This one is for the bibliophiles, no illustrations! A very rare item, effectively a pornographic novelette, written in letter form, a salacious account of an alleged visit by an English doctor to a convent prison in Siberia, where he witnesses and records the most severe of tortures and punishments to the female inmates, by which he finds himself extremely aroused, and following his departure from said institution seeks to re-enact his experience by employing prostitutes versed in the fetishist arts. Strong stuff not for the faint hearted. And yes it is in English, a French version was published in a compendium of flagellation material also by Carrington but minus the sexual content.
Curious Sidelights of Social History: How Women are Flogged in Russian Prisons, Narrative of a Visit to a Convent Prison in Siberia, by an English Doctor. Paris, Librairie des Bibliophiles, 13 Faubourg Montmarte,1899. In original publishers paper wraps, printed in red and black on a salmon pink paper, over plain card covers. List of English Publications printed on back cover, interestingly this is clearly over-stamped “12 Jan 1903”, Title page duplicates the cover and is also printed in red and black. Contents. 12.07cm. x 19.69cm. xvii + 48pp. Printed on laid paper. Condition, Under a protective opaque sleeve, the book is complete, but shaken, stitching visible, in paper wrap, some light foxing to front cover and spine, Very Good.
This title is from the Michael Neal Collection
The date stamp, obviously a later addition at the top of the back cover is possibly another indication that the books were stored in sheets and wrappers added when a copy was ordered, thus explaining some confusion caused to bibliographers, when advertisements for titles often list books, printed years after the publication of the book under scrutiny.
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How Women are Flogged Flogged in Russian Prisons
Narrative of a visit to a convent prison in Siberia by an English doctor. Paris: Libraire des Bibliophiles, 1899.
12.07cm. x 19.69cm. xvii + 48pp. Printed on laid paper. Title page printed in red and black.
A note in the Kinsey copy states: “More erotic than the French version in Villiot’s Curiosities et Anecdotes de flagellation”.
Love this one , completely bonkers! The title translates into “Parisiennes and Redskins”, and that is what it is, a flagellation novel based in the wild west, with some French characters, complete with whippings, tortures, scalping and general wickedness. The book is made even stranger by the amazingly weird illustrations, described as “Symbolist”, they do not appear to have anything to do with the story, not a “Redskin” in sight, lots of allusions to vampires, demons, skulls and death and really rather good., in some cases, and rather bad in others.
The book itself is a monster and would make a good weapon, I can imagine myself beating members of the UK government about the head with it, you could probably fell the entire Cabinet, without leaving a dent on this book.
The content is of interest, and working on the principle that no one reading this is remotely concerned with political correctness, I note that Carrington in particular, with his stable of hack writers, was knocking out flagellation books at an incredible rate, and produced books, from pseudo scientific and folklore to unashamed exploitative fiction around this theme. The current title, being an example of “Flagellation Around the World”. He had already hit the States once with “The Memoirs ofDolly Morton”, (1899) or as the French edition is called, “En Virginie”, (1901) which tipped a wink at the moral indignation over slavery in the openly published editions and produced a pornographic novel in the same title in the clandestine edition “The Memoirs of Dolly Morton”. Philadelphia: Society of Private Bibliophiles 1904 . It is worth noting that the English and French editions of the same title often vary in content, as a rule of thumb, those published under the Charles Carrington imprint are primarily concerned with flagellation and violence of all kinds and were openly advertised and sold. Whereas titles published under his clandestine imprints usually have sexual content.
Different periods interest me enormously, and I do find myself drawn to the 1920’s and 30’s in respect of the quality and variety of erotica being produced, ironically my collecting interest, and indeed my primary collection, is non illustrated and 1950’s. But there are similarities, in the nature and patterns of behaviour in the publishers of such material regardless of period. Carrington would have been completely familiar with the tricks and dodges of Maurice Girodias , who was operating half a century later. Equally I think that the flagellation material being produced in the 30’s by Editions du Couvre-Feu, and other imprints of that stable and its competitors owe a great deal to Carrington, and in fact may have stolen material from his, by then outdated, monolithic Victorian tomes.
Bibliographical information on this one is non existent, but I have two copies, this copy and a luxury copy (bigger!), they are both rebound, in this copy only the back cover is preserved. The original cover is identical to the title page.
The other copy will (eventually) be listed in My Charles Carrington Collection.
Jean de Villiot: Parisienne et Peux-Rouges, La Flagellation à Travers le Monde. Vingt compositions symboliques de Henri Caruchet. Paris: Charles Carrington, 14 Faubourg Monmatre, 1904. 604 pages, Printed by Alencon. – Imp. Veuve Felix Guy et Cie. Presented in red and black, each page of text embellished with the same red decorative border as the title page.
(This Book), rebound in blue leather spine and front edges, over pale blue patterned boards, with matching lining. Spine with , author, title and artist embossed in gilt. Dimensions (inc. Binding) (22.5 x 16.0 x 6.5. cm) (Weight 1.3 kg)Contents: Original cover and spine not preserved , original back cover bound in. Frontispiece and 19, delicate watercolours by Henri Caruchet, complete and in good order. No indication of paper type, ( but a thick creamy paper of very good quality) No indication of limitation.
Condition: Significant light foxing at both ends of the book, particularly up to page 50, and from page 583 until the end (examples given in the accompanying images) not affecting illustrations.
Note; I have read elsewhere that this book was originally priced in 1904 at 40 Francs. My Other copy (with spine preserved, shows 50 Francs), perhaps, because it is supposedly a luxury variation, it is certainly larger. It is also worth knowing that these books were stored as sheets and either sold, on demand in paper bindings or bound to order with the paper guillotined to size to fit the binding of your choice. Later collectors also, at times choose to have these books rebound, usually as an act of preservation. From available evidence ( The presence of paper covers) this book was openly for sale as shop stock, hence the price on the spine. Despite this, the production numbers must have been small, this book was a very expensive production. It is also very rare.