The Evolution of Mankind...and his hangover

As we're in an official season of gluttony and excess (I know that personally I seem to be cornering the market on red wine and British chocolate products)...and I have a collection of vintage health and beauty books...I thought it might be interesting to see how the advice has changed over the years.

Published in 1931, The Week-End Book works under the assumption that every household has a virtual pharmacy in their medicine cabinet. This is the "kill or cure" method for hangovers because, if you get this one wrong, you could have some problems.


On the Morning After, comfort the cod and feeble brain by recalling the warning of Mayster Isaac Judaeus who saieth: "It is unpossyble for them that drinketh overmoche water in theyr youth to come to ye aege that God ordained them."

If it matters little to you whether the age that God ordained be reached or no, drink the following cordial:
Take a Sp. Ammon. Aromat. mx, Sodii Bic. gr.xv, Tr. Capsici miii, Tr. Card. Co. 3i, Tr. Zingib., Tr.Cinc.,, and Water of Orange Flowers up to 3i. Take also of Caffein Cit. gr.v, Acid Cit. gr.x, Tr. Aurant mv; and Water up to 3i. Add two tablespoonfuls of the first to two of the second drink and whilst the effervesence lasts.

The Harper's Bazaar Beauty Book, published in 1960, veers towards the bubbly perfectionism of a Stepford Wife.

Your Diet

The perfect day for beginning the winter diet is when the holidays have reduced you, but not your figure, to a state of groggy satiety. After the Christmas turkey stuffed with sausage, and the plump New Year's goose stuffed with sausage and chestnuts, and the assorted wines and liquors of the season's parties, you wake up feeling that you're ready either to hibernate like a big bear or do something self-improving.

Now is the perfect time to strike. Diet today, this New Year's Day of resolution. A thin little sliced chicken sandwich, a long stalk of celery, and a tall glass of orange juice will seem like the best meal you've had all year. And you can carry on from there with the good habits, either until you're back where you were, or better than ever."

Which brings us to the current day...and Barnes & Noble, when the cover of Glamour magazine caught by eye as it exhorted its readers to "Get to your happy weight!".

The disturbing thing is that while our concerns appear to have stayed the same over the years the method of delivery is disturbingly dumbed-down. It makes you wonder whatever happened to feeding your inner man?


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