Evil Pygmalion

There have been several articles released recently about Wendy Moore’s new nonfiction title How to Create the Perfect Wife: Britain’s Most Ineligible Bachelor and His Enlightened Quest to Train the Ideal Mate, which sounds absolutely mind-blowing. Moore set out to tell the true story of Thomas Day, an 18th century intellectual who set out to literally raise an orphaned preteen girl to become his ideal woman. Apparently, Day wasn't all bad: he campaigned against slavery, donated most of his fortune to charity, and wrote one of the first books specifically for children. He was also a diehard fanboy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and particularly impressed by his theories on the education of the "whole person". So when Day's engagements (note the plural) ended with him being jilted (read: the women came to their senses), he decided to use Rousseau's novel Emile as a practical wife-rearing guide, and adopted two orphaned girls, ages 11 and 12, as test subjects.

I'm torn. Most of me wants to read this book, which sounds equal parts horrifying and fascinating, but the rest of me is concerned I'll suffer from an actual rage blackout.
Posted by: Julianka


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