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11 Nightmarish Facts About Nosferatu

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Before Bela Lugosi ever donned his Dracula cape, there was Max Schreck’s gaunt, pointy-eared, and nimble-fingered Count Orlok. As the iconic villain of Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror, Orlok represents the earliest surviving attempt to put a vampire onto the silver screen. He is also the product of intellectual theft.

Universally recognized as one of the greatest horror movies ever made, Nosferatu has a complicated legacy because it shamelessly plagiarized Bram Stoker’s Dracula. And yet, without this seminal motion picture, the vampire genre that’s found success in every medium, from television to Young Adult novels, might never have taken off. So today, join us as we take a bite out of a truly terrifying classic.  

1. THIS WASN’T THE FIRST FILM TO BE BASED ON BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA.

Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain 

Stoker’s famous novel earned him some welcome praise, but very little cash. A gothic thriller, Dracula first hit the shelves in 1897. Most reviews were favorable: “Persons of small courage and weak nerves should confine their reading of these gruesome pages strictly to the hours between dawn and sunset,” gushed The Daily Mail.

Further praise was heaped on by the incomparable Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who told Stoker, “I think it is the very best story of diatribe which I have read for many years.” Alas, such esteem did not turn Dracula’s author into a wealthy man. Although the book sold around 30,000 copies per year for the next three decades, most of its profits bypassed Stoker and went directly to his publisher. The writer’s longstanding debts and poor health kept him in dire financial straits until he passed away in 1911.

Ten years later, Stoker’s most notorious character made his big screen debut. Released in 1921, Dracula’s Death was the earliest attempt to convert the 1897 novel into a motion picture. Mildly put, it was a loose adaptation. Filmed in Hungary and directed by Karoly Latjay, Dracula’s Death tells the story of a young woman who gets a terrible nightmare after she crosses paths with the eponymous villain. Strangely, Dracula himself is an insane musician in this version, rather than a suave aristocrat. No copies of the silent film survive today. Were it not for some recovered publicity photos and newspaper reviews, movie historians might not know that it ever existed. 

2. IT BRAZENLY RIPPED OFF THE NOVEL.

In 1921, German artist and architect Albin Grau joined forces with Enrico Dieckmann to establish a new movie company called Prana-Film. A World War I veteran with a keen interest in the occult, Grau’s military service brought him into contact with a Serbian farmer who claimed to be the son of a vampire. The soldier never forgot this story and later jumped at the chance to put one of these legendary creatures into a feature film. Grau felt that an adaptation of Dracula would be the perfect maiden project for Prana. There was just one problem: copyright laws. For whatever reason, Grau was either unwilling or unable to secure the necessary rights from Stoker’s estate.

Undaunted, Prana-Film went ahead with its vampire movie anyway. Somewhat naively, Grau believed that he could avoid a lawsuit by tweaking Dracula’s plot in a few key places. In his film, the setting was changed from Victorian London to 17th century Germany. Completely omitted were the book’s original ending and the character of Van Helsing, a vampire hunter who plays a big role in Stoker’s novel. Moreover, most of the key players were renamed—thus, Count Dracula became “Count Orlok.” The full title, Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror, was inspired by a term that appears twice in the movie’s source material: Stoker mistakenly thought “Nosferatu” meant “vampire” in Romanian.   

3. THE LOOK OF THE MOVIE WAS INSPIRED BY ARTIST HUGO STEINER-PRAG.   

To direct Nosferatu, Prana-Film tapped F.W. Murnau, a filmmaker renowned for his expressionistic style. At his side was Grau, who served as the movie’s artistic producer and designer. In this capacity, Grau designed everything from the sets to the costumes to Orlok’s makeup. Throughout the process, his guiding light was The Golem, a classic horror story by Gustav Meyrink.

Originally published as a serial in 1914, the tale was released in novel form the following year. Included in the book’s second edition were 18 illustrations created by Hugo Steiner-Prag. Grau claimed that these atmospheric, black-and-white images had a huge influence on Nosferatu’s concept art and storyboards. According to some accounts, this Golem sketch directly inspired the physical appearance of Count Orlok himself. 

4. THE VAMPIRE WAS PLAYED BY A MAN WITH AN APPROPRIATELY SPOOKY NAME.

Little is known about Max Schreck’s life and film career, a fact to which his biographer, Stefan Eickhoff, can attest. According to Eickhoff, the actor’s colleagues regarded him as a “loyal, conscientious loner with an offbeat sense of humor and a talent for playing the grotesque.” The star of over 40 motion pictures, Schreck is best remembered for his haunting portrayal of Orlok in Nosferatu.

