Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Alice and the New Magdalene Laundries - And a Clip of Victoriana Nonsense I Came Across Long Ago

Yes, you've guessed it!  I  finally  have the new book at the point where it is nearly ready to be published.  It requires only a few more corrections - and of course the all-important (to me at least) cover art / marketing imagery.  The title I have come up with in truth relates to only part of the tale but is unashamedly designed to ride on the renewed wave of interest here in the UK in the press and on the radio over the notoriety of the Magdalene laundries.  Of course the institution I describe is entirely fictional - but it is also all too plausible; especially when one considers the fact that the last of those deplorable institutions was only closed down in 1996!  I may elect to place it on LULU sans cover art to begin with, as I did the last title I produced (which is now out on Amazon et al courtesy of Andrews UK LTD by the way) so it may be worth a search through LULU to check from time to time.


Alice Under Discipline - Book Two
Alice and the New Magdalene Laundries

Now that I have that off my chest I can be off out to the pub.  You see the cat's away (the wife - and she 's taken the kids!) for the week and as I haven't been near a pub since the 3rd of January (and it's sunny here in North London) so I have decided to award myself a few days imbibing the local Ales.  At the same time I'll be taking the netbook computer I have and God-willing I'll be putting together some introductory articles and such for the website.  The latter I shall be updating next either tomorrow or Thursday, most probably with a few pages spotlighting the work of a guest author.  And on that subject; I plan to host a series of pages on the website (link in the right hand sidebar) devoted to publicising the work of other authors, so if any of you are interested in giving your work the light of day let me know, either here or by email, Twitter, Facebook or whatever.

 Talking of other authors:  Ages ago (many years actually) I came upon something which later went a long way in influencing the kind of thing I tend to write about.  If you look you'll doubtless recognise many themes I have used or touched upon in my novels or on this blog over the years.  

"...suffice it to say that after five years both signatures were dully obtained – and then both names fade from history, just rumours of institutional care remaining.  Others, though, have pointed out the startling resemblance of two of a certain titled lady's maids to the twins she once had in her care, not to mention marvelling at the exacting level of obedience she managed to extract from the girls.  One visitor describes the pair of them as obliging and sweet, but “little more than pretty automata, seemingly without a thought of their own in their heads”.  

 The regime which may or may not have produced such “exacting obedience” we know more of, though – our lady disciplinarian was something of an obsessive journal keeper, it turns out.  For instance every detail of the two girls' 'finestred'  - or windowed, as she describes them – dresses is outlined, detailing how she based the dress design around the summer uniform of a particularly strict girl's boarding school, before adapting it to her own specification, complete with underwired cut-outs to expose the breasts and a mid-thigh widely-flared skirt (her description) – and all this in an era when to show the ankle was deemed outrageous, if not downright obscene.  Then she plaits and coils each girl's long hair, tying each plait with a blue gingham ribbon - chosen to match the schoolgirl dress - at its end before coiling it up either side of the girl's head and pinning it in place like a straw tea mat, before then plonking a straw boater on each girl's' head. 

Actually, it is only when one of the girls throws something of a tantrum over having to wear what the girl herself calls “that stupidly childish hat” that this disturbingly clever woman's imagination really goes to town.  She deals with that little disturbance by taking a pair of barber's clippers (manual in those days) to the tops of both girls' heads, cutting bald a pink-hued path the width of the clippers (around an inch and a half to two inches in width I imagine) down the centre of each girl's head before plaiting the remainder.  From that point on she takes a cutthroat razor to that furrow on a weekly basis to keep it clear, ensuring that neither girl has much desire to remove her school uniform hat, even in private.  At one point, at least in her journal, she considers shaving them both bald, but then considers that she prefers the manner in which the residual plaits coiled to both sides of the head makes them look ridiculous – she doesn't tell the girls that, though, always holding over their heads (forgive me) the threat of taking the clippers and the razor to their remaining 'crowning glory'. 

But she does eventually take the razor to their eyebrows – you couldn't make it up – and I haven't, then even takes a small pair of scissors to their eyelashes.  It almost goes without saying that intimate shaving is the next step - backed up by the not-so-judicious application of the school cane she quickly introduces.  The latter is treated to a long, drawn-out, blow-by-blow or cane-stroke-by-cane-stroke description of how she wears down both – interspersed with ice-cold showers, day on day – before they finally submit to her intimate attentions.             

