This is a small book; but it contains as much reading as a large and heavy volume of five hundred pages, printed in large type. I mention this fact so that you will not mis-estimate the amount of labor I have performed to get it up. No one but myself can ever understand, or form a correct idea of, the research, study, experiment and experience that have been expended on these pages.
Most authors probably feel this way about their published works, but H. Monnett wanted to be sure there was no possibility for confusion when it came to his The magic monitor and medical intelligencer : containing wonderful and elaborate revelations concerning the following subjects–love, courtship & marriage, how to prevent an increase of family, how to cure self-abuse and its results, the detection, prevention & cure of all private diseases, etc.
The heading for his first chapter is almost equally eyecatching, in part declaring MERCURY! Beware of it. Monnett himself espouses a herbal system. He goes on to make brief mention of a number of Desultory Items, including that the healthiest children are born in the spring (February through May), that marriage blunts the imagination, and that “consumption” (presumably tubercular infection) has been corrected in both men and women through marriage.
Given that The magic monitor was published in 1857 it is, perhaps, depressing in its familiarity for the modern reader to find Monnett enthusiastically promoting the doctrine that a woman cannot become pregnant from a rape. Certainly the idea is nothing new.