The Art of Ingeniously Tormenting

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In 1748, Collier was living with her brother, Arthur, in London. The conditions were not suitable, and she soon became the governess for Samuel Richardson's daughter, Patty, by 1750.[1] Richardson was impressed by her understanding of Latin and Greek along with her ability to perform her domestic duties.[1] During this time, Collier was living with Sarah Fielding, and Richardson would spend time discussing writing with them.[2] It was under Richardson's employment that she wrote An Essay on the Art of Ingeniously Tormenting and then published it in 1753 by Millar.[1] It has been suggested that Richardson helped Collier write the work, but Richardson's lack of satirical skill has dispelled such ideas.[3] Instead, it was probably James Harris and Fielding who helped craft the satire, and all three probably helped to edit the work.[4] However, most of Collier's help came from Fielding, who was a close friend and shared many of her earlier works with Collier.[3] The first edition was printed by Richardson for Andrew Millar in 1753.[5] A second edition of the Essay was published by Millar in 1757, two years after she died in 1755 but with revisions by her shortly after its first printing.[5] It was subsequently editions and revisions were published in 1795, 1804, 1805, 1806, 1808, 1809, and 1811.[5] [edit]An Essay

Frontispiece: "The Cat doth play,/ And after slay." - Childs Guide The Essay is modeled on Jonathan Swift's satire, Instructions to Servants (1746), and even mentions Swift directly.[6] However, Collier reverses the roles in Swift's satire and instead writes from a servant's perspective in the first book.[3] All of her suggestions are to aid in the process of "teasing and mortifying".[7] She begins her work with an actual "Essay on the Art of Tormenting" serving as an introduction before dividing the book into two parts. In it, the narrator claims: "One strong objection, I know, will be made against my whole design, by people of weak consciences;...
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