Date of this Version
Documentary Editing, Volume 24, Number 4, December 2002.
ISSN 2476-1796 (electronic); ISSN 2167-1451 (print)
When sisters Catharine E. Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe published The American Woman's Home, or, Principles of Domestic Science; Being a Guide to the Formation and Maintenance of Economical, Healthful, Beautiful and Christian Homes in 1869 as both a textbook for girls' schools and a home reference work, the new book quickly became the standard in its field. It replaced, and drew heavily from, Catharine's earlier Treatise on Domestic Economy (1841). In addition, the sisters used material from columns written by Harriet, and in some instances copiously quoted male authorities on certain subjects. The result was not a book to be read straight through but a sort of encyclopedia to be consulted for advice in specific situations.