Monday, 9 June 2014

I is for "If only..."

This post is part of the Spanking A-Z Blog Challenge. What's that I hear you ask? Check out my page here for more information.

You know when you watch a blooper show and then when you try to watch some normal television afterwards and your brain sometimes sticks in ‘blooper’ mode? You’ll be watching a perfectly serious news broadcast poised for the moment when the background scenery falls apart, or the boom mike comes into view or the newscaster calls the Mayor of London, ‘Boris Fucktwat’ by accident.

It's an easy mistake.
 I feel a bit like when I read non-spanking books after a glut of spanking fiction. My brain is stuck in ‘spanking’ mode and I just find myself anticipating spankings every time there’s a conflict.

The sense of disappointment when this doesn't happen often makes me think "If only...".

If only the author had included a spanking here. It would just fit so perfectly. For example, novelist M C Beaton is most famous for her Hamish Macbeth stories, but she also does a fairly brisk trade in regency romances. They’re short, frothy, comic little numbers with scurrilous rakes and virginal debutantes and a guaranteed happily ever after. 

And by and large they read like spanking romances where somebody has gone through them beforehand and diligently removed all the spankings.There’s one called “The Miser of Mayfair” where the heroine breaks in to the hero’s bedroom in order to retrieve some papers which she believes might incriminate her. He catches her red-handed and believing that she is no more than a common thief, advances on her removing his jacket in what looks like a perfect set up to a spanking. Instead, though, he tells her that he plans to bed her and that make her pay for her crime with her body. Which is a bit odd and unexpected. It doesn’t come to that but godammit man, if you can’t spank a girl when you find her nicking stuff out your bureau, when can you?

M C Beaton also has a series called "The School for Manners" which is specifically about improving the behaviour of wayward young ladies to make them fit for society. Discipline gets mentioned frequently. It's just never the right kind of discipline.

In spanking romances, a disciplinary hero provides a sure-fire guarantee that he’ll be able to tame his woman and win her respect and devotion. A few literary heroines would have much more straightforward lives if their husbands had taken this approach.

Madam Bovary’s husband, Charles, should have just taken his wife over his knee as soon as she started getting all mopey and whingy about their provincial life and saved them both a lot of bother. Aside from her affairs, Emma Bovary’s main downfall was running up huge debts of clothes and shoes she bought on credit. Ill-advised clothes purchases are probably the number one reason why wives get spanked in Domestic Discipline books. And quite possibly, in real-life domestic discipline situations.

And while we’re dishing out discipline to dissatisfied literary wives, perhaps Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina could have benefitted from this approach as well..

Jane Austen is probably my all-time favourite romance writer. The Austen character I would most like to see on the receiving end of a spanking is Emma Woodhouse. Not that she’s particularly badly behaved in comparison in Madame Bovary but because her relationship with Mr Knightley – a family friend sixteen years her senior who has known her since she was born – is already so close to a disciplinary relationship.

It is stated throughout the book that Mr Knightly is the one person who is will scold Emma for her own good. When she unpardonably rude to poor Miss Bates, Knightley remonstrates Emma telling her that it was “Badly done, indeed.”

Jeremy Northam as Knightley and Gwyneth Paltrow as Emma in the 1996 film.
Johnny Lee Miller played Knightley in the 2009 TV version. You can see his 'badly done' scene here.

Knightley repeatedly demonstrates his love for Emma by correcting her bad behaviour and helping her to improve herself. He just doesn’t do it in quite the same way as some of the heroes in other books I have read recently. Most of them take a more hands-on approach.

So, what about you? What books have you read that have made you think “If only... someone would put that girl across his knee?” Let me know in the comments.
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  1. I have thought the same thing about so many books over the years. I'm still haunted by a Harlequin paperback I read as a teenager. The heroine was disabled. I have no memory of how, just that she was in a wheelchair, and whining about how the hero couldn't possibly want her because she was a broken woman… Yada yada yada. At that point, he told her she needed a good spanking, but of course being a mainstream book from the 90s, he never actually followed through. Even then, long before I discovered spanking fiction, I remember being frustrated that he wouldn't just do it already.

    And we don't even need to get into all the dreams I had about Rhett Butler taking Scarlett O'Hara in hand when I was reading Gone with the Wind.

    1. Oh that thing about spankings being threatened and not delivered sounds so familiar. Totally infuriating. Of course, in a spanking book, it's OK if a hero doesn't follow up a threatened spanking straightaway because it will inevitably become part of the build-up to a later punishment.

      Gone with the Wind is a great example! I've not read the book though, only seen the film, so it couldn't have included it here.

    2. Broadly speaking - when a woman says You wouldn't dare after a man has threatened to spank her, she is almost begging for a sound spanking. And in most cases she gets it eventually.

      In the case of Emma Woodhouse she should have been spanked after the Box Hill episode, where she wounded Miss Bates only to get in a witty remark of her own. But Knightley is much too knightly to do hat, and that is why I like Darcu much more. He would probably have spanked Elizabeth, if she had behaved that way, and that's why I think their marriage will be much happier and livelier. Mr. Rights is a fine thing, but Mr Always Right (or Knightly) is too much for a woman - at least if she has the spirits of an Elizabeth or the naughtiness of an Emma, whereas Bingley is alright for Jane in P&P, because Jane always behaves - and does not need - or want - to be spanked.

      Where Scarlett in GWTW is concerned, it would probably take more than one spanking to cure her of her wilfulness and naughtiness, and I'm not sure it would have helped in the long run if Rhett Butler had delivered, but there were at least two occasions in the movie where a spanking had been a good and appropriate punishment, and where we as the audience would have liked to se justice done to that delightful rear end of hers.

  2. Oh that Badly Done, Emma scene.... I've put the spanking in that so many times!! Pretty much anything I watch or read has me imagining where the spankings belong... :P

    1. If anyone should rewrite Jane Austen with spankings, it should be you, Renee. It would be like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. 'Emma and Spankings'. I'd definitely read it.

  3. Off the top of my head, I can't think of any but I know I've read many where a spanking would definitely be in order and make for a much better story. :-)

  4. Actually I agree that both Emma and GWTW could do with a few spankings. Emma marries Mr. Knightley, and hopefully she gets a few spankings after the wedding - Knightley of course is a kind of father figure, and bow instead of just scolding her about her behaviour to Miss Bates and others, he will probably spank her. And it will do her a lot of good. Rhett Butler should have spanked Scarlet scarler on more occasions than one, even Vivien Leigh agreed about that, and a few good well-timed, bare-bottomed spankings would probably have corrected her behaviour and saved their marriage. Marian in The Go-Between is another candidate, but she was punished in other ways - but if Lord Trimmingam had forgotten all about being such a gentleman ("nothing is ever a lady's fault") and given Marian a good. long and hard bare-bottomed spanking while she was still his fiancee, both Leo and the other characters would probably have come much better out of it all.