Thursday, October 8, 2009

Lit for DDers, and those with Professor/Student Kinks

As Red has been working on improving his health, I too have been working on improving myself in a variety of ways. One of these ways, since I am not able to attend school at the time, is to catch up on the 100+ classics that have been sitting untouched on my bookshelves.

I am a student of literature, and have a particular love of Victorian literature. The fact that talk of discipline and such occasionally arises in literature from this time period is not the reason; it is a happy coincidence.

In my recent reading, I discovered a book that would likely be very enjoyable for both DDers, and playful spankos alike. I do not recall reading if another blogger has posted about this book, but if someone has already, my apologies for stepping on your post. No disrespect intended.

Anyhow, the book is The Professor, by Charlotte Bronte. It is about a gentleman named William Crimsworth, who teaches English in Belgium and falls in love with a fellow teacher, Frances Evans Henri, who becomes his pupil.

The following passages are from Chapter 25 of the novel:

"My afternoons were spent also in college, with the exception of an hour that my wife daily exacted of me for her establishment, and with which she would not dispense. She said that I must spend that time amongst her pupils to learn their characters, to be AU COURANT with everything that was passing in the house, to become interested in what interested her, to be able to give her my opinion on knotty points when she required it, and this she did constantly, never allowing my interest in the pupils to fall asleep, and never making any change of importance without my cognizance and consent. She delighted to sit by me when I gave my lessons (lessons in literature), her hands folded on her knee, the most fixedly attentive of any present. She rarely addressed me in class; when she did it was with an air of marked deference; it was her pleasure, her joy to make me still the master in all things."

While I am not the type of woman who would generally call anyone "Master," I found that Frances' continued pattern of addressing Crimsworth as "Master" even once they had clearly transitioned from a professor/student to a spousal relationship, was a thrilling detail for me.

"Talk French to me she would, and many a punishment she has had for her wilfulness. I fear the choice of chastisement must have been injudicious, for instead of correcting the fault, it seemed to encourage its renewal. Our evenings were our own; that recreation was necessary to refresh our strength for the due discharge of our duties; sometimes we spent them all in conversation, and my young Genevese, now that she was thoroughly accustomed to her English professor, now that she loved him too absolutely to fear him much, reposed in him a confidence so unlimited that topics of conversation could no more be wanting with him than subjects for communion with her own heart. In those moments, happy as a bird with its mate, she would show me what she had of vivacity, of mirth, of originality in her well-dowered nature. She would show, too, some stores of raillery, of “malice,” and would vex, tease, pique me sometimes about what she called my “bizarreries anglaises,” my “caprices insulaires,” with a wild and witty wickedness that made a perfect white demon of her while it lasted. This was rare, however, and the elfish freak was always short: sometimes when driven a little hard in the war of words—for her tongue did ample justice to the pith, the point, the delicacy of her native French, in which language she always attacked me—I used to turn upon her with my old decision, and arrest bodily the sprite that teased me. Vain idea! no sooner had I grasped hand or arm than the elf was gone; the provocative smile quenched in the expressive brown eyes, and a ray of gentle homage shone under the lids in its place. I had seized a mere vexing fairy, and found a submissive and supplicating little mortal woman in my arms. Then I made her get a book, and read English to me for an hour by way of penance."

It should be obvious to any DDer/spanko why this passage is one of my favorites in the novel.

While this novel was Bronte's first, and is not her most well-known nor most critically-acclaimed, I certainly enjoyed it. I highly recommend it.

And on a more personal note... Thank you to all who have posted supported messages and/or emailed to inquire how Red and I are doing. Red's health continues to improve, and I've been working to improve myself as well. I will be posting again soon to give a more detailed update. I have not disappeared permanently, and I appreciate those who still stop by and read my infrequent posts. I hope you are all well.


Sara said...

Rose, I have not read "The Professor". Thanks for the tip, I will check it out!

I am very glad to know you and Red are feeling good and look forward to hearing more.

Serenity Everton said...

The book is wonderful, I think. Sadly I do not have a copy but I ought to add it to my reading list just the same.