Thursday, June 11, 2009

Tribute to Helen

"Fascination" by Francesco Didioni (1859-1895)

Yesterday the world lost a crusader for the home as it has been known (man, woman, children) for hundreds of years. When militant feminism, a false doctrine with its roots in envy, promoted by false philosophies of this world, including Marxism, reared its ugly head in the 1960's, Helen rose to the challenge with her teachings on the home and family. Her books earned international attention, and she was seen on interviews all over this nation. She bravely endured the malicious verbal attacks and threats from those who did not agree with her. She kept a refined demeanor in the fury of those bent on discrediting her.

Helen warned that if women insisted on the "right" to work, they would change the economy so much that one day, even those who did not want outside employment, would be forced to work, and she was right. Many people learned about the harm in the false teachings of feminism, and the joy of the true female purpose, through her books. She wisely created interest in the cause of marriage through classes. She recruited teachers of all faiths to host classes in their meeting houses, in their church buildings, and in their homes. She provided teachers manuals and inspiring work books to make women's duties and responsibilities in marriage and the home, as glorious as they were meant to be. Thousands of women around the world benefited from these classes.

The first class I attended was as a teenager. Some older women in a little church of Christ in Edmonton, Alberta , bought me her book for single women and invited me to the class they taught. It was like sitting at the feet of the Biblical women like Sarah, Naomi, and Dorcas. Many teen girls that year were lifted up from the oppression of feminism, to the higher calling of wives, mothers and home guides.

The success of her teachings were based upon some little booklets that were published in the early part of the 20th century, called "The Secrets of Fascinating Women." Some of these booklets may have dated back to earlier publications of the 1800's, giving advice to women about their value in society through the guiding of the home and the raising up of good children. Quite a few of these old booklets can still be found in antique stores, or online bookstores. They were written by several different authors, on subjects that concerned women, telling them how to handle strife or problems that naturally occur in marriage relationships, without causing a "stir." Helen updated these booklets and revised them slightly, putting them into one large book.

They were teachings that were so needed at a time of political and social unrest in the world; teachings that would make marriages stable in an unstable world. This was not a set of rules of her own making, but of time-tested truths acknowledging the important differences between men and women throughout the ages. The classes gave the books much more meanings, as they taught women how to apply the lessons. Anyone that ever attended a class will remember what it was like to see the illustrations and the special preparations that made the sessions so important. They made you see your way to changing things for the better.

Because her books and classes were so popular, other authors parroted them with their own versions of the basic teachings, but Helen's books outlasted all the others. Lacking the carnal nature of a few of the imitators, her books contained a classical element and their value rose and withstood the test of time.

I had personal contact with Helen over the years, and when I began to home school my children, I wrote a letter to her to share my joy with her. I had been greatly influenced by the things she said in her book on child rearing, called "All About Raising Children," in which she showed how inadequate the public schools were in teaching children. Though she had not heard of homeschooling, she forwarded my letter on to all of her children. She wrote to me that, based on my letter, her children had decided to home school their children. She described what a wonderful change it had made in the lives of these families.

Although she had over 60 grandchildren and over 100 great-grandchildren, Helen took an interest in my own children. The last letter that she wrote to me, a few months ago, asked, "How is your daughter and her husband and family? I have a great interest in them." I spoke several times, over the years, to Helen, over the telephone, before the days of computers. Helen's voice sounded a lot like mine, I thought. We discussed the trend of women getting more base and crude in the way they spoke and dressed, and she said to me, "They are in the dark."

Helen was a candle in the dark, broken home lives created by the false teachings of feminism. The world has lost one more older woman that younger women could actually look up to.

It is grievous to see among the praise, the appalling, heartless and cruel words left on websites, written by young people who never knew her. You are welcome to post any story you have regarding this subject, here. Thank you, and God Bless you all for your kind words.

Ebay and Amazon may yield copies of her book, "Fascinating Womanhood," and it can be purchased new at the bookstore on the Fascinating Womanhood site. Pay no attention to the rude reviews of this book. Helen was always very gracious about overlooking faults in other people, and she viewed the angry antics of feminists with the attitude that they were just women "in the dark." Some of the hostile women who read her book, eventually came to think differently about the importance of having a lasting marriage. Her web page is As in all things, use your discernment and take what is useful to you, gleaning what you can. To read some of "The Secrets of Fasscinating Women" online, go here


C. C. said...


I have the big book you mentioned that she wrote. I really enjoy re-reading it now and then; it is full of such timeless wisdom that we all must be surrounded by to face the pressure the world puts on us. I thank God when people are true to what He has put in their hearts to encourages us all to try our best.

