22Wetenhall Wilkes (1705/06–1751) was an Irish clergyman and writer who moved to England in 1741. His first published work was An Essay of the Existence of God (1730), which openly debated all sides of the issue. The Humours of the Black Dog … (1737) was a poem written from the debtors’ prison of the same name and addressed to Jonathan Swift. With this background, he seems an unlikely author for ‘A Letter of Genteel and Moral Advice …’ (1740), which was a thoroughly conventional conduct manual addressed to his sixteen-year-old niece, but it sold well and went through eight editions by 1766. The text covers the usual subject matter deemed essential for young women, but tends to be less sugar-coated than some, observing that his niece can expect to be bored as a wife but that becoming an old maid is unfairly deemed “a kind of imputed scandal.” Most of all, he recommends that women base their choice of a spouse on their future husband’s character rather than his looks or even wealth.