Fittingly enough, the man’s last name is the German word for “terror.” Schreck’s performance was so effective that some viewers wondered if the mysterious thespian was an actual vampire in real life. Film critic Ado Kyrou popularized this idea in 1953 when he wrongly claimed that the name of the actor who played Murnau’s monster had never been revealed. “Who hides behind the character of Nosferatu?” Kyrou wrote. “Maybe Nosferatu himself?” That suggestion was subsequently used as the premise of Shadow of the Vampire (2000), which features John Malkovich as Murnau and Willem Dafoe as a bloodsucking, coffin-loving Max Schreck.

5. SOME OF THE SPECIAL EFFECTS WERE ACHIEVED WITH STOP-MOTION PHOTOGRAPHY.

At one point, Orlok’s coffin closes by itself after the lid levitates off the ground. An early form of stop-motion animation made this possible. By rapidly showing a sequence of still images in which the lid moves closer and closer to its final resting spot, Murnau was able to trick the viewer into thinking that the inanimate object was flying around under its own power. This same technique was also employed during the scene in which Orlok uses his magic to open the hatch of a ship. 

6. ORLOK’S ABODE IS REALLY THE ORAVA CASTLE IN SLOVAKIA. 

Nosferatu was mostly filmed on location within the German cities of Lubeck and Wismar. However, the Transylvania scenes were shot in northern Slovakia—a place that was significantly closer to home for Murnau and company than Romania would’ve been. With one exception, all the exterior shots of Orlok’s palace really depict the 700 year-old Orava Castle that sits above a fishing village called Oravsky Poozamonva. The very last scene in Nosferatu is a shot of our vampire’s Transylvanian home, which has collapsed after his death. To shoot this footage, Murnau traveled to Starhrad, a long-abandoned Slovakian castle that’s been decaying since the 1500s. 

7. NOSFERATU ESTABLISHED A TIME-HONORED VAMPIRE TROPE. 

The idea that vampires burn up when exposed to direct sunlight is traceable to this movie. In Dracula, the villain casually walks around outside in broad daylight. According to the novel, solar rays can slightly weaken a vampire, but Stoker never implies that they could kill one. Yet for the sake of a more visually compelling climax, Grau and screenwriter Henrik Galeen decided to make the sun’s light utterly fatal to poor Count Orlok, who disappears in a puff of smoke when he’s lured into a well-lit room. Thus, a resilient horror cliché was born.

8. A COSTUME PARTY FOLLOWED THE MOVIE’S PREMIERE.  

In the end, Prana-Film spent more money promoting Nosferatu than actually making it. Grau launched an ambitious, multifaceted marketing campaign that included newspaper ads, expressionist posters, and a steady stream of press coverage. After months of hype, the picture had its premiere at the Marble Hall of the Berlin Zoological Gardens on March 4, 1922. The screening itself was preceded by a brief stage show, which consisted of a prologue delivered by an orator and then a huge dance number. Once Murnau’s film ended later that evening, the guests took part in an ostentatious costume ball rife with gowns and frock coats. Perhaps the whole event was a little too lavish for its own good: Many of the reporters who attended Nosferatu’s premiere later wrote more extensively about this great, big party than the movie itself.   

9. STOKER’S WIFE SUED THE STUDIO. 

If she’d gotten her way, this movie would have joined Dracula’s Death in the dustbin of film history. Shortly after Nosferatu premiered in Berlin, Florence Stoker—Bram’s widow—received an anonymous package containing one of its promotional posters. Displayed upon this placard was the inflammatory line “Freely adapted from Bram Stoker’s Dracula.”

An outraged Mrs. Stoker immediately took legal action. Upon receiving the poster, she joined the British Incorporated Society of Authors, which hired a German lawyer to go after Prana-Film. At first, the plan was to sue Grau’s company for copyright infringement. However, a string of terrible business decisions—not the least of which was Nosferatu’s recklessly expensive marketing campaign—had already bankrupted the studio.