C. C.

Emmarinda said...

Are we talking about Helen Andelin? I am so sorry to hear that she has passed, but indeed she has fought the good fight, and I pray that many like her will continue to be raised up as lights in the darkness. As some one once said, "All the darkness in the world cannot put out the light of a single candle." So shine on, we must!

S. Belle said...

I was deeply saddened to hear of Mrs. Andelin's passing. Her book, Fascinating Womanhood, touched and inspired me in a profound way. I had recently graduated from college when I read the book, and it opened my eyes to what I already knew in my heart.

I had validation that it was truly ok to focus on being a wife and mother, and that it could bring a woman great fulfillment. I have read and reread her book so many times for inspiration whenever I needed it in my own marriage.

I think any woman would benefit greatly from reading the book and following it's precepts. It's definitely challenging, but it's so worth it to become the best woman that we can be, thereby making us the best wives and mothers that we can be.

I am thankful for her writing the book, and I pray that many more young ladies will read it with an open heart, and receive the great blessing of learning how to be a truly fascinating woman.

Stephanie said...

Dear Lydia,
I am so upset by the recent death of the lovely Helen Andelin. You can read about her death obituary in the following newspaper.
It truly was very, very difficult for me to read this article. I have studied "Fascinating Womanhood" since 1978. It has helped me IMMENSELY in my 30+ year marriage. I was a stay-at-home mother and now wife. However, something is making me absolutely SICK to my stomach. If you care to read the online obituary, you may read some of the online comments about her death. I am beyond appalled! These people do not even know her and have said things I would not say publicly about my worst enemy.
I have complained to the Salt Lake Newspaper about the derogatory remarks in the comment section and have made a comment in defense of this lovely lady under the name, "Feminine Lady." As we all know, Christ was crucified and was sinless, yet I still find it very hard to believe that people would find sport in maligning this dear lady in death. I am sure she would forgive those who have made rude remarks, as one of her best traits was to always try to see the best sides of people.
Whenever my husband and I have a disagreement, I get out one of my many copies of Fascinating Womanhood, one is from the 1970's, and research my problem, read Helen's answer, and immediately feel so much better. Praise God that we had this blessed woman during these difficult times!
Thank you for such a well-written tribute, Lady Lydia.

Lydia said...

Perhaps it would help if when reading the comments at that newspaper, people would click the "report abuse" button and ask that the cruel comments be removed. Also if you can see any of her children or grandchildren on there, ask them to tell the moderators that they are next of kin and would like the rude comments removed.If only a few people would do this, it would make a big difference.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely loved that book. I remember the year I first found it in a christian book store. After I read it I felt so under conviction for my awful attitudes toward men. Truthfully, I remember crying my eyes out when I realized that much of my unhappiness was due to my own spiteful attitude toward the men in my life; my father, my brother, and others. I was not married at the time. That book changed me in so many ways. I'm glad I found it before I got married.

I've been married 21 years now, and I have a absolutely wonderful marriage. We've had rough times but Mrs. Helen's advice never let me down. This is a true testimony. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

I am so sorry to hear that she has left us. However, she has left much good to all of us. She was a great lady. I'm so glad she shared her wisdom in that book.


Mrs. White said...

I have never read her books. I don't think I've heard of them, but hope to buy them soon. It sounds like she has had a wonderful life and has done a great job promoting the family and happy homes. I am sure she will be greatly missed.
Mrs. White

Mrs. White said...

Dear Lady Lydia,
You handle things so graciously. You are a blessing to so many. Thank you for all you do. You know, as I was reading some different posts about Helen, I came across something where her son said that she got up at 4 am each day and worked hard. It would be wonderful to hear about her daily schedule. Do you know if she has written about this somewhere?
Mrs. White

Anonymous said...

Oh, I didn't know she died. Actually one of our priests recommended her book. I have it on my shelf and have read and reread it. If only people would work on themselves instead of complaining of their spouse.

Mrs. White said...

Your comment, " If only people would work on themselves instead of complaining of their spouse."

Is excellent! Well said!
Mrs. White

Anonymous said...

Dearest Lydia,

Though I have never read her books (it'll be someone's labour of love to transcribe said into Braille (easiest for reference;) or into E-format), to hear you speak of the way she has influenced so many for good down through the decades, someone who possessed the wisdom and foresight to warn of what would happen, and stand up for what i will term here womanly truth as the whole thing fell apart (how it must have grieved her to see her warning come to pass). and yet, she has contributed so much to so many, is incredible and inspiring.

