Rossdavidh's Reviews > The Little Female Orators

The Little Female Orators by Anonymous
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An odd little (in fact, tiny) book, printed originally in 1770; my copy obviously much more recently printed. The basic setting, somewhat reminiscent of Canterbury Tales, is a series of dinners at an all-girls' school. The Headmistress decides that each night, a different girl will tell a story for them all. Afterwards, the Headmistress (who appears to be fond of hearing her own opinions) pronounces judgement on the moral lessons (or lack of same) to be gained from that night's tale. I found myself immediately liking better any of the students whose tale was found lacking or objectionable in some way.

There are some interesting ones included. One of them involved a Native American princess who rescued a shipwrecked European sailor from her own people, and secretly married him, going with him to a Caribbean port where he rejoined colonial society. He promptly sold her into slavery, and when she revealed to him that she was bearing his child, he used the information to gain a higher price for her. The lesson of this tale, as best I can tell, is "men are scum who are not to be trusted", which I suppose is sometimes true enough, especially the ones who want to spirit you away from all of your family and friends.

You do have to get over annoyance at how the "s" letters look like a modern "f". They are very slightly different, but then some of the "s" characters look like a modern "s", but over time my brain got used to it and I stopped hearing the narration with a peculiar lifp to it. The illustrations, scanned from some old woodcut I suppose, are not terribly clear, but that in some ways just added to the charm.

All in all, a nice, quick, quirky and amusing look at what the 18th century apparently considered good lessons for girls to hear.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
Finished Reading
February 1, 2020 – Shelved
February 1, 2020 – Shelved as: green

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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message 1: by Morgan (new)

Morgan Blackledge Wow.

I’m hella curious.


Rossdavidh Morgan wrote: "Wow.

I’m hella curious."


I have no idea where to point you towards, to get a copy; I found mine at a used bookstore.


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