Then we have listed is a step by step series of measurements detailing the drawing out and distension of the girl's nipples, ending when both girl's nipples had been stretched to very nearly two inches in length.  And their breasts seamed to have been elongated to some extent too.  And not satisfied with that, she then starts adding thicker and thicker – and therefore heavier, one would think - nipple rings, with the expressed intention of widening the holes “so that they never can be hidden” as she says.  The very next thing – well it's not the very next in that the nipple stretching exercise is in the early stages, though well on the way and both girls are becoming well familiar with the breast-whip, both around the nipples and on the undersides of the bosom, but the next thing is the nose ring.  Now in today's world that is possibly not that astounding, but in the Victorian world?  I for one didn't even know that sort of thing went on.  And did they even have anaesthesia back then?    Well, I'm not sure of that last part, nor where the Victorians would have obtained ice from in the middle of summer.  What I do know is that there is a very detailed, wholly realistic and believable account of how a female specialist, some colleague member of some discrete Sapphic organisation or club judging by the impression I get, is called in and how she applies ice to the septum of each girl's nose before carrying out the act itself.  Needless to say a very long-drawn-out caning precedes the treatment, neither girl being what one might call exactly keen. 

 But nonetheless, the treatment goes ahead and both girls are soon sporting what sounds to have been quite a large and cumbersome nose ring.  And as with their nipples it isn't long before a larger and heavier ring  is substituted for the original - and then another and another, each designed to stretch the original piercing larger.  And when one of the duo goes running, crying to her guardian, instead of castigating the girl's governess the guardian actually suggests to the woman that she adds a bell to each girl's nose ring as a form of discipline, even going so far as to suggest it too, like the ring itself, be made progressively larger and heavier.  It is only a short step from there - once the idea had taken hold and the two girls' refusal to speak with the lisp their governess had decided she liked had grown to irritating proportions - to piercing the tip of the tongue and the lower lip of each girl and conjoining the two body parts with a ring.  I imagine that latter operation dealt with the refusal to develop a lisp alright!

 Then we come to another apparently anachronistic development.  We come to the question of our duo’s knickers.  Don't forget we are talking about the Victorian era here, when skirts brushed the floor except for those of little children, and drawers or bloomers were knee length or even ankle length.  We have already mentioned the fact that our duo's frocks were mid thigh, if full-skirted, and based on strict long-sleeved and high-collared school summer dresses, albeit cut away where it mattered to expose and 'present' their breasts.  The styling, as I understand it, was some sort of variation on the favoured 'sailor suit' dress usually reserved at the time for children, but in a gingham check pattern with contrasting stiffened white collar and cuffs and 'cut' and 'boned' to not only allow for the maturing figure, but to actually augment and exaggerate it.   So what about their knickers or bloomers – well, what would you have come up with, given the limitations (perhaps advantages -  just think about that for a moment) of the Victorian era?  I wonder?  I wouldn't mind betting it wouldn't involve rubber. 

 Vulcanised rubber was a fairly new material back then.  And who would have thought then of employing this new material in young women's underwear – very few, I'd wager.  But this singularly brilliant woman did – and who other than another woman would have appreciated the torment this new fabric could potentially cause the female person?  She describes her design work as trunk-style.  She goes on to detail “a close-fitting garment” having deep-sectioned ribbed cuffs around the thighs and possessing a high waistband, the latter consisting of the rubber wrapped around and over a girdle of spring steel and arranged to come together at the rear with a tongue and clasp arrangement designed to take a small padlock (to deter tampering – as she says).   A “virginal slit” occupied the gusset position, this being in reality a double slit separated by a thin tubular centre seam, the latter clearly intended to separate the outer labia and encourage the inner labia to protrude through the thin slits either side.  Going further to the rear, and this centre seam split in two to form a 'y' shape, the two halves being studded with reinforced brass eyes that were, in wear, laced together with a tough cotton cord, of which the latter could be rapidly drawn out to allow for natural functions – or the attention of the cane or strap – if of course one had the key to the second padlock that secured the eyed ends of the laces.  Which of course neither girl had.  

