A wife pawns her lover's parting gift with unexpected consequences, an unusual painting proves to be more valuable than anyone, especially its owner, could ever have predicted, a husband and wife, unable to get their new baby to feed, hit upon a disturbing solution . . . "Cruelty" highlights a domestic familiarity always on the edge of something much, much darker. Collected together for the first time, stories include T"he Butler, The Great Automatic Grammatizator, Royal jelly, Mrs Bixby and the Colonel's Coat, TheSwan, Poison, Skin, The Princess and the Poacher, Genesis "and" Catastrophe and Mr Feasey."