Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Good Grooming

“At first glance, it would seem that Wendy Moore, a lively English journalist and social historian, has written an account of Victor Frankenstein’s reluctant endeavors to present his monster with the wife the lonely creature so desperately craves. Not so. Moore’s extraordinary subject is the compellingly repellent historical figure Thomas Day, a children’s book writer and ardent abolitionist.
     Fatherless but possessed of a fortune from a very early age, Day had a predilection for the sadistic treatment of vulnerable young women, a habit that seems to have been formed by his own capacity for stoically enduring — even thriving upon — the rough treatment meted out at the Charterhouse school. Seventeen-hour days and 'roastings' in front of a blazing fire were as regular a part of the curriculum for Day and his schoolmates as public floggings. What had been good for Thomas (or so this sullen, unkempt and exceptionally arrogant youth seems to have reckoned by the time he reached Corpus Christi College at Oxford) would also prove beneficial to his future wife. […]
     Acting in cahoots with John Bicknell, a lifelong friend from Charterhouse, Day visited the smaller Shrewsbury sister-branch of London’s Foundling Hospital and later the main hospital itself. At that time, children could be adopted from such institutions to become apprentices, and Bicknell and Day put the unknowing Edgeworth forth as a potential employer, performing a dual act of abduction. Two pretty little girls, one auburn-haired and one blond, were singled out, renamed Sabrina and Lucretia, and carried off to be trained as potential brides for Thomas Day.”
— Miranda Seymour, The New York Times
Read more…

Buy this book here...

No comments:

Post a Comment