Directions to Servants
Directions to Servants is one of Jonathan Swift’s last completed works. It displays all his caustic skill as a satirist and his unerring eye for the little annoyances of life. Taking the form of a handbook of manners, and addressed to each servant individually, Directions to Servants is 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. His servants are lazy, profligate, and acquisitive—always on the lookout for a shilling to be made on the sale of leftovers, or a half-bottle of wine to share with the cook. Written in Swift’s final years of sanity, Directions to Servants is a last hilarious outpouring of cynicism at a lifetime’s accumulation of poor service. Irish clergyman and satirist Jonathan Swift is best remembered for his philosophical parody Gulliver’s Travels.
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Directions to Servants (100 pages)User Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
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. Read full review