The Library of Spanking Fiction: Wellred Weekly

Wellred Weekly
Volume 1, Number 10 : August 28, 2012
Items of interest regarding all things spanking

The Governess
by flopsybunny

There are many spanking stories featuring a governess as the key protagonist, either as one who administers corporal punishment to her charges, or who receives it herself from her employers. The governess is depicted as a kind of surrogate mother, expected to suppress any desire for the possibility of her own marriage or motherhood. Not that there would be any time to pursue her own interests, as in addition to educational supervision, she was responsible for the social and moral development of her charges. Children carried their experience with their governesses well into adulthood. By then, they might have been either traumatized by cruel and sadistic instructors, or filled with fondness and admiration for the women who were invariably closer to them than their own mothers, based on the sheer amount of time they had spent together during the child's formative years and beyond.

I have often wondered why the erstwhile figure of the governess holds such fascination in the present day. Could it be attributed to the way in which the governess has been portrayed in fiction and film - as a stereotype of a generally impoverished woman, neither servant nor family member, yet who constantly emerges as the heroine, often escaping a prim middle-age by marrying the local curate or the master of the house? With the help of an internet search engine, I decided to do some digging. And this is what I found.

Printed publications
From 1830 to 1865 there appeared in fiction every conceivable type of governess. The year 1847 marked the arrival of the governess at the very heart of the English novel where a middle-class woman employed to teach the daughters of those better off than herself appeared as the central character in a major work. First we have Becky Sharpe in William Thackeray's Vanity Fair; and later that same year was published Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre.

In her book The Victorian Governess, Kathryn Hughes looks at the vast array of novels featuring a governess which appeared between 1814 and 1865, noting that the way the governess was portrayed in the novel shifted as the century progressed, saying that "The transformation of the governess into a major literary character was inseparable from the wider process of feminisation which the novel had been undergoing since the middle of the eighteenth century."

During the 1840s and 1850s a range of periodicals of the time touched on the plight of the governess, which was described as a combination of low pay and poor working conditions. Such articles illuminate the way in which the tensions which the governess seemed to embody (social respectability, sexual morality and financial self-reliance) touched a raw nerve with a huge swathe of middle-class Britain. The Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine had a reputation for being a respectable publication ... yet there is evidence to show that flagellatory erotica could be found within its pages. For example, reader's were invited to write in and give their opinion on the topic of corporal punishment for girls. Many of the magazine's 'Reader's Letters' which found their way into print had not been penned by readers but had been lifted from more scurrilous sources! How shocking! For example, it is doubtful that the following extract published in the December 1868 edition was sent in by 'a loving mother'.
The eldest was first taken to her dressing room and prepared for the rod, and then conveyed to the boudoir by the governess, who at once administered the discipline. The younger one was then prepared and received a wholesome flagellation [on the bare posterior], the delinquents being tightly strapped to an ottoman during the castigation, at the conclusion of which they had to kiss the rod and thank the governess, when they were permitted to retire.

Much of the pornography of the period is marked by an obsession with flagellation or the English Vice. The circulation of pornographic material concerned with spanking, flogging and whipping reached epidemic proportions during the Victorian era - and many were the tales of schoolroom spankings. In this case the setting was either a girls' boarding school or a private classroom and the plot typically involved a governess whipping her pupil, who might be an adolescent girl or boy, for some petty misdemeanour such as sullenness.

The social landscape
A lot of spanking/flagellation erotica of the Victorian period imitated the debates over corporal punishment in school and domestic settings, some manifest as tongue-in-cheek parody. And outside the fictional context were people like Theresa Berkley (see The Flagellation Brothels of Old London by Februs in Vol.1, No.5.) who ran high-class flagellation brothels specialising in chastisement and whipping. Such women acting out the role of a strict governess made a good living by administering vigorous discipline to their clients. During this period, governesses were sometimes linked with fallen women. Why? Because like the prostitute, many a governess was propelled into the domestic heart of the upper and middle classes from the world of financial desperation and reduced circumstances.

