'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 suggeststhe 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.
- Publication Date:
- 13 / 04 / 2006