The 1920s-Era Wisdom of Princess Mysteria 

Tuesday, May 18th, 2021

A century back, “Princess Mysteria” wrote as an unusually modern kind of advice columnist. Recently, Slate took a look at some of her old letters and responses, such as this answer to a woman who had lost her legs in an accident and was now dealing with a drunken fiancé:

Yours is a pathetic situation, and all of my sympathy is with you. Your intended husband is wrong to show a weakness for alcohol in order to display his sorrow for your loss. A drunkard will not make a husband for any woman and for you to go on with your sweetheart unless he decides between you and alcohol would be worse than death. “When wine is in wit is out,” and he will be changed by habitual drinking if he is not now. You have lost enough. Don’t lose all.

The meaning of the word “pathetic” has shifted some, but the general thrust of this advice is quite progressive.


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