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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Female Oscar Wilde

I have just gotten some new books from a hundred years ago. They were written by an American writer named Helen Rowland, who appears to have been the female Oscar Wilde. She is quite as cynical, caustic, and quotable as he is and is very unjustly forgotten.
I got interested in her when I read this quote in a book of Quotes by Women:

"When you see what some girls marry, you realize how they must hate to work for a living."

It took me a while to remember who said that, but luckily the quote turned up in a cheap anthology and through the miracle of the Internet I was able to track down a great many of Ms. Rowland's books. I am sure she would delight to be called Ms. although it is apparent from her notes that she was married--and probably divorced--at least once in her life.

Here are some more gems:

"Once a fool, twice married."

"One advantage of a bull-dog over a baby is that you are not haunted by the fear that he will grow up to be just like his father."

"Choosing a husband is like picking out the combination on a lottery ticket; your first guess is apt to be as good as your last."

"Variety is the spice of love."

"Home is any four walls that enclose the right person."

"The saddest thing about married live is the opportunity it gives two otherwise agreeable people for telling one another the disagreeable truth."

These epigrams date from 1909.

Rowland died in 1950, but otherwise I have been unable to find out anything about her. She may have written for newspapers in New York but other references state the Middle West.
Ebay is auctioning a glass slide advertising her newspaper column and I hope that I win it. Then I might be able to trace something about this remarkable woman.

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