The Rodiad

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The Rodiad is a long Victorian poem on the joys of birching schoolboys (M/m). It has been ascribed, apparently falsely, to George Colman the Younger. Its true author seems to be Richard Monckton Milnes, 1st Baron Houghton. Milnes owned one of the finest collections of erotica in Victorian Britain and had close connections with the shadowy world of English clandestine publishing.

Publishment history[edit]

The Rodiad was published by John Camden Hotten in 1871. According to the original title page, The Rodiad is said to have been previously published by “Cadell & Murray” in 1810, but this attribution is false. The Rodiad apparently also appeared in Hotten's series Library Illustrative of Social Progress (1872). A reprint was issued in 1898, possibly by Charles Carrington, with the publication date changed to 1820. The Rodiad also appeared in the reprint of Flagellation and the Flagellants ("A History of the Rod") published by William Reeves c. 1908.

The Betuliad, a manuscript in the British Library from Henry Spencer Ashbee's bequest, is identical to The Rodiad. It was known under this title to Sir Richard Burton who wrote to Milnes on 22 January 1860 praising it.

See also[edit]

Delightful Sport! whose never failing charm
Makes young blood tingle, and keeps old blood warm.
  — From The Rodiad

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