How to Love and be Loved

More enthralling bibliography from one of my favourite websites, www.50watts.com, “a growing archive of weird and wonderful visual ephemera from around the world” and, in the words of David Pearson, “Quite possibly the richest source of book-related design and illustration in the universe. Will displays the fervour of the most dedicated historian whilst time and again proving he has an eye for exceptional images.”

How to Love and Be Loved (no publication data), anonymous, ca. 1900; contains advice to the lovelorn, and encouraging tips to all those bitten by the bug: How to Woo and How to Win; How to Begin a Courtship; Courting a Lively Girl; Courting a Domesticated Girl; Courting a Prudish Girl; Courting a Proud Girl; Courting a Shy Girl; Courting an Heiress; Courting a Blue Stocking; Courting an Old Maid; The Science of Kissing (“Don’t grab and yank the lady as if she were a restive colt; don’t muss her hair, scratch down her collar, bite her cheek, and leave her rumpled and mixed; Don’t flavor your kiss with onions, tobacco, gin, cocktails, lager beer, or any other odorous delicacy”); then there are sections on “Love as a Disease” and ” How to Kiss Sweetly”: “The gentleman should be taller than the lady he intends to kiss. Take her right hand in yours, and draw her gently to you; pass your left hand over her right shoulder, diagonally down across her back, under her left arm; press her to your bosom. At the same time she will throw her head back, and you have nothing to do but to lean a little forward and press your lips to hers, and then the thing is done. Don’t make a noise over it, as if you were shooting crackers, nor pounce down like a hungry hawk upon an innocent dove; but gently fold the damsel in your arms without smashing her standing collar, or spoiling her optics, and, by a sweet pressure upon the mouth, revel in the blissfulness of your situation, without smacking your lips, as you would after imbibing the Bacchanalian draught, but like sipping the honey from the lips of Aphrodite.”

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