The Art of Book Design: Goody Two-Shoes

Goody Two Shoes. New-York, McLoughlin Bro’s, 1888.

I’ve always wondered about the origin of the expression “Goody Two-shoes,” and I finally found the answer in a Victorian Era’s Children’s book. This is not the original version, which I have been unable to locate, but the story is the same. It was initially published in 1768 by John Newbury Co. In London and tells the story of an orphaned girl who does well in life despite her impoverished beginnings. As with most stories of the time, the girl succeeds by being unfailingly kind and sweet, and she is rewarded with a happy marriage to a wealthy man. Uggh! So it’s basically Cinderella without the cinders and marriage is the ultimate success for a girl. Goody’s brother also does well, by going to sea and having lots of adventures while amassing a fortune. Why do the boys always get to have adventures, but the girls must become capable and good wives?

It’s a short book, so I’ve attached all the illustrations below the fold if you’re interested.

It isn’t certain who wrote the story. In those days, publishing houses paid writers for anonymous work. Some people argue that Irish writer Oliver Goldsmith may have penned the story. Others suggest that John Newbery himself wrote the story, or possibly Giles Jones, a friend of Newbery’s. There is little evidence for any of these claims.

The 1768 book isn’t the origin of the phrase, however, which is first seen in literature in 1670 in the book Voyage to Ireland in Burlesque by Charles Cotton.

Mistress mayoress complained that the pottage was cold;
‘And all long of your fiddle-faddle,’ quoth she.
‘Why, then, Goody Two-shoes, what if it be?
Hold you, if you can, your tittle-tattle,’ quoth he. 

                            – Voyage to Ireland in Burlesque, 1670, by Charles Cotton

The phrase being used in this instance to point out the Goodwife’s (Goody) privilege (having 2 shoes as opposed to others who have none.) The 1768 book did, however, make being a Goody Two-Shoes into a desirable trait for a girl.

Next week we’ll look at a different sort of book for girls.



Source for book and illustrations: The Internet Archive

Source for information on Goody Two-Shoes:  Wikipedia

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In Need of Cute

©Giliell, all rights reserved

The bunnies, back in late summer. I think we can all do with some cute. You know your blogging team is all struggling with personal and health shit, so, sorry for neglecting you a tad. I had a busy week, because the world is a shitty place for kids and sometimes you can help, at other times you can’t and that’s the hardest part because all you can do then is keep your files up to date to prove you did everything you could. I’m taking that kind of shit hard. And because my mind is constantly working on 10 things at the same time while also forgetting some rather simple things I managed to damage both my front and my back bumper in two different but equally stupid events the same day after 20 years of driving without any accidents. Duh.

Jack’s Walk

I think tree roots look like dinosaur toes. ©voyager, all rights reserved

Boy, am I ever glad to see the end of this week. It’s been a week full of frustration and a bit of embarrassment. I’ve been tackling the list of things that need to be done when a parent or any other person dies, only it hasn’t been going as well as I’d hope. To begin with, I completely forgot about an appointment at the bank on Monday. Then, the very next day, I managed to completely forget about an appointment with my dentist. I called both places as soon as I remembered, and they were gracious about rescheduling, but I hate to inconvenience other people. It makes me feel stupid and appear scatterbrained, neither of which is generally true.

