatally enough, of their fathers’ moral make.


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