Tuesday, 7 July 2009

More on Home Schooling, Victorian school uniform and Other Stuff

Hi folks! Well, what can I say; despite my best intentions for the life of me I couldn't get my wireless 3G Internet thingy to work sufficiently well to satisfactory update my blog while I was away travelling. I'm back in London for a few days and having done a fair amount of writing wall on the move I shall be concentrating on scanning various items from my collections that have inspired me over the years and at the same time looking for further inspiration for the two upcoming volumes that I outlined last time.

In particular I will be researching into the designs and styling of school uniforms of bygone ages, especially the Victorian era. As I said before; without giving too much away, the premise behind volume 3 is the idea of a pair of late-teenage sisters being schooled at home, having been removed from the conventional education system just prior to taking the final exams that would undoubtedly have opened the door to university placement and Independence. Their guardian’s original expressed reasoning being that, in this way when they did finally take those exams the grades they would achieve would be far superior - thus their placement that much more prestigious - seems belayed by the fact that some two years on, educationally they are still no closer to that goal, indeed if anything they are further than ever from it. The governess employed to rule over them, placing the greatest emphasis on discipline above all else, is of the opinion that there is little point in her attempting to further their education until such a time that she is satisfied that she has them both properly under her control, by which term she means living under - and accepting - what she calls ‘good boarding school discipline’. Two years of written impositions, line writing, parrot fashion rote learning of nonsense rhymes and meaningless tables of numbers - all under the constant threat of the cane or the strap - have undermined their expensive education and eroded their self-confidence.
By the time we first meet them they are both completely and hopelessly under her domination and the question then is - under those circumstances, can either Susan or Meredith, joining them to make up a quartet for the summer, hang on to any semblance of Independence and self-reliance and will either be able to stand up for herself when at the end of summer she is handed documentation to sign there will effectively return her to the incarceration of the institution of experimental psychology? I feel it would be likely that, freed of the straitjacket of convention, any guardian or governess given totally free rein over a small select group of late-teenage girls in such a situation, particularly given the predilections of the particular woman discussed above, would expend no little imagination or effort in the design of a suitable school uniform, for what other form of attire could be more apt? Assuming that to be true, as the creator of the character, I too must expend a similar amount of effort and creativity.
For example; in the situation where a girl is largely confined to the home or at most her excursions are limited to a very occasional, closely supervised and guarded stroll in the secluded and high-walled grounds of the house; three from prying eyes and well-meaning busybody interference I can well imagine elements that would normally be associated with so-called ‘shame clothing’ being Incorporated in her dress -I would certainly expect an emphasis on restriction in the design, as I have said before. Why the emphasis on Victorian school uniform? Well, the entire wing of the house in which the two sisters are pretty much incarcerated in one way or another has not one modern contrivance - even the lighting is by way of gas lamps - and it is furnished almost as if a museum exhibit of the Victorian era. Indeed by the time we meet the sisters their governess, along with her nursery-nurse assistant, is beginning to get them into the state of mind wherein in some ways they are actually beginning to believe they are really living in the 19th-century, so isolated have they become from the outside world under her influence.

But therein lies my problem as to date I found very little pertaining to Victorian school uniform, although I have come across one or useful sources dealing with the early part of the twentieth century. An example is the drawing on the top left dating from the 1920s; not likely to be particularly influential in my thinking - I'm thinking along far more fussy and restrictive lines - it is food for thought nonetheless. If anybody comes across any suitable pictures or descriptions or has any suitable ideas and inspirations please feel free to let me know either as a comment or by direct e-mail to yours truly.

Now last time I promised you a couple of links and here they are, albeit somewhat delayed (sorry). If you're interested in restrictive clothing as pertaining to discipline of the female than it's worth visiting Retroxotique (just click the pic on the left or site title to visit the fashion links - but I've also added it to the resource list in the sidebar). As well as vintage pictures they also have stories so click HERE for the site's story page or HERE to check out the story link list.

By the way, if you just can't get enough of those vintage spanking magazine covers and can't find enough of interest in my own album (see Picasweb album list in sidebar on right) then you'll be interested in a YahooGroup I recently came across that has literally masses. It is where the cover picture on the above right came from so just click on it to visit, or look for the link in a YahooGroup list in the sidebar (of course you have to join yahoogroups first).
You might also like to visit The Woody Back to School Unit an interesting little blog I have neglected to mention some how (embarising considering the owner was kind enough to congratulate me on the publication of INSTITUTIONALISED Volume 2 on the pages of his blog!

1 comment:

sixofthebest said...

I love to see a naughty woman ware a corset, and 'directoire knickers', before I pull the 'directoire's down to bare her bottom for a good caning. 6, 12 or 25 of the very best strokes of the cane, then would descend on that voluptous naughty bare bottom of hers. What a pleasureable sight this makes. This for me is truly heaven.