Directions to Servants

Overview

Cooks brushing their hair into the stew; candlewax dripping into the expensive headdresses of dinner guests; maids carrying their mistresses' chamber pots in full view down the back stairs, and the whole cohort of servants watching and laughing as people slip over on the frozen contents of those same chamber pots, tipped outdoors on frosty nights -- Swift's satire is packed with these vivid and hilarious images of servants who are mischievous, lazy and downright larcenous. Directions to Servants takes the form of...
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Overview

Cooks brushing their hair into the stew; candlewax dripping into the expensive headdresses of dinner guests; maids carrying their mistresses' chamber pots in full view down the back stairs, and the whole cohort of servants watching and laughing as people slip over on the frozen contents of those same chamber pots, tipped outdoors on frosty nights -- Swift's satire is packed with these vivid and hilarious images of servants who are mischievous, lazy and downright larcenous. Directions to Servants takes the form of a handbook of manners, addressed to each servant in turn, and depicting what must be the ultimate upstairs/downstairs battle. With scathing wit, Swift pits master against servant in an endless struggle for order, frugality and the best bits of the roast. Written in the author's final years of sanity, Directions to Servants is a last hilarious outpouring of cynicism at a lifetime's accumulation of poor service.
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Editorial Reviews

The Atlantic
Hesperus Press's elegant reissue of Jonathan Swift's slim, unfinished Directions to Servants.
Library Journal
In his inimitable style, the great Swift here makes monkeys out of both the wealthy (a favorite target) and the hired help. Though this dates back to 1731, it still can produce laughs. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781847491756
  • Publisher: Oneworld Classics
  • Publication date: 9/1/2011
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword vii
Directions to Servants 1
Directions to All Servants in General 3
The Butler 13
The Cook 25
The Footman 32
The Coachman 46
The Groom 47
The House Steward and Land Steward 53
The Porter 54
The Chambermaid 55
The Waiting-maid 60
The Housemaid 65
The Dairymaid 68
The Children's Maid 69
The Nurse 70
The Laundress 71
The Housekeeper 72
The Tutoress or Governess 73
Notes 74
Note on the text 75
Biographical note 77
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