The Way of a Man with a Maid

Exasperated by her non-compliance, I determined to get by force what I wanted, and before she could guess my intentions, I had gripped her firmly round her body, then half carried and half dragged her to the piano duet stool which also contained a hidden mechanism. On to it I forced her, face downwards, and in spite of her resistance, I soon fixed the straps to her wrists and ankles; then I set the mechanism working, sitting on her to keep her in the proper position, as she desperately fought to get loose. Cleverly managing the straps, I soon got Alice into the desired position, flat on her face and astride the stool, her wrists and ankles being secured to the longitudinal wooden bars that maintained the rigidity of the couch. Alice was now fixed in such a way that she could not raise her shoulders or bosom, but by straightening her legs, she could heave her bottom upwards a little. Her position was perfect for my purpose, and lustfully I gloated over the spectacle of her magnificent buttocks, her widely parted thighs affording me a view of both of her virgin orifices, both now at my disposal!
  The Way of a Man with a Maid, Volume 1, Chapter VIII

The Way of a Man with a Maid is an anonymous, sadomasochistic, erotic novel in two volumes, probably first published in 1912 by Pickle and Co in Liverpool. The story is told in the first person by a gentleman called "Jack", who lures women he knows into a kind of erotic torture chamber in his house, and takes considerable pride in meticulously planned rapes which he describes in minute detail.

The authorship of the book is unknown and has variously been attributed to John Farmer, George Reginald Bacchus and J. P. Kirkwood. The book's title is derived from the Bible's Book of Proverbs, where the wise King Solomon mentions "The way of a man with a maid" as one of the "things which are too wonderful for me, yea, which I know not". The ancient king's wonderment is manifestly not shared by the arrogantly self-assured Victorian narrator.

There exists two additional books (Part III and Part IV) which closely resemble the style of the original, and are sequels with the original characters and with new girls as grist to Jack's mill. Authorship is also unknown. The first time these can be found in print is by the Erotica Biblion Society, Paris in around 1961. Both volumes were printed in the Venus Library and Victorian Library imprints of Grove Press and since then by others. u

Plot synopsisEdit

Spoiler warning

Most of the story takes place in a room in his house called 'The Snuggery', which the narrator "Jack" converts into a kind of erotic torture chamber equipped with beds to which women can be strapped and held helpless and which is soundproofed to make their screams unheard. Other equipment includes cords and pulleys, flagellation implements and a mechanical "Chair of Treachery" to which helpless females are lured to be restrained in.

The first of many victims lured into 'The Snuggery' to be raped is a girl called Alice, a member of Jack's social set who had earlier jilted him and on whom he takes revenge by subjecting her to a whole series of sexual acts without her consent (and without any more thought of marrying her). The very detailed description of Alice's rape, with the narrator repeatedly expressing great satisfaction at her fear and humiliation, takes the whole of the first part, called "the Tragedy". At its end, Alice had completely submitted and become Jack's willing sexual partner.

In the second part, called "The Comedy", Alice locates for Jack further victims, helps lure them to be raped in turn, and actively helps in making them sexually available to Jack. The rape scenes of Alice's servant Fanny and Alice's friend Connie follow the same pattern, with the new victim vainly protesting and resisting the gloating Jack, only to be finally converted (as Jack puts it) into a willing and eager sexual partner and an active accomplice in the rape of the next victim.

By the final episode, when the wealthy Lady Betty and her daughter Molly had been lured into the rape room, Jack need not exert himself to tie up and undress the new victims. All this dirty work is being performed eagerly by his earlier victims turned accomplices. Thereupon, mother and daughter are not only subjected to repeated rape but also forced into a long series of incestuous acts with each other, carried out so as to inflict the very maximum of humiliation and degradation upon mother and daughter and accompanied by endless gloating and taunting from Jack and his three female accomplices.


In his introduction to the Star edition of the book Alexis Lykiard notes its mordant humour and opines that it "is that rarity – an entertaining, funny and sexy book". Susan Griffin comments that when the hero forces the heroine to remove her clothing he gloats over not her beauty but her humiliation: "The virgin is punished by carnality". It is then taken for granted sexual intercourse, even in the form of rape, will awaken any woman's sexual passions.

In addition to the "quite perverse" scenes of rape, bondage, mother-daughter incest, whipping and "odd things done with feathers" to force women into orgasm, the book has a major element of lesbianism.

The book can be considered to be irreverent of the British class system prevailing at the time of writing – all women, be they servants or great ladies, are "equal" in having to submit to the narrator's every sexual whim.

Film adaptationsEdit

The Way of a Man with a Maid was adapted as a Swedish softcore exploitation film in 1975 starring Sue Longhurst as Alice and Ole Soltoft as Jack. It was released in the U.K. and Canada as What the Swedish Butler Saw.

The book was also filmed as a softcore pornographic feature, The Naughty Victorians: An Erotic Tale of a Maiden's Revenge (1975), directed by Robert S. Kinger (film at Xhampster). One of Jack's victim's, the servant Fanny, is renamed Cecily, and Lady Betty is renamed Lady Bunt, though her daughter is still named Molly. The character of Connie, Alice's friend, is omitted. In a twist on the ending, the four raped women team up at the end to get revenge on Jack.

The British producer Miss Marchmont made a 30-minute spanking video titled The Way of a Man with a Maid, starring Leia as the maid and Karl Strong as Lord Malthorn, that can be viewed online (see link below).

See alsoEdit


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