A Victorian Subtext

December 29, 2008

posted by Caroline Picard

This is an example of a cryptogram that was headed Female Ingenuity and used by a newlymarried young lady who was obliged to show her husband all the letters she wrote. The original site for this post, as well as other letters Victorian letters & rituals can be seen at :home.kendra.com/victorianrituals I would argue that such skills are useful in any kind of art, where the most plain things tell only half the story. Hiding messages is also useful to spies.

letter

I cannot be satisfied, my dearest friend;
blest as I am in the matrimonial state,
unless I pour into your friendly bosom,
which has ever been in unison with mine,
the various sensations which swell
with the liveliest emotions of pleasure,
my almost bursting heart. I tell you my dear
husband is the most amiable of men.
I have now been married seven weeks, and
have found the least reason to
repent the day that joined us.
My husband is
in person and manners far from resembling
ugly, cross, old, disagreeable and jealous
monsters, who think by confining to secure a wife;
it is his maxim to treat,
as a bosom friend and confidant, and not
as a plaything or menial slave, the woman
chosen to be his companion. Neither party,
he says should always obey implicitly;
but each yield to the other by turns.

The letter’s message was:

I cannot be satisfied, my dearest friend,
unless I pour into your friendly bosom,
the various sensations which swell
my almost bursting heart. I tell you my dear
I have now been married seven weeks, and
repent the day that joined us.
My husband is
ugly, cross, old, disagreeable and jealous.
It is his maxim to treat
as a plaything or menial slave; the woman
he says, should always obey implicitly.


Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: