An Essay on the Art of Ingeniously Tormenting (Oxford World's Classics)

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9780199555444: An Essay on the Art of Ingeniously Tormenting (Oxford World's Classics)
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'Now the sport begins!' An Essay on the Art of Ingeniously Tormenting is the first English book on the craft of nagging. A bitingly funny social satire, it is also an advice book, a handbook of anti-etiquette, and a comedy of manners. Collier describes methods for 'teasing and mortifying' one's intimates and acquaintances in a variety of social situations by taking advantage of their affections and goodwill. Written primarily for wives, mothers, and the mistresses of servants, The Art suggests the difficulties women experienced exerting their influence in private and public life - and the ways they got round them. In anatomizing the art of emotional abuse Collier piques readers into acknowledging their own faults, and persuades them that tormenting is a useful skill, even as she censures its effects. The Art provides a fascinating glimpse into eighteenth-century daily life, the treatment of servants and dependants and the bringing up of children, and is a thrilling precursor to the art of Jane Austen. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

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From the Back Cover:

Perhaps the first extended non-fiction prose satire written by an English woman, Jane Collier's An Essay on the Art of Ingeniously Tormenting (1753) is a wickedly satirical send-up of eighteenth-century advice manuals and educational tracts. It takes the form of a mock advice manual in which the speaker instructs her readers in the arts of tormenting, offering advice on how to torment servants, humble companions and spouses, and on how to bring one's children up to be a torment to others. The work's satirical style, which focuses on the different kinds of power that individuals exercise over one another, follows in the footsteps of Jonathan Swift and paves the way for Jane Austen.

This Broadview edition uses the first edition, the only edition published during the author's lifetime. The appendices include excerpts from texts that influenced the essay (by Sarah Fielding, Jonathan Swift, Francis Coventry); excerpts from later texts that were influenced by it (by Maria Edgeworth, Frances Burney, Jane Austen); and relevant writings on education and conduct (by John Locke, George Savile, Dr. John Gregory).

About the Author:

Katharine A. Craik is a Lecturer and Junior Research Fellow in English at the University of Oxford.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781551110967: An Essay on the Art of Ingenious Tormenting (Broadview Literary Texts)

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