Anonymous, “The Mysteries of Verbena House; or, Miss Bellasis Birched for Thieving” Spanking Illustrations

The Mysteries of Verbena House; or, Miss Bellasis Birched for Thieving by Etonensis is a Victorian spanking novel in two volumes. Volume I was originally published in 1881 and Volume II in 1882, which included both volumes in one book.

The pen name Etonensis refers to a person who has attended Eton College, a British school famous for their use of the birch. The novel is usually attributed to two authors: Volume I is attributed to George Augustus Henry Sala, a journalist. Volume II is credited to James Campbell Reddie, an author and collector of erotica.

The Mysteries of Verbena House was illustrated with “4 coloured lithographs, obscene and of vile execution” by an anonymous artist, see below.

“After having waded through so many heavy, tasteless, if not absolutely repulsive books on flogging, it is with real pleasure that we finally come across a volume written with tact and art, that we can read without apprehension.”

The Mysteries of Verbena House; or, Miss Bellasis Birched for Thieving was translated into French and published under the title Les Mystères de la Maison de la Verveine ou Miss Bellasis Fouettée pour vol in 1901 under the writer’s pseudonym Jean de Villiot by Charles Carrington. This edition was illustrated by William Adolphe Lambrecht.

The novel was then reissued by Charles Carrington in 1904 under the title La Maison de la Verveine with illustrations by Martin van Maële and Emile Mas.

Smiles and Spanks, NaturallyGin.com

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