Perhaps raised initially as a lady with prospects and groomed to expect a life of leisure, some of these women subsequently deprived of adequate funds were then obliged to descend the social ladder all the way down to the schoolroom. This difficult transition involved falling from their previous genteel state whilst continuing to cling to the social forms of behaviour which marked their former state. These women were also expected to discipline their charges, given that an unruly or badly-behaved child reflected badly on the governess; as such, they clearly would not wish to appear incompetent and lacking control as this would pose a threat to their continued employment.

Thus the governess would step in to correct any bad or immoral behaviour. The rod was seldom spared and even petty acts of mischief were dealt with diligently. A firm belief of the time was that obedience was the highest of all the virtues. With a regular dose of corporal punishment, children were made to learn obedience at a very early age.

The Englishwoman's
Domestic Magazine
The Test by
Thomas Armstrong
Rolf und die Gouvernante
by Paul Kamm

The Markham Project
I feel I have to mention the so-called Markham Project, because as fascinating as it may sound, it is likely to be a complete fabrication. Stoltz Sinatra in his brief essay The Markham Project - Fact or Fiction?, explains the project was allegedly named after a professional Victorian governess and educationalist called Elizabeth Markham. Between the 1880s and the early part of the 20th century she aimed to encourage best practice in the training of governesses and the education of young women by creating a network of like-minded governesses and others who who were trying to set-up some sort of academy to further their aims. They supposedly "advocated corporal punishment of young women over the age of 16 and unmarried ladies up to a late age."

Elizabeth Markham's philosophy was to show that women were not frail creatures and that spanking, caning, birching and other "robust forms of punishment" were essential for discipline and the well-being of "females of all social conditions wishing to better themselves."

Whilst the above can certainly spice up a few fantasies, I can find no evidence to indicate that Elizabeth Markham ever existed.

The Governess Today
It is no surprise that today's lifestyle disciplinarians and dominatrixes often masquerade as a governess who invites her clients into her world of very strict corporal punishment, using their prerogative to remove adult privileges and apply any number of strict measures. I have it on good authority that clients pay a handsome fee to be spanked, caned, whipped, paddled and humiliated by a stern governess!

Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret were taught at home by a governess but their children and grandchildren attended school. It would seem that the governess has mostly died out as a profession, yet the image she leaves behind continues to spark interest.

Contemporary Spanking Stories
Various authors of contemporary spanking fiction have written a number of stories featuring the governess. Here are a few extracts from some of the governess stories available in the Library of Spanking Fiction. Many of us appreciate stories where the tables are turned, resulting in the disciplinarian being in a position of chastisement. In The Governess by Flogmaster, the boy Bobby delights in spanking his governess.
Without giving Miss Angelica time to recover, Bobby smacked the opposite cheek. This time the woman was quiet, but it was obvious she was in a lot of pain. She winced and writhed at every wallop, and Bobby kept it up vigorously. After every swat he yelled and hollered, and then delivered the next one even harder.

"Not so hard!" gasped the governess, writhing and wiggling her bottom in a vain effort to avoid the sting. Bobby ignored her, paddling the cheeks hard and finding the way her buttocks pinkened fascinating.

In my own story A Cane For A governess a voyeur observes the governess receiving discipline from the master of the house.
What a sight. What a glorious sight! The governess was bending over the couch, her bottom elevated, and her long skirts lifted high over her shoulders. The master moved into position behind her and undid the ribbons on her white drawers. They pooled in a creamy froth by her feet. Her bottom was bare, with beautifully sculpted and firm buttocks. Her skin was pale and had an almost translucent quality.

Something similar takes place in The Colonel and the Governess by Cal33.
Miss Glenwood's face had become as red as fire; her eyes flashed with anger. "You sir, are no gentleman," she hissed, "to force a lady to strip almost naked, like a common trollop! Is humiliation a part of my punishment as well?"

A faint smile came to the man's lips. "I am sure it will help you remember our little meeting today." In a lower, slightly menacing voice, Bryson went on, "Draw up your chemise to your waist, Miss Glenwood. Then, bend over in front of my desk, elbows on it."

