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By Jane Collier

An Essay at the paintings of Ingeniously Tormenting is the 1st English publication at the craft of nagging. A bitingly humorous social satire, it's also an suggestion e-book, a instruction manual of anti-etiquette, and a comedy of manners. The paintings offers a desirable glimpse into eighteenth-century lifestyle, the therapy of servants and dependants and the citing of youngsters, and is an exhilarating precursor to the artwork of Jane Austen. - Read more...


facing the craft of nagging, this social satire can also be an recommendation publication, a guide of anti-etiquette, and a comedy of manners. It offers a glimpse into eighteenth-century lifestyle, the Read more...

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218. 41 Introduction xxxiii The Satirical Tradition Collier’s familiarity with classical and contemporary satires informs and enlivens her own satirical voice in The Art. Her commonplace book confirms that both Jane and her sister Margaret, who transcribed its contents, knew Latin and Greek—skills foundational to the education of gentlemen but seldom taught to girls because they were thought to be irrelevant to domestic life. She quotes in The Art from Abraham Cowley’s translation of the works of Martial, the Roman satirical epigrammist, and probably knew Horace’s satires as well as Ars Poetica before Henry Fielding presented her with a copy of Horace’s works in 1754.

52 Audrey Bilger, Laughing Feminism: Subversive Comedy in Frances Burney, Maria Edgeworth, and Jane Austen (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1998), 196. NOTE ON THE TEXT The present text is based on the second London edition of An Essay on the Art of Ingeniously Tormenting, published in octavo by Andrew Millar in 1757. Collier died before this edition appeared in print but it seems likely that she at least had a hand in revising the first edition of 1753 which was printed for Millar by Samuel Richardson.

Given Collier’s feisty contribution to the debate about learned women, and her shrewd remarks about teaching children, we should take with a pinch of salt the remarks she made with Sarah Fielding in a letter they wrote in 1751 to James Harris, a member of the Fieldings’ circle who may have helped Collier draft The Art. 41 But Collier deployed in The Art her knowledge of Horace and many other writers with consummate skill. Like many other educated women, especially those in insecure social circumstances, she must surely have feared that she might be ridiculed for her wit.

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