The Art of Ingeniously Tormenting

Topics: Jonathan Swift, Writing, Satire Pages: 2 (652 words) Published: April 3, 2013
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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