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

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

Wendy Moore / Dec 11, 2019

How to Create the Perfect Wife Britain s Most Ineligible Bachelor and His Enlightened Quest to Train the Ideal Mate Thomas Day an th 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

  • Title: How to Create the Perfect Wife: Britain's Most Ineligible Bachelor and His Enlightened Quest to Train the Ideal Mate
  • Author: Wendy Moore
  • ISBN: 9780465065745
  • Page: 145
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 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 perfectThomas 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 twenty one 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.

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    • Best Read [Wendy Moore] ✓ How to Create the Perfect Wife: Britain's Most Ineligible Bachelor and His Enlightened Quest to Train the Ideal Mate || [Comics Book] PDF á
      145 Wendy Moore
    • thumbnail Title: Best Read [Wendy Moore] ✓ How to Create the Perfect Wife: Britain's Most Ineligible Bachelor and His Enlightened Quest to Train the Ideal Mate || [Comics Book] PDF á
      Posted by:Wendy Moore
      Published :2019-09-04T03:04:07+00:00

    About "Wendy Moore"

      • Wendy Moore

        Librarian Note There is than one author in the database with this name.Wendy Moore worked as a journalist and freelance writer for than 25 years She has always been interested in history, and as a result, began researching the history of medicine.The Knife Man is her first book.


    198 Comments

    1. It rates a "5" for how well Moore wrote, although I would dearly love to give it a -5 for her subject! I hate to think what Moore's state of mind was upon finishing thisA biography about the Georgian poet, Stoic, philosopher, and hypocrite—Thomas Day.My TakeRight out, I'm telling you that I greatly disliked the subject of this biography. My god, the man was an egotistical, selfish, rude, obnoxious hypocrite. Moore did write this very well---it read like a story. Only, it's a story I kept wanti [...]


    2. Georgian jackass blowhard hates women but feels he has to marry one. Steals a couple of orphans to shape into his ideal wife. Is shocked, SHOCKED I tell you, when people think he was goddamned insane to think this was good idea. The reader is more shocked that anybody else besides him could think it was a delightful experiment and yet, there they are!Thomas Day is the most frustrating piece of work I have read about in a long time. Everybody runs around insisting he's this great pillar of virtue [...]



    3. An excellent read, well written and researched. As well as Thomas Day's compelling yet horrifying quest to create the perfect wife, we also learned about his fascination with the writings of Jean Jacques Rousseau, his circle of friends (who were members of the 'Lunar Society') and life in 18th century England (particularly Lichfield). I found the history of the Foundling Hospital in London and how it was run particularly interesting and heart-rending.


    4. (Rounding up from 3.5)A most peculiar and particular history of a well-connected and wealthy 18th century man who, influenced by Rousseau's EMILE, had dreams of grooming the perfect wife. As part of this dream, the man "adopted" two orphans from the Foundling Hospital as supposed apprentices and proceeded to mold them. I enjoyed parts of this book, especially where Sabrina's (the main foundling) and Thomas Day's story intersected with well-known contemporaries (Erasmus Darwin, Maria Edgeworth, t [...]


    5. In the 1760s, Thomas Day, rich oddball, decided to undertake an experiment--could he, using Rousseau's educational principles, create the perfect wife? It had already turned his friend Edgeworth's son into a feral toddler dictator, but the directors of the London Foundling Hospital were perfectly happy to let him sign out the 11 year old of his choice for extended tutoring, extremes in temperature, being shot at with an unloaded pistol, heavy housework, bizarre questions (do you want this rose, [...]


    6. Misogynistic eighteenth-century intellectual Thomas Day decided after some romantic rejections that the only way to find the perfect woman (and nothing less would do!) was to train one himself to fulfill his exacting requirements. Hence he embarked on a scheme to get himself a nice young foundling and rear her according to his needs. His friends and acquaintances were aware of his enterprise, but the young woman herself initially remained in the dark. Initially, I thought the book would focus na [...]



    7. This book is nonfiction which I have been reading like it was historical fiction. It is very interesting and many times touching. It is hard to be indifferent while reading this book. You just have to have some kind of feelings for characters. First of all it is a great nonfiction book. It describes the second part of XVIII century (mostly in Britain) and it is doing it brilliant. For such a fan of historical fiction like me it has helped me understand many aspects of historical background from [...]


