Timothy Shay Arthur, probably best-known for his temperance tale Ten Nights in a Bar-Room, was one of the most prolific writers of the ante bellum period. For this advice book, he "assume[s] the character of an American woman" in order to counsel a kinder, gentler attitude toward domestic servants, "those who have been providentially placed below her." Some of the techniques he uses to nurture the lady's sympathy for these employees resemble Stowe's strategies for dramatizing the suffering of slaves. But his final peroration urges women not to "look away from her own family circle for the names of producing moral and social reforms," but rather, as "woman's mission," to "begin at home" by reforming herself and her household.
|The Lady at Home, or, Leaves from the
Every-Day Book of an American Woman. [excerpts]|
By T. S. Arthur.
(Philadelphia: W. A. Leary & Co., 1850).