Monday, September 17, 2012

From the Top Shelf - Pride and Promiscuity

Pride and Promiscuity - the Lost Sex Scenes of Jane Austen, by Arielle Eckstut, is an absolutely fascinating read, for lovers of Jane Austen and erotica alike. A strange coincidence enabled the author to discover some long-hidden letters and manuscript pages concealed within the wall of a manor house where Austen's sister had stayed many years before. the letters were to Jane's publisher and her sister, in which Jane laments the removal of certain passages from her books. The manuscript pages were the actual sections removed from each of her six novels because of their explicit sexual content.

In Northanger Abbey, the heroine is invited to stay at the ancestral home of her new friends, Henry and Eleanor. Catherine, a fan of Gothic novels, explores the mysterious house and imagines all sorts of nefarious goings-on have taken place. One by one her fantasies are disproven as she can find nothing to justify her suspicions, except in the lost scene, in which she does find something quite interesting:

"On beholding what lay within the wardrobe, her initial disappointment gave way to confusion. A number of objects were before her. Wondering, she took them out, one by one, amd laid them on the nearest easy surface, which was the bed.

Catherine was a country girl, and like many very fond of riding. She had grown up with horses, and so she had seen many items similar, but not quite like, those which she now saw before her. There was something like a saddle, but much smaller, and with many more buckles and clasps, and without stirrups. There was something like a riding crop, but much thinner, and with--what? feathers?--affixed to one end. There was, oddly, a woman's corset, which Catherine saw was also fashioned from leather--leather! She coloured as she handled it, though she could not say, why this should be. There was a horse-whip. There were some coils of rope, of varying lengths and thicknesses. There were shackles fashioned, bafflingly, of red velvet. There was a pair of pattens*...

She decides that this is all the proof she needs; the General is a murderer. But the sudden appearance of Henry, the General's son, interrupts her investigation. She confesses her suspicions to him, and he denies that there is any possibility.

"But these very sinister-looking objects--"

"They did not belong to my father," Henry said. "He does not even know they are here."

"Then to whom do they belong?" Catherine cried.

"Miss Morland, the apparatus are mine."

Catherine stared at him, unable to speak.  What had she done? What nust he think of her? She, who had all but accused his father of murdering his mother. Catherine held back tears of embarrassment and shame.

Henry sat down upon the bed. "I can but wonder that you have attached a sinister purpose to my--well, let us call them toys."

"Toys?" Catherine cried.

"Yes--what word would you use, for that which provided hours of delight and enjoyment? Toys I suppose is as good a word as any other. Have you really no notion as to their purpose?"

"I thought I had, but it seems I was mistaken."

"Indeed you were," replied Henry. "Do not be afraid, Miss Morland, there is nothing sinister here. Can you guess what my toys are for?"

Catherine thought of hunts, and riding, and obscure equestrian skills. "Are they...for taking exercise?"

Henry smiled. "Yes, of a sort. That is a very good way of putting it. Shall I show you?"

Catherine agrees, and as Henry busies himself with his toys in order to demonstrate, she muses silently on the sorts of hobbies most men have, and how much they bore her.

...Henry finished pulling tight the last of the laces on the leather corset, the corset she now wore. Though constricting, and rather stiff and creaky, she felt very suddenly, and to her surprise, that she preferred it to the muslins and silks she had worn all her life; indeed she felt, as Henry introduced the velvet shackles into her hand, a thrill of confidence and assurance unlike any she had previously known.

During her reverie he too had been at work upon his clothes, and Catherine was startled to find him completely altered, as he was both taller (as he was tottering, in his top boots, upon the pattens) and prettier (dressed as he was in Catherine's discarded muslin chemise and cotton cap).

"Miss Morland," he said, "we have both misbehaved. You by having entertained such suspicions of my family as led you to investigate this room without permission; I by having failed to bring you here myself, and long ago. Miss Morland, let us each atone for what we have done."

They did, and Catherine began to learn a little of the penalties, and pleasures, that an inflamed imagination might produce.

*Pattens were metal rings on short stilts, worn on women's shoes in the rain to raise them a few inches above the water.

From Hermione's Heart


Bas said...

A nice kind of Jane Austen fan-fiction.
I wonder what Jane would have thought about these passages.

Ana said...

Jane Austen talk on a spanking blog? Woo-hoo...I didn't know today was my lucky day! The next thing I know, it will be Shakespeare. *happy sigh*

Speaking of her novels, there are many, many scenes that would be so easily re-written with a spanking. Mm...

Anonymous said...

Thank you Hermione for sharing the lost letters with us.


Hermione said...

Bas - I like to think she would have been shocked. Thanks for pointing out that this is fan fiction.

Ana - Shakespeare, now there's an idea. I'll look into it.

Joey - There's more, coming soon!


Ana said...

Hermione, since she shocked quite a few people in her day I think she would have been quite understanding. :D

ronnie said...

Hermione - Sounds like a good read will have to look out for it. Thanks.


Poppy said...

I read my first Jane Austin this summer and I loved it. And then I read another couple and loved them too- so what an excellent find- spanking and great literature - perfect bed mates.

Thank you. :)

Hermione said...

Ana - I like to think so too.

Ronnie - It's really a very funny book.

Poppy - You might say they go hand in hand;D


Pecan nutjob said...

@Hermione: Difficult to know whether, at heart, she would hate or like it, even though the mores of the time dictated she should have been shocked.

The Story of O was written by a very respectable lady from the Parisian literary establishment, under a pseudonym...