It was all about control - but also about exposure; one can only imagine the obscene view presented by a girl bent over her desk, so dressed, her inner lips hanging like coral-pink curtains pressed out either side of that tight latex bar stand-in for a gusset, pulled up inhumanly tight between her legs.  And then you  have the skirt, a nest of heavyweight gingham check satin puffed out over layers of sky-blue petticoats like an inverted carnation, irresistibly drawing the eye to the glistening centre.  And why a glistening centre?  Possibly  not totally unconnected with the fact that the front of the gusset - the precise point upon which the two split haves converged on the centre seam – was occupied by a little circular beard of bristled rubbery filaments purposely aligned to impinge directly on the most sensitive part pf a girl's anatomy.  How could that part not glisten, teased, massaged and stimulated as it was with the girl's every step?  So each was kept, aroused, punished and humiliated in equal measure - and all at once - each girl's mind a permanent swirling turmoil of conflicting emotions.  And masturbation was out of the question:  Handcuffs had been invented and a single slim, short but strong slither of leather twixt the centre point of the linking chain and the girl's nose ring was all it took to keep that particular temptation at bay.  A ribbon sewn in to the high-throated collar of her long, chaste, woven woollen nightdress would take care of keeping her nipples and breasts under the tension required in order to stretch the flesh of those parts, the unrelenting tension being increased week on week, if not night on night! 

And then started the process of fattening them both up...  Another facet one might consider modern.    Our strict governess priestess apparently considered her bended-knee worshipers insufficiently worthy if not what she would have described as pleasantly “plumped-up”.  This implied, apparently, the result of prolonged overfeeding whilst the waist and tummy were simultaneously constricted by tight and strict corsetry, the idea being that “the fat should be laid down where it will be of most delight to the eye”.  By this statement she clearly inferred that the excess pounds should be deposited around the thighs, bottom and bosom. 

The result of all this - once squeezed into a fitted, boned, wide-skirted frock - was a startlingly wasp-waisted, broad-beamed figure, especially when augmented by the breath-stealing corsetry of the age.  And perhaps surprisingly the process apparently did indeed result in the weight going on around the bottom, hips, thighs and breasts as intended!   “Plump in all the right places” – as they used to say back then.  And that was exactly how she had the twins look– plump in all the right places – only perhaps a little too much plumpness for some tastes.   Not that the girls themselves had  too much choice in the matter, being weighed each day with the penalty of a good hard caning to be paid for insufficient weight gain.  A similar tariff was payable for insufficient nipple elongation.    The only way out of suffering for the latter was through the girl tugging and pulling on her teats herself of course,  Avoiding punishment for the former just required working on the appetite and stacking away the calories - and perhaps avoiding the mirror as the double chin became apparent.  The constantly varied diet helped, encouraging overeating at a most basic level - another anachronistic innovation worthy of a modern viewpoint. 

Avoiding the mirror was near-on impossible  since the tiniest pleat out of place  on what was termed their 'home uniform' was cause to be upended over their governess's knee and self inspection was made a de rigour part of the daily régime.  The flared-skirted childish sailor suit dress had to hang just so, with exactly a certain amount of bare flesh visible between the hem and the white cotton  stockings, the latter to reach to just above the knee where they were each tied with a blue gingham ribbon bow garter to match the dress.  And that bow had to be on the outside of the knee and dead horizontal – god forbid it was ever crooked!  And then the light blue patent leather lace-up ankle boots had to be tied just so.  High-heeled and with an acutely curving and potentially crippling 'S' shape sole they were all but impossible to walk in, enforcing a tiny, dainty step and teetering gait, but that was the intention – and they gave a pleasant uplift to a girl's bottom, which was a pleasant plus to their governess's eye.  And the straw hat was a fussy affair, it tied with a gingham ribbon bow beneath the chin but that ribbon had first to pass around the rear of both ears and then had to be tied so tight as to result in the ears sticking out – and that bow, large and ungainly as it was, had to tied just so, perfectly horizontal...."                                                                                                       


Anonymous said...

Dear Garth,

I can't begin to thank you enough for your wonderful story about Alice. I read it with my heart in my mouth, barely able to believe that someone had brought my deepest fantasies to life with such masterly cruelty! The news that you have a sequel almost ready is the best I have had all week - and the flavour of your story in this week's blog entry a delicious hors d'oeuvre! Where on earth did the story come from? Can it be purchased anywhere?

I cannot possibly compare with your brilliance, and have only written a tiny fragment of a story, but if you are in any interested in reading it, you will find it here:


Once again, many thanks for your wonderful story, your endlessly stimulating blog, and your extraordinary imagination.


Toyntanen said...

OMG! Charlotte, so many compliments! I'm blushing! Or would be if not for the fact that I haven’t shaved for a couple of days and am covered in stubble.

