The Convent School
The Convent School, or Early Experiences of A Young Flagellant is a Victorian erotic BDSM/spanking novel, written under the pseudonym Rosa Belinda Coote and published by William Dugdale in London in 1876 or 1879.
The book has 15 coloured illustrations which were sold separately as a set.
An introductory letter is dated London, January 10, 1825 and signed Rosa Belinda Coote. An allusion is made to her own Confessions (published in The Pearl), to which The Convent School may be considered a companion volume.
The tale is divided into five chapters. Lucille, the heroine, is illtreated from her childhood. On the death of her mother, while she is yet a child, her father whips her most severely in order to excite his passions, and to enable him the more ardently to enjoy Lucille's governess, with whom he is familiar. She is afterwards sent to the school of a convent at Brussels, where the superior flogs her in the most unmerciful manner for her amusement.
From this establishment she succeeds in making her escape, and takes refuge at the Hotel d'Angleterre, where she would have been refused admittance but for the good offices of a young English nobleman, Lord Dunwich, who proves to be an intimate friend of the Earl of Ellington, to whom she is affianced. The marriage takes place; but her husband neglects her for his horses, and she falls into the arms of Dunwich.
Her spouse discovers her infidelity, and, disguised as a priest, manages to hear her confession (they are both Roman Catholics). A penance is ordered her. She is shut up in the convent adjoining the church. Lord Ellington, still in his priestly garb, and another monk flagellate her in the most cruel manner, and subject her to all kind of horrors and barbarities. These abominations enacted, the supposed priest again presents himself "dressed as a gentleman, and I immediately recognised him as my husband, as, at the same instant, he exclaimed, 'Woman, my revenge is complete. You won't deceive me again. How I have revelled in degrading, humiliating, and torturing my adulterous wife. You'll never see me more. This has been my way of divorcing myself from a faithless bitch.'"
Her paramour, Lord Dunwich, now receives her with open arms, calls out the cruel husband, and shoots him through the heart. The lovers flee; and Dunwich shortly afterwards "lost his life by drowning in the Rhine, since which I have consoled myself as you know by all sorts of erotic fancies, especially flagellation, and now dear Rosa, at the early age of twenty five I find myself fast fading away."
Ashbee comments, "The book is not altogether badly written; no part of the narrative however is attractive; on the contrary, the numerous flagellations, supplemented by filthy tortures, are insuperably tedious and revolting."
- Pisanus Fraxi, "Catena Librorum Tacendorum III", 1885, p.246
- Iwan Bloch, William H Forstern, "Sexual life in England, past and present", F. Aldor, 1938, p.361
- Fernando Henriques, "Prostitution and society; a survey", MacGibbon & Kee, 1962, p.245
- Barbara Kanner, "Women in English social history 1800-1914. 2", Garland Publ., 1988, ISBN 082409168X, p.540
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