    8. I am of two minds on this book, but the mind that decided that this book simply was not worth finishing won.The mind that wanted to keep reading is the one that enjoys this kind of "logical-positivism-run-amok" story. Essentially this is the story of an Enlightenment era natural philosopher who, under the are combination of logic and romanticism decides he will apply the principles of Rousseau to all aspects of his life, including how he will choose a wife. The interest is supposed to lie in Tho [...]


    9. Thomas Day is one of those subjects who make it very difficult to like a biography. In modern-day parlance, he was a groomer - or a potential groomer. Arrogant, opinionated, utterly self-centred, selfish, and at best misguided, he was, paradoxically, also philanthropic, generous, intelligent, erudite and literary. A product of his day, it would be wrong to call him misanthropic - or would it? Is it fair to say that every Georgian man had such a low opinion of women? I think it is, and in fact Da [...]


    10. Well now, here's one I'm happily shelving with my many other books on eccentrics. Thomas Day was misguided, misanthropic, maladroit, and at times moronic, but I cannot dislike him as heartily as some other reviewers here do. I have to confess that he reminded me a bit of myself at age 12 or so, when I was quite certain that one day I would open the right book and find the answer to a question which I had not yet fully formulated but which nonetheless would be the ultimate ANSWER. And it would ma [...]


    11. How To Create the Perfect Wife was a fascinating read, fascinating in a despicable way, I suppose. Most readers will probably not enjoy getting to know the "hero", Thomas Day.Who was Thomas Day? He was well-known several centuries ago. He lived and wrote during the reign of George III. He wrote two books for children: The History of Sandford and Merton and The History of Little Jack. Writing for children was definitely a new phenomenon. He also co-wrote a best-selling abolitionist poem called "T [...]


    12. Thomas Day (1748-1789) was a lawyer, abolitionist and author. His first published work, a poem The Dying Negro (1773), co written with his friend John Bicknell was one of the first pieces of literature that attacked slavery and encouraged by his friend Richard Lovell Edgeworth he wrote The History of Sandford and Merton (1783-1789) one of the first books for children. Sandford and Merton was a huge bestseller and unsurprisingly it was read by such writers as Charles Dickens, Robert Southey, Leig [...]


    13. Wendy Moore's "How to Create the Perfect Wife: Britain's Most Ineligible Bachelor & his Enlightened Quest to Train the Ideal Mate" is a scarily true story of Thomas Day a late 18th century Englishman who decides that the perfect woman doesn't exist for him. His solution is to simply create one by controlling a girl so much so that she has no choice but to be the perfect mate for him. His choices are 2 girls from the same orphanage who he raises until the age of 12 & then decides which on [...]


    14. This is one of those true life stories that is both repulsive and compelling at the same time. The story of Thomas Day and his quest for the perfect wife is very well researched by the author, who uses many letters and other primary source materials to round out the story. She seems to have acquainted herself in great depth with Day and his friends and associates and is very astute in spotting sarcasm, self deprecation, and gossipy tongues out to cause trouble as, over the years Day and his frie [...]


    15. What I liked about it: This is another treasure, a well-told, rollicking tale of a rich twit who becomes enamoured of an idea and refuses to let go of it even when it becomes apparent that it isn't working. But I suppose that was a function of Day's odious personality. Did I mention that a part of his eccentricity was that he rejected all social graces, preferring instead to embark on long monologues about his theories, and that he refused to dress fashionably in a wig, but also didn't wash his [...]


    16. A wild look at the Enlightenment in England, through the experiments of Thomas Day, a man who was uncultured, rude and dishevelled who truly believed that women were inferior and took Rousseau much too seriously. This one was eye-opening, and very funny to read at times. Well-written, surprising and worth the time to find this one. Four stars overall and recommended. For the longer review, please go here:epinions/review/Wendy_


    17. Rocked my literary/historical world. I need all of my 18th/19th c studies friends to read this so we can discuss. My mind is blown. Absolutely loved it.


    18. DNF. Very well-researched, I'm sure, but the result is too many unnecessary details that cloud and slow down the story. The main character, a young academic who may be great at philosophy but truly sucks at life and knows absolutely nothing about people, is unbearably annoying. You want to just slap him into reality. I really couldn't bear reading any more about him, and learn how successful he was in his plan to create the perfect woman for him, which meant getting his hands on a young girl by [...]


