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Everybody's Business Is Nobody's Business Or, Private Abuses, Public Grievances; Exemplified in the Pride, Insolence, and Exorbitant Wages of Our Women, Servants, Footmen, &c. [Kindle Edition]

Daniel Defoe
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.

Product Details

  • File Size: 164 KB
  • Print Length: 19 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,784 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vivid language in a compendium of rants March 2, 2013
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This has to be read to believed. Written by the author of Robinson Crusoe, this tome indignantly spits acid in every direction. He particularly has it in for "servant wenches" who can give notice if they don't like a job. Read this and imagine living in an environment where "at will employment" is not a fact to be taken for granted. Employees have the "puffed up pride" to negotiate higher wages - such insolence! This short work serves to remind us that we have always had with us the high blood pressure polemics so prevalent on talk radio; the carefully selected partisan truths spun by entertainers passing themselves off as commentators are nothing new. I will leave you with just a couple select quotes to give you a taste of this free historical work:

"Women servants are now so scarce, that from thirty and forty shillings a year, their wages are increased of late to six, seven, nay, eight pounds per annum, and upwards; insomuch that an ordinary tradesman cannot well keep one; but his wife, who might be useful in his shop or business, must do the drudgery of household affairs; and all this because our servant-wenches are so puffed up with pride nowadays, that they never think they go fine enough: it is a hard matter to know the mistress from the maid by their dress; nay, very often the maid shall be much the finer of the two. Our woollen manufacture suffers much by this, for nothing but silks and satins will go down with our kitchen-wenches; to support which intolerable pride, they have insensibly raised their wages to such a height as was never known in any age or nation but this."

"If she be tolerably handsome, and has any share of cunning, the apprentice or her master's son is enticed away and ruined by her.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Obviously Defoe believes that this is His Business March 25, 2015
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Wow, what a great rant against women servants, footmen and shoe shiners. This is the Rush Limbaugh of England in 1725. The maids come from the countryside and they immediately raise their wages, start wearing fancy silk dresses instead of wool. horrors, these women even start affairs with the Master's apprentice, his son, or even the MASTER HIMSELF! This of course wrecks his marriage, family and even his estate at which point she dumps a bastard on him and leaves. All I can say is how horrible those poor rich men are treated by wicked female servants.

Of course he supplies several suggestions for keeping these people in line. I actually think that this pamphlet lead to the development of servants letters of recommendation that were later required to get another position. He's also in a fury concerning what is called blackguards or japanners who seem to be shoe shine men and boys who he believes are all lazy scoundrels, thieves and gamblers. The term blackguards as a pejorative meaning scoundrel must have come from this period. This is a very interesting view of the class beliefs values and practices of the early 1700's by a English gentleman.

Daniel Defoe was a prolific author of both fiction (Robinson Crusoe and Moll Flanders are his best known) and non fiction (history, pamphlets, travel, and articles). In his personal life he was known for switching political sides, pretending to be of modest means while acquiring homes, money and income, and often exaggerating if not lying when it suited him. A interesting read historically for a taste of the times.
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