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A 19th Century Newspaper Asked Women How "Husbands Are Managed" And The Answers Are Eye-Opening

Updated January 29, 2020 12.2k votes 2.0k voters 73.1k views11 items

List RulesVote up the entries you think should have won the contest.

If not for the work of Dr. Bob Nicholson, an 1892 newspaper contest would have been lost to history forever. The New York Evening Herald offered $20 to the married women who could best answer the question: how are husbands managed? The responses, while some are delightful and clever, are an eye-opening look at what a woman's role in marriage was really like in the 19th century. Like the period's death and mourning customs, the ideal marriage in the Victoria era is clearly a bit outdated.

The New York Evening Herald chose their winner, and now you can choose yours by voting below. The entries range from humorous and sarcastic to sobering reminders that we're lucky to be living in the 21st century. 

  • 1

    A Little Subtle Flatterty

    "Make a man feel that he manages. Let him have his way about little things and a woman is almost sure to have hers in big ones."

  • 2

    Told In Three Words

    "Feed the brute."

  • 3

    Companionship The Requisite

    "When disputes arise she should, if convinced of right, maintain her point, for when the argument has passed the husband will respect her all the more."

  • 4

    Treat Him Like An Omnivorous Animal

    "Only about 17 per cent of husbands are worth managing. Like other animals of the omnivorous species, you can best win their gratitude and affection through their stomachs."

  • 5

    It Worked With Numbers One, Two, And Three

    "Each of my husbands, while courting, pleaded, urged and begged me to marry him, and in each case I condescended to do so upon the condition that he should be my willing, faithful slave."

  • 6

    A Real Domestic Manager

    "Occasionally I gave him a half a dollar to spend, and I always bought him a pint of beer at night. I bought his clothes when I thought he ought to have them."

  • 7

    Be A Turtle Dove, Not A Snapping Turtle

    "A husband would rather domesticate with a turtle dove than a snapping turtle, therefore, if you can, avoid snapping."

  • 8

    Good Housekeeping Counts Most

    "Try to be as attractive in every way as you did before marriage. Entertain him at home or he will be entertained elsewhere."

  • 9

    Some Methods Are Shams

    "When she cannot do a thousand and one things that she would like to without being worn out – if she is cheerful and loving when he comes home he will excuse her."

  • 10

    Perfect Order And Comfort

    "When he reaches home at night after business a pleasant smile and a sweet kiss greet him. He was inclined to be boisterous at first, but [...] he soon recognized the fact that I was willing to endure almost anything for his sake."

  • 11

    Be A "Good Fellow"

    "Let him realize that he is your king of men, that the sum total of your existence is for his advancement and best interests."