Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Reading Novels Will Give You . . . Uterine Disease?

Sooooo, I was reading my Sociology text book yesterday and the author was waxing eloquent about the joys of release and Carnivalesque Pleasure and then bemoaning the horrible restrictions imposed on the rest of us by the middle class . . .

                            . . . When I came across this passage from the Ladies Guide, published in 1882:
"We wish to put ourselves upon record as believing firmly that the practice of novel reading is one of the greatest causes of uterine disease in young women. There is no doubt that the influence of the mind upon the sexual organs and functions is such that disease may be produced in this way, . . . Reading of a character to stimulate the emotions and rouse the passions may produce or increase a tendency to uterine congestion, which may in turn give rise to a great variety of maladies, including all forms of displacement, the presence of which is indicated by weak backs, painful menstruation, leucorrhea, etc.  . . . Thousands of women whose natural love for purity leads them to shun and abhor everything of an immoral tendency, yet find themselves obliged to wage a painful warfare for years to banish from their minds the impure imagery generated by the perusal of books of this character. We have met cases of disease in which painful maladies could be traced directly to this source."
                                              Ladies Guide, Kellog, J.H., W. D. Conduit Co., Des Moines, USA, 1882
Next time your back feels a little weak or you have a cramp, you should probably see a doctor because you might have uterine disease caused by reading novels.
And if reading novels can give you uterine disease, imagine what writing them could do to you.
It's a miracle Susan and I are still alive.


  1. Looks like my natural love of purity means I can no longer read books. Goodbye, Casual Vacancy!

  2. Lol! And I thought my mother-in-law was silly with her 'drafts cause kidney diseases'. Or does it? ;)

    1. Haha! I think drafts do cause SOMETHING unpleasant.

    2. I think she might have meant drafts, as in cold wind. The kind you're talking about cause insomnia and ulcers, not kidney diseases.

  3. Oh my gosh, this is both hilarious and ridiculous!

    Thanks for sharing!

  4. Oh, my. I knew death was near. LOL