It’s because I’ve not really recovered from caring for mom before she died, and my fibromyalgia has been acting up. In the days before mom died, I knew I was burning out. I’d had 2 months worth of 8 – 10 hour days trying to keep mom calm and quiet, which didn’t really happen until the last few days of her life, so it felt a lot like bailing out a sinking boat in the middle of the ocean. The need was constant and you couldn’t relax. Even when I came home, I could still hear her calling for help. It disturbed my sleep at night. I lost my appetite and it’s only thanks to regular meals provided by friends that I didn’t completely stop eating. I put so many of my own things off until later, that when mom did finally die I had a long list of to-do’s that suddenly needed to be done plus a list of extra things to do for the estate. I’m generally pretty chill, but I’ve been feeling rattled, and I’ve been having more pain. Then there’s the brain thing, that I struggle to describe. When I was Case Managing, I carried a large and complex caseload in a sizeable territory, and every day was full of multi-tasking and constant reprioritization, so I know that my brain used to be capable of these things. I used to read 2 – 4 books a week when I was working and a book a day when on vacation. I always found learning new things easy. Now, I struggle to read. I don’t remember characters, and I lose pieces of the plot. I’m lucky to read one book a week and it feels like work. Learning new things has become time-consuming, difficult and taxing for all the same reasons. My brain is a sieve and things just fall through. I don’t know how to describe this to people except to say that I have a terrible memory or that my brain feels sluggish – neither of which is exactly right. I feel like Algernon near the end of the book Flowers for Algernon, as things are being lost. It’s all very frustrating and when I’m tired or stressed it’s at its worst. That’s the sort of week I’ve had. Next week, I have new appointments with the estate manager at the bank and with the dentist. I hope to redeem myself and apologize to both, on time and in person. I also have a shiny, new to-do list, and I think it’s well organized to start. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. My mom left me executor of her will, and I will find the way – just maybe not the express route.

The Art of Book Design: The Black Dog

A.G. Plympton. The Black Dog and other stories. Illustrated by the author. Boston, Roberts Brothers, 1896.

I promised Jack that I would read him this story on the weekend. His best friend is a black dog named Leo, and Jack is convinced that black dogs are the most fun. I hope the story is full of adventure with a happy ending. Those are the sort of stories that Jack likes best. Me, I enjoy reading stories out loud that are full of interesting characters so I can make up voices and play-act a bit. Jack usually pretends that he doesn’t care about that, but I know he loves it, too.

Jack’s Walk

Late afternoon at the river ©voyager, all rights reserved

The Landscape looks mostly brown and grey, but there are bits of colour here and there. The dogwood is bright red and there’s a bit of blue in the sky that’s reflected in the water and some of the grass is still green, but overall the landscape is hibernating and gone fallow. This is the dread time of year for me. There’s so little light and the days end so quickly. This photo was taken around 3:30 in the afternoon and by 4:30 it had gone full dark.

Jack’s after supper walk is now always in the dark and I have to push myself to get out. I don’t mind the cold. I can dress for that, but I do mind the dark. Generally, I feel safe walking with Jack. From a distance, he can look intimidating and he’ll bark his big boy bark if he’s feeling nervous or uncertain. He’s also very protective of me. Overall I feel fairly safe in my neighbourhood, but things have happened here just like they happen everywhere. In 2009 an 8-year-old girl was abducted while walking home from school. Her name was Tori Stafford and her home was just a few houses down my street. She was raped, tortured and murdered. I try not to think about that sort of thing when I walk, but I go past that house nearly every day and it’s hard to forget. I know I’m not a kid, but I’m small, and I couldn’t protect myself well and sometimes I get nervous. Jack picks up on that and it makes him nervous for no reason so I work to stay calm and to keep my leash skills confident. I feel it most often when a young man is approaching me on the sidewalk. Often, I’ll simply cross the street, but there are places where I don’t like to do that because of other dogs. Once, I was walking Jack at night and a car stopped beside us. I watched a young man in the back seat kick the female driver in the head and then he exited the car, hurling expletives and he then approached Jack and me, muttering about the “bitch” that was driving. I couldn’t walk past him and I didn’t want to turn my back on him, but then another fellow got out of the car and apologized to me and led the angry man away. He obviously saw I was frightened and came to help. Jack didn’t do anything except wag his tail at the angry man – maybe he was trying to defuse the situation, but I was really scared that night. It’s another month before the shortest day of the year arrives and then I can slowly see the days get longer. Until then, Jack and I will carry on bravely through the night.

