Wednesday, 20 August 2008

An Anonymous Contribution and a Reply

Some time ago I posted some story ideas under the title of; Some story ideas: An original inspiration (Click to view). An anonymous visitor has left an interesting comment on this post; one I thought inspiring enough to reproduce here - particularly as I am about to post in a serialised form (in two parts) a governess-and-her-charge orientated story scanned from a spanking magazine of the period the writer speaks of.

I recall from the 1970s one of the "spanking" mags had a feature called "Diary of a Victorian Young Lady". The young lady's parents went abroad leaving her in the charge of a governess, who introduced her - never before so much as spanked - to he "delights" of the cane, the birch, and the heavy tawse.

I could probably recall some more detail of the story, if it be of interest. What I perhaps remember best is the reader's letter castigating the governess on her leniency.

- In case she takes it into her head to attempt to run away again, she should be taken to the blacksmith to have a chain permanently shackled to her ankles. This will prevent her wearing any drawers, but there is no need for such a garment - absence makes her person more readily available for discipline. She should not be allowed to idle away her time in the schoolroom, but should be helping the maidservants to scrub the floors, and they should be permitted to discipline her should her efforts slack. Finally the application of soothing creams should be totally forbidden, instead she should be birched every bedtime with stinging nettles. This is not only an effective punishment, but would help her skin to heal and be once more available for discipline on the morrow. Anon.
I for one would love to hear more details from this story; it is not one I recall coming across and it sounds promising to say the least. Equally inspiring are the details from the reader's letter that our anonymous contributor quotes, particularly the part about the shackling of her ankles - an absconding charge is always a worry under such circumstances.
But there are more than one kind of shackles and not all bonds are visible nor, indeed, even tangible. Self-confidence can be fragile, self-doubt quite debilitating and, similarly, agoraphobia can be quite immobilising.
Whether the germ of the idea be introduced through manipulative suggestion or a mild propensity be amplified in severity through a similar means, the increased sense of dependency on her governess, sure to result, would serve to tether the girl every bit as well as steel or iron.
Although certain of the protagonists inhabiting the pages of INSTITUTIONALISED volume 2 will undoubtedly encounter individual physical restraint and those of volume 1, once actually ensconced within the walls of the institution, find themselves languishing behind steel security grilles, it is the more psychological approach, broached above, that has guided two such young ladies into their new lives and that threatens to curtail their freedom. In volume 2 we will see the power of such a non-physical technique lovingly as wielded by a particularly strict governess to control and bind her charges to her. Corporal punishment is of course introduced, with cane, tawse and martinet as is a suitably humiliating uniform for her girls, but the discipline applied and enforced within that invisible framework of restraint.

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