Who will stand up against the machine now? Who will fill her shoes? who shall grasp the baton and take this vision forward for another generation?

I pray for her family who have lost a wonderful mother, grandmother and great grandmother. I pray sincerely, also, that the flame of helen's work continues to burn brightly, truthfully, enduringly, because her message is needed in this latest generation of our youth, who, in the overwhelming majority of family, church and educational circles, simply do not know this way exists, let alone the fact it is best.

Lydia, keep the dream alive!

Australia. .

Tracy said...

I, too, am sorry to hear of her passing. Years ago I wrote to her about a problem I had and she graciously wrote back. What an honor that was!

I think it's time for a re-read of Fascinating Womanhood.

Glenda said...

Dear Lady Lydia,

Although I have never written you before, I visit your lovely blog at least 3 times a week. Unfortunately, I has never heard of Mrs. Andelin until I read your article. Do you perhaps know where I can purchase a copy of her book? I agree completely that feminism has compeltely undermined our culture and opened the door for even more insidious movements. Although I -by necessity and just as Mrs. Andelin's writing apparently foretold- work outside the home, I know that I would have been so much happier as a full time homemaker. I still do my best to make my home a place of comfort and peace and am often complimented be vistors on it's coziness, but it just isn't the same. God Bless you and please continue to write and be a voice for those of us who recognize the true nature of womenhood.

Lydia said...

Glenda, copies of this book are available in your used book stores and even in new bookstores. You can order one from your local bookstore,or order it online.

Helen's advice about how to read and understand this book was to glean from it the parts that applied to your own situation, and that every woman could benefit from it even if their marriage was not troubled. Not everyone will agree with everything in the book, but there is something for everyone. These days there are many books written with the religious slant of the author, but hers was written with the whole world in mind, and was popular in India, and Europe. Her husband wrote the male counterpart to it called "Man of Steel and Velvet." The latter is a very good book to teach boys in home school.

Anonymous said...

Would someone please post the FW website?

Anonymous said...

I am sorry to hear of the loss of your friend. Contrary to what some may say, she was a wise person and helped many.

Samirah said...

Dear Lady Lydia,
Thank you for the warm and loving tribute to Mrs. Andelin.
I am another who was influenced by her courage in a profound way! I heard about her book from a friend in 1978 and it made such a huge difference in my marriage! I finally knew how to be the real woman I had always wanted to be! Her book was a light in the darkness and oppression of the feminist ideology, giving clear, step by step instructions.
To make a long story short, I practiced and taught what she preached for the 34 years of my marriage. My, husband, who passed away a few years ago, always claimed I was the most wonderful, most beautiful wife in the world. I owe my success to God and Mrs. Andelin who had to withstand untold abuse for taking such a firm stand for the family in a much more antagonistic climate than we have today.
God bless her and heap abundant rewards on her in His kingdom.

PS Thankfully, I was able to write her a thank you note and let her know how much she helped me a few years ago.

Lydia said...

Samira, you have a lovely sounding name. Mrs. Andelin meekly endured the cruel reproaches levelled at her by indoctrinated feminists who thought they knew how this world should be run. I wonder how many of her detractors and hate-mongers went on to have lovely, 30 year marriages with cooperative, good, honoring children. The proof will always be shown in their lives.

I felt that the obituary in the paper was not the place for trolls and arguments. It is not the same as a news report, subject to opinion. An obituary is not an opinion, and the proper thing to do is send condolences.

Anonymous said...

"Good Housekeeping" magazine had an advetisement for "Fascinating Womanhood" back in 1974. I was 16 years old, going on 17 and sent in babysitting money, I think it was $3.95. I read it over and over. It described the life I wanted during the years that another Helen, Helen Reddy, was singing, I am Woman Let Me Roar." This and another favorite book (fiction) of mine, A Lantern in Her Hand" by Bess Streeter Aldrich and one T.V. show, The Walton's, were the sole lights I had to follow as a young woman. This was before I was saved and had the Bible, too. Helen Andelein was one lone voice crying in the wilderness of feminism and I am so thankful that she took the time out of her busy life to point the rest of us in the right direction. TMG

Anonymous said...

Loved her too. I found her book in college and have read it for 15 years. I ordered her book about children after I had mine. I am so thankful for her influence on your life too. I don't know what I would have done without her book and your blog. My husband is very thankful too.


Rita B. said...

I'm sorry about the loss of your friend.

Mary said...

I was sorry to hear of her passing, too. I had that book and it is a very good book. My husband liked it, too. I'll have to get another. Yes, we should work on ourselves instead of complaining about our husbands!

