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How to Create the Perfect Wife | [Wendy Moore]

How to Create the Perfect Wife

Thomas Day, an 18th-century British writer and radical, knew exactly the sort of woman he wanted to marry. Pure and virginal like an English country maid yet tough and hardy like a Spartan heroine, she would live with him in an isolated cottage, completely subservient 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 his search for the woman of his dreams, however, Day set out to create her.
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Publisher's Summary

Thomas Day, an 18th-century British writer and radical, knew exactly the sort of woman he wanted to marry. Pure and virginal like an English country maid yet tough and hardy like a Spartan heroine, she would live with him in an isolated cottage, completely subservient 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 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, prize-winning historian Wendy Moore’s captivating tale of one man’s mission to groom his ideal mate. A few days after he turned 21 and inherited a large fortune, Day adopted two young orphans from the Foundling Hospital and, guided by the writings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the principles of the Enlightenment, attempted to teach them to be model wives. After six months he discarded one girl, calling her "invincibly stupid", and focused his efforts on his remaining charge. He subjected her to a number of cruel trials - including dropping hot wax on her arms and firing pistols at her skirts - to test her resolve but the young woman, perhaps unsurprisingly, eventually rebelled against her domestic slavery. Day had hoped eventually to marry her, but his 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.

©2013 Wendy Moore (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

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    Michelle Barrows 04-18-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    1
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    "Is It Bad I Enjoyed This?"
    Any additional comments?

    I hate to say I really liked a book that involved abduction and child abuse but I did. It's a fascinating true story of a failed idea. An idea that while morally wrong was still quite interesting. Filled with historical figures I recognize it added a sort of reality to what would otherwise have been hard to believe. It is clear that the author spent quite a lot of time doing intensive research and digging and it shows and makes this all the better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Salad Gal 3030 02-04-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    17
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Should have been great but, for the performance"
    What disappointed you about How to Create the Perfect Wife?

    The performance was SO awful that it was actually hard to listen to. Angele's accent kept changing and most of the book (that I managed to get through) was read in a very distracting sing song style with certain words read with a different accent. It was horrible. Just when you think you can get the rhythm of the reading it changes and then goes back to the sing song style so you can never actually acclimate your ears. Horrible. Just horrible.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    I couldn't finish listening to this horrible reader. I'm going to read the book instead.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Angele Masters’s performances?

    No. Never.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The subject seemed like it would be really interesting.


    Any additional comments?

    Save your money, don't buy this audiobook.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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