Letters on the Improvement of the Mind: Addressed to a Young Lady

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Originally published in 1773 in two volumes, and now reissued here together in one, this work by the writer Hester Chapone (1727-1801), a renowned proponent of female education, contains advice delivered in the form of letters to her niece. The first volume deals primarily with matters of religion and morality, while the second volume addresses questions of behaviour and schooling. Unusually for self-improvement books of this era, Chapone recommends that a young woman should have a rigorous education in a wide variety of subjects, including ancient history and geography, as well as instruction in ladylike deportment and mastery of household matters. She exhorts young ladies to avoid vanity and other vices through devoted study of scripture, and writes of the importance of choosing worthy and sensible friends who can be trusted to offer good advice. Chapone's posthumously published works, in two volumes, are also reissued in this series.