Thoughts on the Education of Daughters
is British feminist Mary Wollstonecraft's
first published work. Published in 1787
by her friend Joseph Johnson
is a conduct book
that offers advice on female education to the emerging British middle class
. Although dominated by considerations of morality and etiquette, the text also contains basic child-rearing instructions, such as how to care for an infant. An early version of the modern self-help book
, the eighteenth-century
British conduct book drew on several literary traditions, such as advice manuals and religious narratives. There was an explosion in the number of conduct books published during the second half of the eighteenth century, and Wollstonecraft took advantage of this burgeoning market when she published Thoughts
. However, the book was only moderately successful: it was favourably reviewed, but only by one journal and it was reprinted only once. Although it was excerpted in popular magazines of the time, it was not republished until the rise of feminist literary criticism
in the 1970s. The book encourages mothers to teach their daughters analytical thinking, self-discipline, honesty, contentment in their social position, and marketable skills (in case they should ever need to support themselves).
The Kayan or Padaung are a group of the Karen people found in Myanmar and Thailand. They are known for a particular body modification, which consists of coiling lengths of brass around the neck of the women. The coils are first applied when the girls are about five years old, and the coil is replaced with longer coils as the weight of the brass pushes down the collar bone and compresses the rib cage, resulting in the appearance of a very long neck. The practice has seen a surge in recent years because the custom draws tourists who buy their handicrafts.