The Thing About Clarissa Author:Roberta St. Clair Cook This gay and light novel is to be read just for the fun of it. Its heroine, Clarissa Cameron, is the essence of all the charm and disarming femininity of a girl of eighteen. The time is 1837 when young ladies were tirelessly drilled in all sorts of high-minded and strict rules of behavior, were taught to glide and curl their wrists-in spite of w... more »hich they remained more eighteen than anything else, which means their heads were full of thoughts of beaux and clothes and parties.
When the story opens, Clarissa is returning home with every ringlet in place to Willow Bend, Ohio, after finishing two years at a fashionable school in Philadelphia at Madame Gaillard's Female Academy. There she has learned to paint on velvet and play the pianoforte and has picked up a smattering of French and all but memorized the contents of a ponderous book (which the young ladies privately call Madame Gaillard's Bible), entitled Points on Proper Conduct for Genteel Young Females Also Correct Repartee Suitable for Any Occasion, of The True Woman. Clarissa is determined that, come what may, she will behave as a True Woman and apply Madame Gaillard's prim rules of conduct and examples of bright repartee to every circumstance. She applies them, however, to all sorts of utterly inappropriate situations -- with ridiculous results.« less