The posting here is not really what I would call a story as such but more something which purports to be a report on something historic, or the result of some sort of literature research. The thing is: I have absolutely no idea of the origin. It is only a short fragment of something much larger - I have more – which I found long ago on my trusty old 486-based desktop computer when I was wiping its disk drive before giving it away. That machine left my hands back in early 2005 when I bought a sort of desk-top replacement type of laptop and before I built my current home computer which was early 2006.

I do remember it existed as a scan of what looked more like a printout than a magazine page, which implies it was imported using my old handheld document scanner and then stitched together, a column at a time – and that device pretty much gave up the ghost back in 1999. I had put it through optical character recognition (OCR) presumably with the thought of adapting some part of it as the core of something or other and may have played around with it here and there, probably for use on one of the Yahoo groups I used to frequent. I’ll have a look through my magazine collection, because I wouldn’t have thrown it away, but all in all I think it may be a download, possibly from one of the old FTP sites; and I have been on the ‘net in one form or another since 1995 (I sent my first email way back in 1994 – from one side of a University computer room to the other. Why? Who knows? I was a student!)

Thanks for the link, by the way. I'm looking foreward to visiting later tonight; and I'll be adding the link to my sidebar blog listing. It would be great if you would likewise reciprocate; the more visitors the better, I always say!

Anonymous said...

The dehumanization of those twins have to be investigated a lot more. Maybe Alice has a female cousin the same age, young but not so young, who could be led a similar path. Of course given that she and her cousin live in modern times a nose ring would be hardly enough to create the same level of shame that would be felt during the Victorian era. Even a shaved head, if not made, permanent could be considered a benign predicament.

Toyntanen said...

Hi Robert!

The first thing to make clear is that the snippet to which you refer, despite a certain similarity of style apparent here and there (probably where I had started messing around with it) is not one of mine. It has nothing whatsoever to do with ‘Alice’ or any other of the characters populating my tales and little relevance to any of the story arcs that unfold within the pages of my books, other than having influenced and informed my writing.

All that being said: I quite agree with the point you make regarding the modest sensibilities of the Victorian era and the increased piquancy that enhanced sensitivity and sense of vulnerability can bring to a tale or scenario. But even today (well it was certainly true of the 1980s) it is possible to come across the bookish, shy, withdrawn or sheltered individual who would fit the bill every bit as well as any fragile Victorian flutter-by forever flopping into a dead faint through the constriction of her corsets and whose cheeks would burn with shame at providing a glimpse of her shapely ankle or merely at being caught with her hair down.

Back in the Victorian period exposure could be enough in itself and a favourite tool of the wise disciplinarian was ‘putting her back in short frocks’. You see children’s dresses were commonly hemmed just below the knee and so putting an adolescent girl in a short frock was akin to condemning her back to childhood or a child-like status both in her own eyes and in those of others, in addition to the exposure of her ankles and calves.

But even in these days a girl in her teens can often be extraordinarily self-conscious about certain physical aspects of her body and subject to all manner of uncertainties and anxieties. The trick, nowadays, is to recognise these perceived shortcomings (even where no actual physical shortcoming exists) and work with them. Taking steps to emphasise and / or draw the eye to those characteristics the girl is most unsure of can be one of the most effective methods for beginning the process of curbing a girl through inflicting deep and lasting humiliation.

Toyntanen said...

Following on from my previous comment, and by way of example: I have to say that way back in the 1980s the home I then shared with my wife of the time would regularly be enlivened in the evening by the distinctly sharp crack of rattan across a tight-stretched plump female bottom framed by untold folds and petals of organdie as our ‘little sugarplum fairy’ received a taste of my wife’s cane. And the 'other half' would rarely fail to deliver a couple across the backs of our fairy’s thighs, where the marks would show below the abbreviated hem of her fairy frock and serve to tell the world (well, the few trusted visitors and friends who were allowed to share in our little game) that 'our Penny' had been firmly ‘dealt with’.

Now Penny– of whom I have spoken of at some length before - was the girl my misses had convinced to move in with us after having been sacked (fired) from her live-in position as children's nanny (employed by a woman MP, and the first woman to breastfeed in Parliament would you believe!). An early school leaver and product of a sheltered Norfolk village upbringing, she was not exactly the sharpest pencil in the box – but personally I'd much prefer the shivering, painfully shy, shrinking violet type to the arogant gum-chewing street-corner hussy any day. And Penny - as I was quickly to discover - was exactly what it said on the tin; full to brimming with insecurities and hang-ups over her figure and looks (despite being quite fair of face, albeit in an immaturely girlish way which tended to belay her chronological age... button-pretty upturned nose combined with a natural tendency to down-cast her eyes through shyness – that sort of thing)...

