Angela’s story: the awakening

27Oct09
!angela04

Angela catches up with her reading

Angela’s story starts here and continues.

Even three days after I was spanked and caned my slight limp drew a few comments. I told everyone I had slipped during netball practice. But if anyone noticed I was avoiding sitting down they did not say.

My grades continued to improve and as always Mr Ashley said nothing about my punishment afterwards, instead we talked cheerfully about how I could improve my grades, particularly for Government and Politics. He even lent me his copy of Bagehot.

I started having weird arousing dreams that the next day I could not remember, except that sometimes they involved being over a man’s knee and others being chased by scary men who never quite caught me and then I would wake up disappointed.

For some reason I looked up spank and spanking in the dictionary and got a strange thrill. I even read one of mum’s old paperbacks that I had read when I was 14 because I remembered that the heroine had been spanked.

When at a lose end I started skimming my parents books looking for any reference to punishment or romantic spanking. I found a short but thrilling reference to a caning in King Rat of all places. Then I came across a pot-boiler at the library about a pirate who kidnaps the heroine and spanks her several times until she secretly starts enjoying it.

This was gold, not only because of the uncompromising spanking references, but because it suggested that I was not completely weird and others also had the same strange fantasies as me.

I was embarrassed when I took the book out, thinking that the librarian would know why I was interested. I hid the book at home for the same reason. I tried to find it at the bookshop so I would have my own copy and so the librarian would not get suspicious that I kept renewing it.

During my talks with Mr Ashley I started looking at his hands instead of listening to what he was saying and imaging how hard they could spank me and how much better that would be than the plimsoll.

“Angela? Are you listening?” He asked one day as I sat daydreaming.

“Sorry. So sad about Edward VI and his attempt to preserve the Protestant Church of England.” I put in, suddenly alert, commenting on the last thing I remember him saying.

“Sad, in what way? This is Advanced Level History, we do not indulge in emotional responses, do we?”

“Eh no.” I felt like a stupid girly.

“In any case we were discussing Lady Jane Grey. Tell me one fact or date or anything about Jane.” He snapped.

“I eh, she only reigned for nine days, the original nine day wonder.” I was reaching.

“Yes but maybe you can recall something about her that we have discussed this morning, we haven’t got to her reign yet.” He was tapping his pencil.

“Sorry I was miles away.” I admitted.

“She had to be whipped to stop her studying and follow more womanly pursuits to further the ambitions the protestant cause.” He sighed and then added in obvious jest. “With you it’s the other way around.”

I blushed but my interest was piqued. Had he been talking about princesses being whipped? I missed it.

“She was whipped?” I was blushing furiously; I just couldn’t let it pass.

“She was birched by her mother until she agreed to marry who?” He asked sensing my interest.

I shook my head; I never knew history could be this fascinating.

“Look it up and include a passage on it in your next essay. Don’t go overboard, its only worth one mark in an exam, it is just a footnote after all.” He smiled knowingly.

After the meeting I couldn’t wait to look up Jane Grey and her story. There wasn’t much at the school library, just a passing reference but that was enough to give me the bare bones of the plot for my essay and the name of Guilford Dudley, the boy she was forced to marry to keep the Duke of Northumberland in power after Edward’s untimely death.

Further reading at the public library revealed that Jane had received a series of ‘whippings’ over several weeks to persuade her to submit to the marriage. I could not find out much about Tudor punishments, but David Ashley had said she had been birched.

I found out that young people were birched on the bare over a whipping stool in Tudor times. There were even references about Thomas Moore birching his daughters. Jane’s punishment was most probably carried out in front of female members of the household in the long gallery, a feature of most Tudor manor houses had at that time.

I did some more research into the birch and found out that although the birch had largely been replaced in boys’ public schools in the 19th century in favour of the cane, it had been retained as a way of punishing girls into the 20th century. There were also some great references in the women’s history section of the library about domestic birching from a magazine called the Domestic Women’s Magazine; this included a suggestion that early suffragettes had been birched in prison.

I had never been so enthusiastic about an essay before. I could have written three essays on the social history of domestic, judicial and educational punishment of women. In the end, I only wrote about 90 words about the coercion used on Lady Jane Grey.

I started thinking about my own punishments and the long tradition of corporal punishment. I realised up until then I had thought of myself as a victim of my own foolishness and that every punishment had been unexpected and unforeseen and afterwards I was definitely going to make sure it never happened again.

After my research, I realised that, given my natural but slightly unusual arrangement with David Ashley, it was an inevitable consequence of being a student. I was not a victim, but a participant in a time honoured tradition.

I started thinking about my next punishment. How severe would it be? What would it be like to be punished in public like Jane Grey? What would a spanking or a caning on the bare bottom be like? Above all, I realised that I had started thinking about my punishments in terms of when and not if.

I woke one morning and realised that I was looking forward to school and that I liked studying. It was exciting when I succeeded, but also at the hands of David Ashley it could be exciting if I failed.

To be continued.



One Response to “Angela’s story: the awakening”

  1. 1 Elly

    I blushed like mad reading this, except for the getting caned part, this could have been me at school. Right dwon to looking up the word spanking and reading mum’s books in case they had a spanking.

    James Clavell was usually good for a punishment scene – so was Wilbur Smith.

    E x


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