When it became clear that Stoker would never make a dime off of Nosferatu, she did everything in her power to have all copies of the film destroyed. In 1925, a German court sided with her and ordered that every copy within that nation be burned. And yet, just like Count Dracula, Nosferatu proved very difficult to kill. Over the next few years, surviving copies made their way to the U.S. and UK. Thus, the undead picture haunted Florence Stoker until the end of her days. Before she died in 1937, a handful of screenings took place—usually in the United States. Stoker relentlessly tracked down wayward copies of the movie and incinerated those that she got her hands on. But despite her best efforts, Nosferatu lived on in the form of pirated bootlegs.

10. MANY DIFFERENT SOUNDTRACKS HAVE BEEN WRITTEN FOR NOSFERATU.

This sort of thing often happens to silent films. When Nosferatu premiered in Berlin, it was accompanied by a live, orchestral score composed by one Hans Erdmann. No recordings of this original soundtrack are known to exist, although a few restorations have been made. Over the years, Nosferatu has also received several alternative scores spanning a wide array of genres. Various home video editions of the film now include jazz, electronic, and classical background music.

11. IN 2002, NICKELODEON SHOWED THE MOVIE A LITTLE LOVE.

Readers of a certain age might remember Nosferatu not as a classic horror film but as the subject of a particularly strange SpongeBob SquarePants gag. The season 2 episode “Graveyard Shift” sees SpongeBob and Squidward trying to survive their first 24-hour workday at the Krusty Krab. Things get eerie when the lights start to flicker on and off—seemingly all by themselves. At the end of the episode, who should they find playing around with the switch but that mischievous rascal… Count Orlok?!

Even by the show’s own absurd standards, this joke is a real non sequitur. Jay Lender, one of the cartoon’s longest-serving writers, conceived the bit as an “out of left field” ending for the episode. In 2012, Lender told Hogan’s Alley magazine “I’ve had several people say to me that [it’s] the all-time funniest SpongeBob moment.”

From a technical standpoint, the most difficult aspect of this joke was finding a useable image of Max Schreck in full vampire regalia. “I drove all over town looking for books with scannable pictures of Count Orlok; I searched what little there was of the Web back then,” says Lender. “Hours and hours of my life [were spent] over four seconds of screen time because it made me laugh.”

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13 Great Facts About Bad Lieutenant
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Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Bad Lieutenant can be accused of many things, but one charge you can't level against it is false advertising. Harvey Keitel's title character, whose name is never given, is indeed a bad, bad lieutenant: corrupt, sleazy, drug-addled, irresponsible, and lascivious, all while he's on the job. (Imagine what his weekends must be like!)

Abel Ferrara's nightmarish character study was controversial when it was released 25 years ago today, and rated NC-17 for its graphic nudity (including a famous glimpse at Lil’ Harvey), unsettling sexual violence, and frank depiction of drug use. The film packs a wallop, no doubt. Here's some behind-the-scenes info to help you cope with it.

1. THE PLACID WOMAN WHO HELPS THE LIEUTENANT FREEBASE HEROIN WROTE THE MOVIE.

That's Zoë Tamerlis Lund, who starred in Abel Ferrara's revenge-exploitation thriller Ms. 45 (1981) more than a decade earlier, when she was 17 years old. She and Ferrara are credited together for writing Bad Lieutenant, though she always insisted that wasn't the case. "I wrote this alone," she said. "Abel is a wonderful director, but he's not a screenwriter. She said elsewhere that she "wrote every word of that screenplay," though everyone agrees the finished movie included a lot of improvisation. Lund was a fascinating, tragic character herself—a musical prodigy who became an enthusiastic and unapologetic user of heroin before switching to cocaine in the mid-1990s. She died of heart failure in 1999 at age 37.

2. CHRISTOPHER WALKEN WAS SUPPOSED TO STAR IN IT.

Christopher Walken had starred in Ferrara's previous film, King of New York (1990), and was set to play the lead in Bad Lieutenant before pulling out at almost the last minute. Ferrara was shocked. "[Walken] says, 'You know, I don't think I'm right for it.' Which is, you know, a fine thing to say, unless it's three weeks from when you're supposed to start shooting," Ferrara said. "It definitely caught me by surprise. It put me in terminal shock, actually." Harvey Keitel replaced him (though not without difficulty; see below), and the film's editor, Anthony Redman, thought Keitel was a better choice anyway. "Chris is too elegant for the part," he said. "Harvey is not elegant." 

