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This October, 1815 London caricature is interesting because it seems to depict a precursor to BDSM, in a certain sense (though not with respect to consensuality).

While most spousal abuse at the time tended to be due to inebriated louts who crudely pounded on their wives in fits of drunken rage after returning home from an evening of heavy carousing, the Mr. Petruchio in this print seems to take a rather more dispassionately BD-like approach to establishing who's the boss in the marriage (the name Petruchio is taken from Shakespeare's play "The Taming of the Shrew"). Mrs. Petruchio is shown confined to a canopied four-poster bed, whose head and foot are stocks, while Petruchio menaces her with cane(?) and gag. On the table is Petruchio's patent, and the thumbscrews, while the books "Rule a Wife and Have a Wife" and a torn copy of "The Whole Duty of Woman" are on the floor. A placard reading "LOVE, HONOR, and OBEY" (with "Obey" written in larger letters) hangs along the wall inside the bed's canopy. This is a quote from the traditional wedding ceremony (in which only the woman promises to obey), and the way that the woman's shoes, corset, and red garment are strewn carelessly on the floor or over a chair may suggest that this is their wedding night.

The depiction of the bed was probably imaginative (rather than being based closely on a real-life model).



189 years old, original copyright expired, this scan is derived from a scan by the U.S. Library of Congress (which does not claim copyright), so is in public domain (see , ).

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current12:59, 16 September 2006Thumbnail for version as of 12:59, 16 September 20061,024 × 1,477 (582 KB)AnonMoos (Talk | contribs)"TAMEING <small>A</small> SHREW. or PETRUCHIO'S PATENT FAMILY BEDSTEAD, <small>GAGS</small> & <i>Thumscrews</i>" This October, 1815 London caricature is interesting because it seems to depict a precursor to BDSM, in a certain sense (though not with r

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