"Frank" and I
"Frank" and I is an Edwardian era erotic spanking novel which was published anonymously by Charles Carrington in London in 1902. The author remains unknown. At times it has been attributed to "the author of The Memoirs of Dolly Morton" (as it was originally advertised by the publisher) and the equally mysterious and unlikely Bill Adler. Dolly Morton is attributed to Georges Grassal, who wrote under the pseudonyms Jean de Villiot and Hugues Rebell. Grassal's harsh, explicit style is the antithesis of the soft, romantic tone of "Frank" and I.
The novel was first published in three small volumes for private subscribers (a common practice at the time). Later the three parts were combined into a single volume. The story contains many scenes of M/f, F/f and F/F birching and spanking and one F/m incident.
"Frank" and I, a story of hidden sexuality and erotic escapades, is a model of the candid novelization of unconventional sexual tastes that emerged from turn-of-the-century Victorian England. The novel is in the tradition of the erotic My Secret Life, The Pearl and The Way of A Man With A Maid.
However, unlike A Man With A Maid, which depicts revenge-motivated abduction, rape, and sadism, "Frank" and I is notable for its overall restraint and romantic tone. It is essentially a love story, albeit an offbeat one. The sexual encounters are mild and consensual as are most of the punishment episodes. The Charles Beaumont character, who is a "lover of the rod", is a bit of a rake, but is not a sadist. And Frank/Frances, who may be a secret masochist, willingly submits to her spankings and birchings out of love and a genuine feeling of contrition when she misbehaves.
The book is also of interest for its detailed account of a visit to an elegant flagellatory brothel in London. There, prostitutes perform tableau vivants — costumed whipping scenarios from history for the amusement of their clients.
Set in the 1880s, "Frank" and I is a first-person account of Charles Beaumont, a wealthy 30-year-old bachelor who lives at Oakhurst, an old red brick mansion in Hampshire, England.
One day he meets a boy walking footsore alone on the road. The boy, who says his name is Frank, is apparently about 13 years old (claiming he is going on fifteen), slenderly built, good looking, with small hands and feet, short, curly fair hair, and blue eyes. While walking together they enter a conversation. "Frank" proves to be well-mannered and educated, but upon questioning gradually reveals to be an orphan who has no home, family, friends, or money. The narrator takes pity on the boy and decides to give him food and shelter for the night. The next day he extends his generosity by buying him new clothing and promising to find him some kind of work and a permanent place to stay. "Frank" is overjoyed and very grateful to be accorded such favours.
"Frank" stays in the narrator's mansion, and in his spare time the owner takes care of his education. In the course of the next weeks, "Frank" is very affectionate and generally well-behaved, but his diligence and obedience is not always satisfactory, and the narrator finds himself required to threaten the boy with a flogging if his behaviour doesn't improve. One day this promise is made true and "Frank" has to lower his trousers and lie across the end of the sofa for a birching. His behaviour in the following weeks is much better, but then gets worse again. When the boy is birched for a second time, the increased severity makes him squirm, and Beaumont catches a glimpse of his bare front. To his great surprise, Beaumont discovers "Frank" to be, in reality, a girl.
The girl's real name is Frances Howard.
Reprints and translationsEdit
- Camille et moi, French translation, published as part of the series La Flagellation à travers le Monde in 1904, with watercolours by Martin van Maele.
- Frank und ich, German translation by Friedrich Herrmann, published around 1921.
- Frank and I (Paperback, Grove Press, Inc, 1968 edition): ISBN 0394177517
- Frank and I (Mass Market Paperback by Blue Moon Books, 1987 edition): ISBN 1-56201-032-8
- Frank and I (Mass Market Paperback by Blue Moon Books, 1993 edition): ISBN 0929654420
- Frank and I (Mass Market Paperback by Blue Moon Books, 2002 edition): ISBN 1562013106
- Frank and I (Paperback, Wordsworth Edition, 1999 edition): ISBN 1853266159
- Eine Studie der Flagellation oder Frank und ich, German translation by Passion Publishing (e-book, 2015)
The following illustrations are by Martin van Maele, from the French translation of the novel (1904).
The movie (Lady Libertine)Edit
In 1983, a film adaptation of the novel directed by Gérard Kikoïne, was produced in France. It was released as Frank and I and under an alternate title Lady Libertine.