Cynthia Berenger said...

Thank you, Lady Lydia. I truly appreciated reading your thoughts and reflections on Mrs. Andelin's life. Your own book magnifies Mrs. Andelin's wonderful teachings. God bless.

Agape always,

Buffy said...

I am sorry to hear this news. I found her book truly fascinating and gracious.

Anonymous said...

I'm very sorry to learn of this woman's death. I had read her name here & there before, & did look for "Fascinating Womanhood" at our luck! I'll have to check out our used bookstore & see if I can find it.

I think it's wonderful that you gave such an honest appraisal of Mrs. Andelin's work; naturally, it makes me a bit sad to read that so many found it necessary to try & discredit her views through nasty comments & threats.

We have (on dvd) the pilot of the series "Columbo". There's a scene where he, Columbo, interviews the accomplice to the murder. He says, "It's true somebody tried to pull a few strings, but my superior gets to thinking. He says,'Lieutenant Columbo, you must be touching a sore spot, so you just keep right on trying'. He's very intelligent, my superior." I can't help thinking of this scene when I read your words about Helen Andelin, Mrs. Sherman. No doubt she, like the fictional Lt. Columbo, touched a sore spot in her work....& apparently she kept right on trying!


Lydia said...

After many years of fielding comments from feminists, I have a view of them as being rude, crude, envious, competitive, unfeminine, dyslogical argumentive, and rebellious. Helen's book teaches refinement, gentleness, love, and a higher code of living. Of course, she touched the sore spot in society and naturally raised objections. One should research a little further to see how feminism has broken down the home and put the state in control of the family instead of the fathers. It has contributed to economic failure, also. I wrote once before how shopping used to be done in the day time and the shops were closed in the evenings. Due to so many women working, the businesses are quieter and business slower in the day and crowded at night. Families used to be home in the evenings. Fathers used to earn the living and mothers spent the money. Envy was manufactured by the feminists, sending many women to work, thinking they should be getting money, too. Actually they were better off at home.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the tribute to Helen. I had no idea she was still living until now. Fascinating Womanhood is one of the first books I read years ago on my journey as a new wife. It was always an encouragement and inspiration. I ran across my copy a few weeks ago, and set it aside to re-read.
Thank you again.
Julie in WI

Hayaa said...

Dear Lady Lydia,
Thank you for a lovely tribute to a lovely woman. I am doubly blessed to have been raised in a Fascinating household and will celebrate my 15th year of marriage this month. FW has helped me through many rough patches.
I truly believe destruction of family is one of the worse things and I can't imagine how huge the positive impact of Mrs. Andelin's work has been. May she be blessed for her efforts.

Emmarinda said...

When shops would close in the evening, the business owners and their employees could also be home at night, which blessed their families.

Besides being closed at night, the stores were also closed on Sundays, and so most of the population had the day off. I believe this had a calming effect on our society, with people getting to recharge their psychological batteries, and collectively experience one day that was different from all the other days of the week.

I remember a conversation I had in the early 70's with an older lady who was a retail clerk; she predicted that in the future, retail would try to expand the times that stores stayed open, including Sundays and later at night. I'll never forget being incredulous when she stated that someday stores would be open 24 hours a day. How crazy is that, I thought. Welcome to Walmart.

Mrs. Anna T said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Mrs. Andelin's passing. I heard much good about her books, and hope to read them someday.

Kelli said...

I am sorry to hear that Mrs Andelin passed away. Her life was a blessing to so many people including myself. I discovered Fascinating Womanhood several years ago tucked away in a popular Australian bookstore. Her ideas were new to me. I hadn't heard such teachings before. I hadn't known an alternative to popular feminism. When I learned that being a dedicated wife and full-time homemaker was a valid and important occupation, for the first time I felt a real sense of purpose that felt so natural for me and personally affirming. I am thankful this brave woman stood against popular ideology and wrote her book(s). Her teachings may not suit everyone but are a blessing to those with a strong heart toward home. May she rest in peace.

Anonymous said...

I would not have known of Helen Andelin's passing had I not read your post. I was saddened to hear of it. She, and yourself, Lady Lydia, have given me the courage to live life serving my family, and God through my family, at home. Mrs Andelin was indeed gracious and such a wonderful example.

Kind regards,
Sonya, Australia

lydia said...

CC Celeste, I tried to find yoy blog and email so I could answer you personnally, but could not. My email linlk now works.


I meant Lady Celeste!

Anonymous said...

