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eBooks available: Dr. Courtney’s Guide to Happy Marriage / Book of Parlor Tricks

June continues to be an extremely productive month for the Distributed Proofreaders project, which has just released two new Project Gutenberg eBooks based on images from our Digital Library. Both are entries from the Multum in Parvo Library of miniature books.

The first title, Dr. Courtney’s Guide to Happy Marriage, an advice book for couples which contains a blend of practical advice and nineteenth-century sexism. The second title, Book of Parlor Tricks, contains instructions for tricks to amuse friends at parties, though some tricks require the reader to send money for further details, and others haven’t aged well — for example, now that the health risks of mercury are known, it is probably not a good idea to paint it onto your feet just to impress your friends with a fire-walking trick.

Both titles can be read in full (or downloaded in common eBook formats) by following the links above. While neither serves its original intended purpose very well, each is a bite-sized time capsule that sheds a little light on past attitudes and commercial practices.


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Last Modified: June 25, 2022