3. HARVEY KEITEL'S INITIAL REACTION TO THE SCRIPT WAS NOT PROMISING.

"When we gave [Keitel] the script the first time, he read about five pages and threw it in the garbage," Ferrara said. Keitel's recollection was a little more diplomatic. As he told Roger Ebert, "I read a certain amount of pages and I put it down. I said, 'There's no way I'm gonna make this movie.' And then I asked myself, 'How often am I a lead in a movie? Read it, maybe I can salvage something from it …' When I read the part about the nun, I understood why Abel wanted to make it."

4. IT WAS ORIGINALLY SUPPOSED TO BE FUNNY.


Lionsgate Home Entertainment

"It was always, in my mind, a comedy," Ferrara said. He cited the scene where the Lieutenant pulls the teenage girls over as a specific example of how Christopher Walken would have played it, and how Harvey Keitel changed it. "The lieutenant was going to end up dancing in the streets with the girls as the sun came up. They'd be wearing his gun belt and hat, and they'd have the radio on, you know what I mean? But oh my God, Harvey, he turned it into this whole other thing." Boy, did he. 

5. THAT SCENE WITH THE TEENAGE GIRLS HAD A REAL-LIFE ELEMENT THAT MADE IT EVEN CREEPIER.

One of the young women was Keitel's nanny. Ferrara: "I said, 'You sure you want to do this with your babysitter?' He says, 'Yeah, I want to try something.'"

6. MUCH OF IT WAS FILMED GUERRILLA-STYLE.

Like many indie-minded directors of low-budget films, Ferrara didn't bother with permits most of the time. "We weren't permitted on any of this stuff," editor Anthony Redman admitted. "We just walked on and started shooting." For the scene where a strung-out Lieutenant walks through a bumpin' nightclub, they sent Keitel through an actual, functioning club during peak operating hours.

7. A GREAT DEAL OF THE DIALOGUE AND ACTION WERE MADE UP ON THE FLY.

The script was only about 65 pages at first, which would have made for about a 65-minute movie. "It left a lot of room for improvisation," producer Randy Sabusawa said, "but the ideas were pretty distilled. They were there."

Script supervisor Karen Kelsall said supervising the script was a challenge. "Abel didn't stick to a script," she said. "Abel used a script as a way to get the money to make a movie, and then the script was kind of—we called it the daily news. It changed every day. It changed in the middle of scenes." Ferrara was unapologetic about the script's brevity. "The idea of wanting 90 pages ... is ridiculous."

8. AND THERE WERE EVEN MORE IDEAS THAT THEY DIDN'T USE.

Ferrara said a scene that epitomized the movie for him—even though he never got around to filming it—was one where the Lieutenant robs an electronics store, leaves, then gets a call about a robbery at the electronics store. He responds in an official capacity (they don't recognize him), takes a statement, walks out, and throws the statement in the garbage. "And that to me is the Bad Lieutenant, you know?" Ferrara said. 

9. THE BASEBALL PLAYOFF SERIES IS FICTIONAL.

The Mets have battled the Dodgers for the National League championship once, in 1988. (The Dodgers beat 'em and went on to win the World Series.) For the narrative Ferrara wanted—the Mets coming back from a 3-0 deficit to win the pennant—he had to make it up. He used footage from real Mets-Dodgers games (including Darryl Strawberry's three-run homer from a game in July 1991) and added fictional play-by-play. But the statistics were accurate: no team had ever been down by three in a best-of-seven series and then come back to win. (It's happened once since then, when the 2004 Red Sox did it.)

10. THEY HAD HELP FROM THE COP WHO SOLVED A SIMILAR CASE.

The disgusting crime at the center of the film (we won't dwell on it) was inspired by a real-life incident from 1981, which mayor Ed Koch called "the most heinous crime in the history of New York City." The street cop who solved it, Bo Dietl, advised Ferrara on the film and had an on-screen role as one of the detectives in our Lieutenant's circle of friends.

11. THEY DESECRATED THE CHURCH AS RESPECTFULLY AS THEY COULD.

Production designer Charles Lagola had his team cover the church’s altar and other surfaces with plastic wrap, then painted the graffiti and other defacements on the plastic.

12. IT WAS RATED NC-17 IN THEATERS, WITH AN R-RATED VERSION FOR HOME VIDEO.

Blockbuster and some of the other retail chains wouldn't carry NC-17 or unrated films, so sometimes studios would produce edited versions. (See also: Requiem for a Dream.) The tamer version of Bad Lieutenant was five minutes and 19 seconds shorter, with parts of the rape scene, the drug-injecting scene, and much of the car interrogation scene excised.