Toyntanen said...

...Continued... But there could be no denying that Penny did genuinely suffer from a tendency to put on weight, especially around the bottom and hips. The merest glimpse of a gateaux in the local patissier's window was enough to put a couple of inches on her bum and put her up another cup size 'up top. And it was certainly true that she was rather over-endowed in the upper-story region – the term, 'generous bosom' didn't come in to it, particularly once she was persuaded to abandon her life sentence of fad diets and put on a little poundage! And, yes, in answer to your unvoiced question, the constriction of a corset (in penny's case, ordinarily a rubberized roll-on girdle or old-fashioned Playtex corselete or similar) does influence and dictate where those pounds pile on and build up.

So imagine if you will a plump-bottomed, big-breasted and fairly (even to start with) timidly fragile young thing squeezed into a childishly gauzy fairy dress outfit; all ruffles and puffs, all flimsy satin ribbons, ruffled skirts and bows in taffeta and French organza, knickerless and with under-breast underwired support only and a diaphanous tutu-styled skirt frothed out like a carnation obscenely centered on her big fat bottom. At first (and while retaining knickers) I'm sure it seemed like a joke, a bit of fun, being in her childish fancy dress outfit with its matching beribboned lace-toped ankle socks and satin pumps and its little pair of fairy wings sewn to the back. And perhaps for a night or two it might have been. But as days ventured in to weeks of her being necessarily confined to the house, and the laughter of visitors grew louder and louder and first her knickers were confiscated and then the dress substituted with one featuring circular cutouts over her exaggeratedly up-lifted and thrust-out bosom...

Well in terms of efficacy, let's just say this: Originally the problem had been Penny's reticence towards wearing around the house the old redundant Marks and Spencer shop girl uniform dress a friend of the wife had kindly donated. Afterwards young Penny seemed, almost grateful to be taken out for an afternoon's shopping dressed from head to foot in the uniform of a particularly strict and conservative Gloucstershire girl's grammar school my wife happened to know of. And the latter was despite - having traveled far afield for the weekend – we happened to have found ourselves within the catchment area of that esteemed establishment and notwithstanding the fact that several of the (uniformed) pupils could be seen around the town. I have to admit I pinched one of the events that occur in one of my tales from that incident... Oh yes; as I'm fond of saying “you couldn't make it up”

Anonymous said...

May I ask when the next installment of Alice's adventures will be available?

Orage said...

"I have to say that way back in the 1980s the home I then shared with my wife of the time would regularly be enlivened in the evening..."
You seem to have had a lot in common...

"sacked (fired) from her live-in position as children's nanny"
Now who doesn't understand sacked?
And why was she sacked?

"product of a sheltered Norfolk village"
I wonder if such "sheltered" villages still exist!

And finally I'd like to know how long Penny stayed in your house before recovering her senses and giving you the slip.

Toyntanen said...

Oh Orage, Orage, Orage! Who says giving me the slip would be coming to her senses? She needed a firm hand and I thing perhaps she recognized that fact, though she was so delightfuly manipulatable it is difficult to be sure what she might have recognised which was actualy due to eher own thoughts.

It was the wife who had the firmer hand, if truth be told; which may lay behind our eventual breakup, as two dominant personalities vied for domestic surpremisy.

I am not sure to what extent sheltered vilages exist but sheltered upbringings certainly do here and there.

I must apologise for my spelling by the way but I'm on a smartphone sans spellcheck!

Toyntanen said...

In answer to 'Anon' re: Alice part 2: It sort of is in one format but without any cover / marketing artwork. And in some ways it is the artwork I get the most from nowadays. Granted my earlier coverver designs leave a lot to be desired, but I'm getting beter (at least I like to think so) and so other than dangling a single solitary toe to test the water I am hanging back until I have put some sort of imagary together. In the meantime I'm gradualy working on the new website and setting up flikr and tumblr accounts. Due to changes on LULU I am going to have to withdraw and republish a couple of my titles and so may take the opertunity to indulge in a little cover redesign work.

Once again: sorry about my spelling. I am dsyslexic and the device I am using today does not seem to have a spelling checker.

charlotte said...

I am so glad to hear that the second installment of Alice's adventures is near completement. I truly cannot wait to read it. You are the most extraordinary, unsettling and arousing writer of erotica I have ever come across!