Venus School-Mistress, Or, Birchen Sports

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Venus School-Mistress, Or, Birchen Sports is a vintage English flagellant novel that was first published in 1788 (or 1810) and has been expanded and republished many times since. It was published anonymously and is one of history's first flagellant novels.

This collection of fiction, verse, drama, and philosophy on the theme of flagellation includes such varied selections as the experiences of "Miss R. Birch," daughter of a woman who kept a day school, and who never let pass an opportunity to flog her pupils; the romantic recollections of Betsy Thoughtless who recounts how she lost her maidenhead, and that she applied the rod to her cousin-lover at his own request; the philosophy of Thackery Paedagogus; and a story in verse about the adventures of Miss Agnes Scophonisba Snell, the butcher's daughter, and her instructor, Mr. Mountwhackaway.

Editions and reprints[edit]

  • c. 1810 edition
  • c. 1820 edition, with 4 coloured plates
  • c. 1830 edition (with an account of Theresa Berkley in the preface), printed by John Ludbury
  • c. 1860 edition published by William Dugdale, with 8 coloured plates
  • 1917 edition
  • Grove Press, 1968 (hardcover and softcover), with a preface by Mary Wilson
  • Blue Moon Books, 1987, paperback, ISBN 0821650092; new edition 2000, paperback, ISBN 978-1562011451
  • Running Press, 1999 (paperback) by Bill Adler Jr., ISBN 9781562011451
  • Birchgrove Press (e-book)
  • Olympia Press, 2010, paperback, ISBN 978-1608721764