Dear Lady Lydia,

Mrs. Andelin was a true heroine, I found her book when in my early
20's, about 25 years ago, and it changed me from a women's libber.... I wrote her a letter and she published it in her book.
Her teachings are timeless, and really biblically based. Her book is one of the ones I read, and re read. I would not be without a copy, because the world is ALWAYS trying to steal our femininity. We need to be refreshed in our minds. Next to the bible her book is probably the one I would reccomend to live by. It is a wonderful thing to be a "Fascinating Woman" and it is a blessing. Sorry to see such a lady pass on, but she leaves behind a trememdous legacy, that we can all be thankful for and carry on... To live the principles and help other women to see the light.

Michele Scercy said...

As a former feminist I can attest to the fact that feminists are women who are "in the dark". I still struggle daily with thoughts that come to my mind that are less than godly and are based solely on the feminst brainwashing I underwent when I was in my late teens and early twenties. I am now 29 and look back at all I have missed out on in life because of feminism. I will definitely look for this book.

Lydia said...

Michelle, I can't think of any women that were not influenced in a small way or a big way by modern feminism. It is a false doctrine which promises many things and fulfills nothing. I see these girls on message boards writing terrible things about Helen's book, calling it manipulative and forcing women to be submissive and have lots of children, etc. Obviously they have not read the book entirely. They will often read the first few lessons about submission and then skip the chapter on character or homemaking. Is being nice to your husband and honoring him, unfair or subservient? Is being nice to anyone at all, somehow, too submissive ---does being thankful and complimentary make a person a doormat? Feminists seem willing to make themselves a "doormat" to any employer as long as they get a paycheck, but do not realize that being home means you own the place and control much, much more of your time and your money. This book does not mention the terrible results of feminism: stress related illness, broken marriages, troubled children, debt, job loss for men (as more women seek jobs), and unskilled homemakers who cannot cope at home or are bored at home. Once women entered the workforce, the entire art of the home was lost to a generation of young women . This book sought to put women back on the right path where they actually had more equality and power than in the workforce. It is at home that they develop their talents and creativity. You said in another post that you had not learned to be creative, but the secret is to find some little thing that you do not llike to do, at home, --maybe it is baking or cooking or cleaning some thing, and make it a hobby or career by over coming resistance to it. One girl I know was part of a family of girls,, and when it was her turn to clean the kitchen, a job she hated, she turned it into a beautiful work of art by going beyond what she was required to do. Helen Andelins book (which I mentioned was derived from a collection of little books written by different authors, both men and women) suggested that you go "the second mile, " and beyond the call of duty, in order to enjoy homemaking more. If it is just a job or just a chore, there is no creative instinct in it. If you go the second mile, beyond what is necessary, there is beauty in it.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't sleep tonight and found this post. I am sad. I went to a Fascinating Womanhood class (29 years ago) when I had been married 6 weeks and it changed my life and our marriage. I was a FW teacher and taught several series of classes. Wonderful book, wonderful lady. And now we must carry on her message.

Lynn M said...

A book to be read by all ladies who need inspiration and practical adivce and methods to enhance and make their marriages happy.

Lynn M. said...

Also, I was shocked and saddened to read here right now of Helen's passing...she wrote me great advice about 15 years ago which has carried me through...

SharonR said...

I know this is an old post, but I went to see what it was about and just had to comment. Thank you so much for this tribute. I remember reading "Fascinating Womanhood" when I was probably in the sixth grade. When I look back, I can't believe I was that young. I need to read it again - now about 45 years later. I do remember criticisms about it. But I loved it and secretly hoped to be like her book. I had no idea who the author was or anything about her. I'm enjoying learning more online about her.

Unknown said...

Hi everyone, my name is Jenny and we are very active over at and on Facebook and YouTube now. Helen’s eldest daughter Dixie has taken over and re-written fascinating womanhood for the 21st-century. We would love for you all to visit us and let me know if you have any questions we are happy to answer them

Missuz C said...

Muy mother read Fascinating Womanhood sometime in the 80's and it helped her cope with some of my father's bad behavior. I believe the chapter on accepting a man at face value was her favorite. They have both passed recently, I found FW as I was cleaning out their belongings. I must take,time to read it and, share with my daughter. I am grateful,for,the things I learned, and for this blog as they have reaffirmed my decision to stay home, and encouraged me in the process. I am so grateful,for,the time,with my child, and to be able to care for my parents to the end of their days. Thank you to all the women who have had the courage to stand up and inform the world that there are wonderful choices available to us beyond the bondage of feminism.

Missuz C said...

Ok, here is the correct website: