Twain delivered “Advice to Youth” as a speech at the Saturday Morning Club on April 15, 1882 in Boston. Julia Ward Howe founded the club for her daughter’s social education. While documentation is not readily available on how the Saturday Morning Club regarded the speech, it can be assumed that Twain was an honored guest. Mark Twain was widely popular at the time of the talk; his essays and travelogues had already made him an iconic humorist. By 1882, Clemens was a father to three girls, Olivia,Clara, and Jane, with his wife, Olivia Langdon. His son, Langdon, had died shortly after birth.
With gender issues like pay equity for women actors and writers coming increasingly to the fore, girl squads can be seen as a positive step toward expanding female power in Hollywood, where ownership has been overwhelmingly male since the silent film era. For all its dictatorial overcontrol, however, the early studio system also provided paternalistic protection and nurturance for young women under contract. Marilyn Monroe was a tragic victim of the slow breakdown of that system: The studio made her, but in the end it could not save her from callous predators, including the Kennedys.