Mrs Goddard’s school was in high repute — and very deservedly; for Highbury was reckoned a particularly healthy spot: she had an ample house and garden, gave the children plenty of wholesome food, let them run about a great deal in the summer, and in winter dressed their chilblains with her own hands.
Chilblains are often mentioned in connection with poorly heated spaces– one readily thinks of poor Bob Cratchit and his meagre fire, desperately trying to warm himself…and thaw his ink. They were a reality for all the draughty manor houses and boarding schools and a danger for anyone exposed to cold and humidity (damp) for an extended period of time. The feet, hands and nose are especially at risk (and we all know how unpleasant it can be when one’s nose swells up!) Redness, inflamation, itching and blisters are all symptoms of this disorder. Dear Mrs. Goddard, though unable to prevent the cold, at least treated her students’ resultant chilblains with her own hands.
Paste for Chapped Hands and which will preserve them smooth by constant use.
Mix a quarter of a pound of unsalted hog’s lard, which has been washed in common and then rose-water, with the yolks of two new laid eggs.and a large spoonful of honey. Add as much fine oatmeal or almondpaste as will work into a paste.
For Chapped Lips
Put a quarter of an ounce of benjamin, storax and spermaceti, two pennyworth of alkanet-root, a large juicy apple chopped, a bunch of black grapes bruised, a quarter of a pound of unsalted butter, and two ounces of bees’-wax, into a new tin saucepan. Simmer gently till the wax, &c, are dissolved, and then strain it through linen. When cold, melt it again, and pour it into small pots or boxes; or, if to make cakes, use the bottoms of teacups.
A New System of Domestic Cookery, Maria Eliza Ketelby Rundell, 1808