Termagant Flaybum

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"Lady Termagant Flaybum going to give her step son a taste of her desert after dinner, a scene performed every day near Grosvenor Square, to the annoyance of the neighbourhood", etching by James Gillray (1786).

Miss (or Lady) Termagant Flaybum is an 18th, 19th and 20th century spanker character.

In literature and art[edit]

Title page of Sublime of Flagellation.

Lady Termagant Flaybum seems to have made her first appearance in the spanking novel Sublime of Flagellation: or Letters from Lady Termagant Flaybum to Lady Harriet Tickletail, of Bumfiddle Hall (c. 1777-1785), published by George Peacock. The author of this book is unknown.

Lady Termagant Flaybum is also featured in 1786 in an etching by the British caricaturist and printmaker James Gillray. The etching is today in the National Portrait Gallery, London. "Lady Termagant Flaybum" actually depicts a real person, Mary Eleanor Lyon (née Bowes), Countess of Strathmore (1749-1800), wife of John Lyon, 9th Earl of Strathmore. The boy who is about to get a birching in the scene, his daily "dessert after dinner", might depict John, 10th Earl of Strathmore.

The book was republished a century later in the series Library Illustrative of Social Progress, in volume VI, "Sublime of Flagellation". The volumes were allegedly assembled by the English historian Henry Thomas Buckle (1821-1862) and were printed in 1872 by Hotten, London.

In 1879, the series Miss Coote's Confession by Rosa Coote in the erotic magazine The Pearl features Miss Flaybum as headmistress of an English boarding school for girls.

In comic[edit]

The comic book series The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen by Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill features both Miss Termagant Flaybum and Miss Coote as headmistresses of the Correctional Academy for Wayward Gentlewomen, an academy in Edmonton, inspired by the series in The Pearl.

See also[edit]