Monday, 31 August 2009

Rude Britannia

Those of you who know me will know I like to include a little culture once a week, depending what the Sundays papers have come up with, and this Bank Holiday weekend they've done splendidly. A substantial piece by Tony Barrell in the Sunday Times on the British Museum's little known collection of porn through the ages, its available to see but some of it you have to request access and some books you can only view under surveillance in secure areas. Goodness me what do they think we're going to get up to?

It's quite revealing, funny and lots of interesting facts including stuff from Samuel Pepys who was reading in 1668 ''L'Escholles des Filles'' The Girls School, and described it as '''a mighty lewd book, but yet not amiss for a sober man once to read over, to inform himself in the villainy of this world.''

It alludes to goings on in monasteries between priests and nuns, many of the ancient accounts being written in French and not replicated in the article unfortunately. However the author assures us that striking amounts of whipping and birching went on and privately printed porn was widely available throughout the 19th century. Volumes such as The Quintessence of Birch Discipline by Mrs Martinet has plates showing extremely aroused men lashing out left right and centre with bunches of twigs. Contemporary volumes such as Lady Bumtickler's Revels were no less popular and some raunchy plays had characters with names such as Master Lovebirch and Lady Belinda Flaybum.

All good stuff I say and nice to see our ancestors knew how to amuse themselves.



Daisychain said...

Oh, my gosh, woman, how DO you DO it???? LOLOLOLOL
Honestly, Ronnie, you are wonderful!!!!!!!!!!
Hugs, xxxxxxxx Daisy xxxxxxxxx

Eliane said...

Note to self, must go and visit my mother and steal her copy of yesterday's Sunday Times before she recycles it.

Mr.C. said...

I suspect there is little new under the sun. Before the advent of the written word there would have been travelling porn story tellers I reckon! I can just imagine the scene at the cave, "Mum! The porn man's here!"

Spanky said...

Interesting post! Maybe the surveillance is because they're afraid some prude might try to damage or censor something, or a collector might get inventive with the snips and take something home with him?

PK said...

So are you and P going to expand you minds and partake of this cultual experience? I think you should! And give us all the details!

You enjoy your holiday whatever you decide to do.


selkie said...

I would SO like to see that! I have a not so secret obsession with Victorian porn ...that would be SO cool!

Hermione said...

I love the names. Imagine introducing yourself as Betty Bumtickler!

I remember the name Flaybum from The Pearl. I guess it was a common Victorian porn name.


Anonymous said...

After watching my oldest children (both genders) in established relationships thinking nothing of giving or getting (sometimes vigorous slaps on the bum in front of their dad and me, I'm not surprised at our ancestrial artists' expressing what makes them happy! Thanks so much for this. I'll be googling some names tonight...Just call me Tina Ta Ta Tittilator!

Florida Dom said...

I majored in history in college, but don't remember any classes on this kind of history.


ronnie said...

Daisy - thanks. Just lucky I spotted it.

Elaine - hello, thanks for stopping by. It would be worth it, was a very good article, well I thought so.

Mr C. - Reminds me of ''the man from the Pru'' which won't relate in your country but in the UK it's a well known phrase, the 'man from the Pru' was the representative of the Prudential Insurance company and he used to visit houses door to door selling and collecting, I don't recall him slipping any porn amongst his important looking papers but I was just a kid then

Spanky - Your right, apparently there's a lot of old stuff and yes they wouldn't want some of the pages ripped out, or photos taken and repproduced.

PK - I would love to, I'm actually going to ask P if we can go.

Selkie - I love some of the Victorian porn as well, I think it would be well worth the visit.

Hermione - Oh me too. I'm Mrs Bumtickler, let me introduce you to Master Lovebirch and Mrs Flaybum LOL. Yes I've seen the name Flaybum a few times.

Tina Ta Ta Titilator - LOL, I love your humour.

FD - Oh history was never my strongest subject but if they had these type of classes I may have paid more attention :)

Thank you all for stopping by. If P does say we can go I will post about it.


Adrian Hardhand said...

Hello Ronnie

A verrry long time ago, in my student days, I got a pass for the BM Reading Room. It was great! I soon discovered that they had PR0N. Found a title that inspired lust, filled out the call slip, and took it to the staff member in the central circular area to get it initialed. Turned out to be novelist Angus Wilson, a lovely chap, who was Deputy Superintendent in the Reading Room at that time. He treated it as a perfectly normal transaction, and initialed the call slip without any fuss at all. Needless to say, after that PR0N was my main reason for using the Reading Room!

Yrs in pervery, Adrian

Lessa said...

grinnnnnnnnnnnnn, now this is a cultural lesson I didn't know about the UK... might be very interesting to read those books... we don't have them in the netherlands... lol...

love, Lessa

Davey said...

Very interesting post Ronnie. I will have a lot of reading to catch up when I get home...LOL
Peace, Davey

ronnie said...

Adrian - Hello and welcome. Thank you for this, now I will definitely have to persuade P to take me. I had to google Angus Wilson :) Hope you'll stop by again.

Lessa - Whenever you come to the UK, I think it would be worth a visit.

Davey - Thanks, maybe I could come with you and Daisy when your home.

Thanks for all your comments.