FLAGELLATION -- Letters addressed to the Editor of the Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine on The Whipping of Girls, and the General Corporal Punishment of Children. London: [1867-] 1885.
Quarto (260 x 197 mm). 69 leaves extracted from The Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine from c.1868-1870, bound with 7 issues of Supplemental conversazione of the Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine. April-December 1870; together with preliminary matter consisting of a new general title signed G.L.S. and dated 1882, 6pp. of General Index signed G.L.S. and dated 1885 and 1p. poem 'The Victory of the Rod', 1p. index on Long Trousers signed G.L.S. and dated 1873 bound at end; interleaved, extra-illustrated with 3 hand-coloured and 4 plain plates, and 6 newspaper clippings. (1 leaf torn and repaired, some short marginal tears, light browning.) Contemporary cloth, original front wrapper bound in, gilt edges (rebacked preserving original backstrip, hinges broken, extremities rubbed). Provenance: R.B.P. (annotations, ownership inscription and presentation to:) -- G.S. -- Holland Bros of Birmingham (small ticket) -- J.B. Rund (bookplate).
EXTREMELY RARE NONCE EDITION, gathering correspondence published in the respectable Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine regarding corporal punishment, and re-issuing it with a new title and indices. The short query 'A young mother would like a few hints - the result of experience - on the early education and discipline of children' published in 1867 (first leaf) generated a huge response, which led to the separate publication of the Conversazione. 'The correspondence about corporal punishment blurred distinctions not only between pornography and the women's press but between male and female readers' (Marcus, p.141). Running alongside denunciations of such behaviour, other letters in favour of corporal punishment betray a humorous, and an imaginative side: 'H[appy] M[other] never leaves any underclothing on, but puts a layer of cream, and naturally when she whips them it is a case of I scream - Ice cream' (January 1869, p.55). This intersection of a middle class woman's magazine with a Victorian underworld is exemplified by the semi-overt advertising of the pornographic Flagellation and the Flagellants (Conversazione, August 1870, p.8) and questions long-held assumptions that Victorian pornography was a uniquely male province. The extra-illustration include a curious full-page engraving of women playing soccer. AE and ABPC record no copy sold at auction; WorldCat locates only one copy, at Cambridge. Marcus Between Women: friendship, desire, and marriage in Victorian England. Princeton: 2007.