13. THE "SEQUEL" HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH IT, NOR DID FERRARA APPROVE OF IT.


First Look International

Movie buffs were baffled in 2009, when Werner Herzog directed Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, starring Nicolas Cage. It sounds like a sequel (or a remake), but in fact had no connection at all to the earlier film except that both were produced by Edward R. Pressman. Herzog said he'd never seen Ferrara's movie and wanted to change the title (Pressman wouldn't let him); Ferrara, outspoken as always, initially wished fiery death on everyone involved. Ferrara and Herzog finally met at the 2013 Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland, where Herzog initiated a conversation about the whole affair and Ferrara expressed his frustration cordially. 

Additional sources:
DVD interviews with Abel Ferrara, Anthony Redman, Randy Sabusawa, and Karen Kelsall.

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12 Pieces of 100-Year-Old Advice for Dealing With Your In-Laws
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Hulton Archive // Getty Images

The familial friction between in-laws has been a subject for family counselors, folklorists, comedians, and greeting card writers for generations—and getting along with in-laws isn't getting any easier. Here are some pieces of "old tyme" advice—some solid, some dubious, some just plain ridiculous—about making nice with your new family.

1. ALWAYS VOTE THE SAME WAY AS YOUR FATHER-IN-LAW (EVEN IF YOU DISAGREE).

It's never too soon to start sowing the seeds for harmony with potential in-laws. An 1896 issue of one Alabama newspaper offered some advice to men who were courting, and alongside tips like “Don’t tell her you’re wealthy. She may wonder why you are not more liberal,” it gave some advice for dealing with prospective in-laws: “Always vote the same ticket her father does,” the paper advised, and “Don’t give your prospective father-in-law any advice unless he asks for it.”

2. MAKE AN EFFORT TO BE ATTRACTIVE TO YOUR MOTHER-IN-LAW.

According to an 1886 issue of Switchmen’s Journal, “A greybeard once remarked that it would save half the family squabbles of a generation if young wives would bestow a modicum of the pains they once took to please their lovers in trying to be attractive to their mothers-in-law.”

3. KEEP YOUR OPINIONS TO YOURSELF.

In 1901, a Wisconsin newspaper published an article criticizing the 19th century trend of criticizing mothers-in-law (a "trend" which continues through to today):

“There has been a foolish fashion in vogue in the century just closed which shuts out all sympathy for mothers-in-law. The world is never weary of listening to the praises of mothers ... Can it be that a person who is capable of so much heroic unselfishness will do nothing worthy of gratitude for those who are dearest and nearest to her own children?”

Still, the piece closed with some advice for the women it was defending: “The wise mother-in-law gives advice sparingly and tries to help without seeming to help. She leaves the daughter to settle her own problems. She is the ever-blessed grandmother of the German fairy tales, ready to knit in the corner and tell folk stories to the grandchildren.”

4. IF RECEIVING ADVICE, JUST LISTEN AND SMILE. EVEN IF IT PAINS YOU.

Have an in-law who can't stop advising you on what to do? According to an 1859 issue of The American Freemason, you'll just have to grin and bear it: “If the daughter-in-law has any right feeling, she will always listen patiently, and be grateful and yielding to the utmost of her power.”

Advice columnist Dorothy Dix seemed to believe that it would be wise to heed an in-law's advice at least some of the time. Near the end of World War II, Dix received a letter from a mother-in-law asking what to do with her daughter-in-law, who had constantly shunned her advice and now wanted to move in with her. Dix wrote back, “Many a daughter-in-law who has ignored her husband’s mother is sending out an SOS call for help in these servantless days,” and advised the mother-in-law against agreeing to the arrangement.

5. STAY OUT OF THE KITCHEN. AND CLOSETS. AND CUPBOARDS.

An 1881 article titled "Concerning the Interference of the Father-in-Law and Mother-in-Law in Domestic Affairs," which appeared in the Rural New Yorker, had a great deal of advice for the father-in-law:

“He will please to keep out of the kitchen just as much as he possibly can. He will not poke his nose into closets or cupboards, parley with the domestics, investigate the condition of the swill barrel, the ash barrel, the coal bin, worry himself about the kerosene or gas bills, or make purchases of provisions for the family under the pretence that he can buy more cheaply than the mistress of the house; let him do none of these things unless especially commissioned so to do by the mistress of the house.”

