How to Create the Perfect Wife: Britain's Most Ineligible Bachelor and his Enlightened Quest to Train the Ideal Mate

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Basic Books, Apr 9, 2013 - History - 360 pages
A captivating tale of one man's mission to groom his ideal mate.
Thomas Day, an 18th-century British writer and radical, knew exactly the sort of woman he wanted to marry. Pure and virginal, yet tough and hardy, and completely subervient to his whims. But after being rejected by a number of spirited young women, Day concluded that the perfect partner he envisioned simply did not exist in frivolous, fashion-obsessed Georgian society. Rather than conceding defeat and giving up on his search for the woman of his dreams, however, Day set out to create her.
So begins the extraordinary true story at the heart of How to Create the Perfect Wife. A few days after he turned twenty-one and inherited a large fortune, Day adopted two young orphans from the Founding Hospital and, guided by the writings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the principles of the Enlightenment, attempted to teach them to be model wives.
Day's peculiar experiment inevitably backfired -- though not before he had taken his theories about marriage, education, and femininity to shocking extremes.
Stranger than fiction, blending tragedy and farce, How to Create the Perfect Wife is an engrossing tale of the radicalism -- and deep contradictions -- at the heart of the enlightenment.
 

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User Review  - Emma_Manolis - LibraryThing

Why did I pick up this book? I had read through the summary and was really intrigued that someone had actually tried to create their ideal mate. It almost seemed like it could be a real-life ... Read full review

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User Review  - Iambookish - LibraryThing

I happened to see the cover of this book sticking out of my library's shelves and thought it looked very interesting, and for once I correctly judged the book by it's cover! A fascinating tale about a ... Read full review

Contents

ONE MARGARET
THREE SOPHIE
FOUR ANN AND DORCAS
SEVEN ELIZABETH
EIGHT SABRINA
NINE ESTHER
ELEVEN GALATEA
Finding My Foundling
Bibliography
Copyright

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About the author (2013)

Wendy Moore is a journalist and author of several books, including How to No Man's Land and Wedlock, a Sunday Times bestseller. Her writing has appeared in the Times, the Guardian, the Observer, and the Sunday Telegraph. She lives in London.

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