Still seething with anger, she nevertheless did as ordered. In the meantime, Bryson took from his desk a stiff leather strap, some two feet in length. He stepped behind the woman, pausing to take in the view.

In The Governess by John Benson, Miss Nash's new employer outlines certain conditions to be met.
"You will punish my daughter whenever you feel you must, and I'll never interfere. But on any day you've had to whip Alice, you will report to me after she's in bed, and I'll do the same to you."

She felt weak and could barely breathe. "I don't understand," she said. But perhaps she did understand. He stared so. Almost avid.

"If she's failed, then you've failed," he said. "Her behavior is your responsibility. It seems only fair."

Caroline is the governess in the story by DJ Black called The Master, His Daughter and The Governess. After romping naked in the river with her charge, Amelia, their clothes are stolen, and they are discovered by Amelia's father, who holds Caroline fully responsible. He chastises her (Well of course he does. How disappointing it would be if he didn't!).
"I am ready sir," she said meekly.

Sir Richard turned and contemplated the well rounded and nicely present bottom before him. It was as luscious as he remembered and he wondered briefly he if he was not taking advantage.

Then with a shrug he took up the leather strap and moved behind his handsome target. He had never been able to chastise his daughter, but sisters, cousins, maids, the odd harlot and even his wife had been under his hand, although it had been a while.

The first strike stung like fire and sounded like a canon. Even Sir Richard jumped a little. Caroline jumped a lot and jerked on the desktop.

"Yah," she yelled surprised at the pain. School was never like this.

js_anon has a talent for writing verse, and some of his poems feature the governess, as in The Governess and The Cane; The Governess - Much Angrier; and The Husband's Governess. The latter concludes with:
My job is done. His discipline
Is at an end for now.
I leave my card upon the chair,
For I am sure, somehow,
That this young man, so naughty, will
Again be found to stray
From paths of righteousness, and then
His wife will call, some day
And ask me to return once more,
And once more we'll be gazing,
Upon a well-whipped, naughty boy
With bottom sore and blazing.

Rollin's serial The Mills Governess has an unusual sci-fi element as Gordon Mills designs a machine to take him back in time. His interest, however, is not purely scientific, as he wants to witness a birching. The time trip successful, Gordon finds himself in the mind of a 14 year old boy called Richard, and goes on to have some very interesting experiences.
Richard froze, which prompted a disgusted Miss Harwell to jerk the towel away. She gripped the blubbering boy by the earlobe and forced him, squealing, face down over her knee. She grabbed his right hand and twisted it up behind his back while simultaneously lifting her right leg. This forced Richard's nose toward the floor and raised his buttocks vulnerably pointing the unblemished cheeks upward. While Richard's response was one of deep shame at being upended nude over Miss Harwell's lap, Gordon's was one of fear. He had never felt a spanking before.

In my serial The Governess, teenagers Jacob and Amelia meet their match in the guise of the steely Miss Eversham, who very soon takes control.
Cook looked up in surprise at the unexpected intrusion into her kitchen.

"I am Miss Eversham, the new governess. Do you have a tin bath in the scullery?"

"Why, yes Miss," replied cook. "But the master had a proper bathroom put in upstairs. The range provides all our hot water."

"Jacob and Amelia will not be requiring hot water for their bath today, thank you cook. Kindly have the tin bath filled with cold water, and bring me a scrubbing brush and a bar of carbolic soap."

In Georgina and the Governess by Neil, disgraced daughter Georgina is taken in hand by the stern no-nonsense Miss Grant.
Miss Grant raised her eyebrows, and Mrs Jackson gave a curt nod. Suddenly Georgina found herself whisked off the chair and over the bony knees of Miss Grant. Her skirt was flipped up, and a muscular hand descended several times upon her shapely young buttocks.

All of the above, plus other similar themed stories help to maintain an interest and fascination for the traditional Victorian governess. That's got to be a good thing!

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