The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice. The rules are simple – turn to page 56 in your current read (or 56% in your e-reader) and post a few non-spoilery sentences.
This week’s quote is from Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady’s Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners, by Therese O’Neill. It’s a tongue-in-cheek book written for the 21st century woman who has time-traveled to Victorian times. It’s a riot.
Page 56 starts with a quote from George Napheys, the author of The Physical Life of Woman: Advice to the Maiden, Wife, and Mother, published in 1888.
“Whatever stimulates the emotions leads to an unnaturally early sexual life. Late hours, children’s parties, sensational novels, ‘flashy’ papers, love stories, the drama, the ball-room, talk of beaux, love, and marriage, – that atmosphere of riper years which is so often and so injudiciously thrown around childhood, – all hasten the event which transforms the girl into the woman. A particular emphasis has been laid by some physicians on the power of music to awaken the dormant susceptibilities to passion, and on this account its too general or earnest cultivation by children has been objected to.”
Absolutely. Top hits of 1888 included such lascivious titles as John Philip Sousa’s “Semper Fidelis” march and the painfully overt “Where Did You Get That Hat?” Where, indeed. From the devil’s quivering loins, most likely.