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Directions to Servants (Hesperus Classics)…
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Directions to Servants (Hesperus Classics)

by Jonathan Swift

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» See also 3 mentions

Mildly amusing compendium of evil advice to the help; interesting chiefly as a reminder of the many gruelling services the lower classes had to provide to the masters in the era of chamber pots (flushed through the window), unpaved streets, wood furnaces, iffy hygiene and unpasteurised dairy products. I enjoyed picturing the characters from "Upstairs, Downstairs" as the recipients (and sufferers) of Swift's "advice"--made the one-joke text a bit zestier.
3 vote LolaWalser | Dec 30, 2008 |
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» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jonathan Swiftprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kempers, MartIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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When your master or lady call a servant by name, if that servant be not in the way, none of you are to answer, for then there will be no end of your drudgery, and masters themselves allow that if a servant comes when he is called it is sufficient.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"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 of Servants is a last hilarious outpouring of cynicism at a lifetime's accumulation of poor service."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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