Jack’s Walk

Tired pup ©voyager, all rights reserved

Rather than show you another photo of Jack swimming in the river, I thought I’d share Jack’s sleepy, after swimming face. I’m a bit excited about this picture because I can see that Bubbs is beginning to grow some hair. There, under his chin, you can see his neck ruff starting to fill in and also across his back just past his collar I can see it starting to get thicker. Don’t let that bare spot by his name tag fool you. That’s only from the clumping of being wet. It isn’t much extra hair yet because his collar still fits. Once it gets growing well, his collar will need to be loosened once or twice. There’s an inch or two’s difference between his summer fit and winter fit. Colder weather will be arriving tonight and I’m hopeful that a few weeks of chill will turn my boy into a hairy beast again. One thing I don’t like when Jack is in full fur is that he looks older. Without his thick ruff, he seems more puppy-like, even with the grey hair.

Poor Bubbs, he seems so serious when he’s tired.  Actually, he looks a bit fretful in almost every photo taken of him, which is odd because Jack isn’t a worrier. He very much lives in the moment with a calm personality and his no-fuss attitude is actually quite good at helping me find a calm, zen mind. Maybe he just doesn’t like to have his picture taken.

A Fire Maple for Caine

Caine’s birthday was a week ago today and this just arrived in my inbox. It’s from Raucous Indignation and I think it’s special – So special, in fact, that I decided not to hold it back until Tree Tuesday next week.

I have had a lengthy absence from the blog, but the tree was planted this Spring. It is a fire maple/silver maple hybrid. Very hardy with dramatic colors. The tree is doing well and dropped it leaves a few weeks ago. It’s at the end of the line of cherry, maple and oaks bordering the driveway. It’s to my left every night I come home.

Next, the puppy!

Fire Maple for Caine ©Raucous Indignation, all rights reserved

Fire Maple for Caine ©Raucous Indignation, all rights reserved

Jack’s Walk

Making mud, ©voyager, all rights reserved

It’s been a pleasant late fall day here, full of sunshine and about 12°c, which feels quite warm to me at this time of year. It was so lovely that I took Jack to the river again for another swim. He knew exactly what was up as soon as I took the dog towels out of the cupboard, and he started doing the watusi wiggle before I even opened the front door. By the time we arrived at the park, Jack was filled with excitement, and he began to make small woofing noises begging me to open the door for him to leap out. Because I’m a terrible mother, I made him wait a few extra moments while I checked my camera and made sure I had bags and cookies in my pocket, so that when I finally exited my seat, Jack was almost pushing me out of the car with his nose. Before I could get the words Sheesh, Bubba!, out of my mouth, Jack was at the water’s edge and already sliding in. He splashed around for a few minutes and then crept out of the water to follow me down the trail. We only did the short route today because Jack was getting tired, but he slipped into the water one more time before we got back to the car.

He made a bit of mud getting out, but he looked so damned happy that I couldn’t get upset with him. We just used a few more towels before Jack was deemed clean enough to get in the car. Tomorrow is supposed to be another beautiful day, and then it’s due to get cold again, so Jack will likely get one more swim in before it turns icy. I hope he can handle that much fun 2 days in a row.

Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

That fellow up there with Jack is his daddy, Mr. Voyager. Jack was positively thrilled to have daddy along today- he loves doing things as a family and is happiest when we’re all together. If either the Mr. or I go out, Jack will fret a bit until we get back home. That’s why we take him with us just about everywhere (if it’s not too hot.)  Jack loves to go for car rides, especially if we go to a drive-through where food is involved. His favourite drive-through, though,  is the one at the Beer Store. The staff there always make a fuss over him when they put the beer in the car, and Jack usually steals a kiss and often gets a cookie. If we stop to shop, we leave Jack in the locked car with the windows slightly open for ventilation. He likes to people watch and is usually sitting in the driver’s seat when we get back. I always tell him he isn’t old enough to drive, but Jack doesn’t think that’s funny, and he usually tells me I need to get new material. He’s probably right, but there’s also an argument to be made for the sake of continuity of custom and ritual.

Today we just went to the woods and back with no stops in between and Jack had no complaints. Daddy went for a walk with him in the forest, so today everything is right with the world. I feel the same way, Bubba.  I’m also happiest when we’re all together doing things as a family.