    19. This book is a perfect example of truth being stranger than fiction. I can see why so many novelists ended up using parts of this crazy experiment in their books. I mean, it's a story that just begs to be told. Wendy Moore does a good job taking her exhaustive research and fashioning it into an entertaining, readable book. Sometimes she can be a bit too twenty-first century in her critique of Thomas Day's behavior. On the whole, however, Moore manages to set the behavior of the main characters i [...]


    20. Thomas Day liked to quote a line from a poem titled “Advice to the Ladies”: “Wit like wine intoxicates the brain/Too strong for feeble women to sustain.” A great benefactor to the poor and a vocal champion of the American Revolution, Day wrote passionate diatribes about the need to free African slaves and lobbied to expand voting rights to include men of all classes. But where women were concerned, Day’s views were far less progressive. It seems only fitting that after his death, Day [...]


    21. HOW TO CREATE THE PERFECT WIFE. (2013). Wendy Moore. ***.Set in Great Britain in the 18th century, this is the story of Thomas Day and his quest to create the perfect woman. Perfect, of course, meant certain things to Mr. Day, things that tend to vary from person to person. He believed that a woman that he would ultimately take as a wife would have those properties, and that he had a right to possess her. Day, who was, apparently, not all that good looking, was set to inherit a fortune after his [...]


    22. I am reminded of what a speaker said to a group of single people about marriage. If they were waiting to find the perfect person and did, why would they want to marry them. A funny way of saying that none of us is perfect but that is exactly what Thomas Day, wanted in the perfect wife - as he envisioned her. She would be frugal, disdain any worldly pleasures and only live to please and bend to Day's every wish. They would be perfectly compatible in spirit and thought as long it was Day's thought [...]


    23. Just how "enlightened" was the 18th-century English gentleman and Rousseau-devote Thomas Day? His money and his intellect opened doors to English society and to the company of the extraordinary circle of gentlemen scientists known as the Lunar Men. He believed so fervently in Rousseau's love of "nature" that his personal hygene appalled women and men alike. His progressive beliefs made him one of the most prominent anti-slavery advocates of the late 18th century. Yet he essentially stole two ado [...]


    24. This is a fascinating, well-researched book. It sometimes gets bogged down in unnecessary levels of detail, but I'd still recommend it for anyone interested in the subject or time period.Thomas Day wanted a beautiful, intelligent, educated, brave, strong wife who was willing to live alone with him in some simple, isolated cottage. He realized pretty quickly that it would be difficult to find all those traits in a woman who'd be submissive enough to suit him, so he picked up a couple of foundling [...]


    25. I rarely read biography, they often make me angry if I think that the author is making assumptions or jumping to false conclusions, but Wendy Moore seems to have hunted down most of the diaries and letters written in Georgian Britain, and found many articles on this peculiar story in the press. I'm impressed by her research, and impressed by how skilfully she weaves a fascinating tale that starts with the youth of Thomas Day, and ends with the death of Sabrina.I enjoyed this book more than Wedlo [...]


    26. Expertly woven narrative history/biography of a true-to-life Pygmalion experiment of a man trying to groom his future wife in the mid-18th-century. The author pulls in so many great details of the man's friends, the social life of the time, and piecing together the stories of all of the interesting women that crossed his path. HIGHLY recommend.Some synopsis at NYP nypost/2013/04/07/designinDetails on London's Foundling Hospital bbc/history/british/The Foundling Museum foundlingmuseum/


    27. How can this be true? A rich guy buys an orphan, so he can mold her into his perfect woman, who he will then marry. This was a well known story in its time, the basis of several well known classic novels from Edgeworth to Trollope, largely forgotten today. This is my favorite type of sociology/history, with lots of interesting characters, and discussions of different aspects of the era used to express an individual experience.


    28. Amazing true story of 18th century gentleman Thomas Day, who adopted two orphans in hopes of creating his perfect wife. Filled with prominent names of the 18th/19th centuries, including Maria Edgeworth, Fanny Burney, and Erasmus Darwin, this book is a wonderful example of why I love British history.


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