The article further advises that if a father-in-law "thinks that the daughter-in-law or son-in-law is wasteful, improvident or a bad manager, the best thing for him to do, decidedly, is to keep his thought to himself, for in all probability things are better managed and better taken care of by the second generation than they were by the first. And even if they are not, it is far better to pass the matter over in silence than to comment upon the same, and thereby engender bad feelings.”

6. NEVER COHABITATE.

While there is frequent discussion about how to achieve happiness with the in-laws in advice columns and magazines, rarely does this advice come from a judge. In 1914, after a young couple was married, they quickly ran into issues. “The wife said she was driven from the house by her mother-in-law,” a newspaper reported, “and the husband said he was afraid to live with his wife’s people because of the threatening attitude of her father on the day of the wedding.” It got so bad that the husband was brought up on charges of desertion. But Judge Strauss gave the couple some advice:

“[Your parents] must exercise no influence over you now except a peaceful influence. You must establish a home of your own. Even two rooms will be a start and lay up a store of happiness for you.”

According to the paper, they agreed to go off and rent a few rooms.

Dix agreed that living with in-laws was asking for trouble. In 1919, she wrote that, “In all good truth there is no other danger to a home greater than having a mother-in-law in it.”

7. COURT YOUR MOTHER-IN-LAW.

The year 1914 wasn’t the first time a judge handed down advice regarding a mother-in-law from the bench. According to The New York Times, in 1899 Magistrate Olmsted suggested to a husband that “you should have courted your mother-in-law and then you would not have any trouble ... I courted my mother-in-law and my home life is very, very happy.”

8. THINK OF YOUR IN-LAWS AS YOUR "IN LOVES."

Don't think of your in-laws as in-laws; think of them as your family. In 1894, an article in The Ladies’ Home Journal proclaimed, “I will not call her your mother-in-law. I like to think that she is your mother in love. She is your husband’s mother, and therefore yours, for his people have become your people.”

Helen Marshall North, writing in The Home-Maker: An Illustrated Monthly Magazine four years earlier, agreed: “No man, young or old, who smartly and in public, jests about his mother-in-law, can lay the slightest claim to good breeding. In the first place, if he has proper affection for his wife, that affection includes, to some extent at least, the mother who gave her birth ... the man of fine thought and gentle breeding sees his own mother in the new mother, and treats her with the same deference, and, if necessary, with the same forbearance which he gladly yields his own.”

9. BE THANKFUL YOU HAVE A MOTHER-IN-LAW ... OR DON'T.

Historical advice columns had two very different views on this: A 1901 Raleigh newspaper proclaimed, “Adam’s [of Adam and Eve] troubles may have been due to the fact that he had no mother-in-law to give advice,” while an earlier Yuma paper declared, “Our own Washington had no mother-in-law, hence America is a free nation.”

10. DON'T BE PICKY WHEN IT COMES TO CHOOSING A WIFE; CHOOSE A MOTHER-IN-LAW INSTEAD.

By today's standards, the advice from an 1868 article in The Round Table is incredibly sexist and offensive. Claiming that "one wife is, after all, pretty much the same as another," and that "the majority of women are married at an age when their characters are still mobile and plastic, and can be shaped in the mould of their husband's will," the magazine advised, “Don’t waste any time in the selection of the particular victim who is to be shackled to you in your desolate march from the pleasant places of bachelorhood into the hopeless Siberia of matrimony ... In other words ... never mind about choosing a wife; the main thing is to choose a proper mother-in-law,” because "who ever dreamt of moulding a mother-in-law? That terrible, mysterious power behind the throne, the domestic Sphynx, the Gorgon of the household, the awful presence which every husband shudders when he names?"

11. KEEP THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE.

As an 1894 Good Housekeeping article reminded readers:

“Young man! your wife’s mother, your redoubtable mother-in-law, is as good as your wife is and as good as your mother is; and who is your precious wife's mother-in-law? And you, venerable mother-in-law, may perhaps profitably bear in mind that the husband your daughter has chosen with your sanction is not a worse man naturally than your husband who used to dislike your mother as much as your daughter’s husband dislikes you, or as much as you once disliked your husband’s mother.”

12. IF ALL ELSE FAILS, MARRY AN ORPHAN.

If all else fails, The Round Table noted that “there is one rule which will be found in all cases absolutely certain and satisfactory, and that is to marry an orphan; though even then a grandmother-in-law might turn up sufficiently vigorous to make a formidable substitute.”

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