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Mark Twain’s “Advice to Little Girls” as naughty as you’d expect


Just when you thought Mark Twain couldn’t get any cooler, Maria Popova of Brain Pickings digs up another gem that makes us fall in love with him all over again.

In the summer of 2011, I chanced upon a lovely Italian edition of a little-known, playful short story young Mark Twain had written in 1865 at age of 30, with Victorian-scrapbook-inspired artwork by celebrated Russian-born children’s book illustrator Vladimir Radunsky, mischievously encouraging girls to think independently rather than blindly obey rules and social mores. I was instantly in love.

She didn’t just fall in love, though; with the help of Claudia Zoe Bedrick of Brooklyn’s Enchanted Lion Books, this gem is now available in the States!

Here’s just a sampling of the mischief that awaits you:

– Good little girls ought not to make mouths at their teachers for every trifling offense. This retaliation should only be resorted to under peculiarly aggravated circumstances.

– If your mother tells you to do a thing, it is wrong to reply that you won’t. It is better and more becoming to intimate that you will do as she bids you, and then afterward act quietly in the matter according to the dictates of your best judgment.

Full story at Brain Pickings.

For the love of books.

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