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Is it just me, or are the feet of that woman in the first picture freakishly large? Glassco describes Harriet’s feet as ‘high-arched’ and slender of ankle, but makes no mention of shoe-size. The visitor is told that this ‘no nonsense lady I’m not so sure this is how the author imagined his creation, though I can say with great certainty that the modern Ms.

Marwood’s clothing isn’t at all correct. Glassco commissioned dozens of illustrations for his erotic works — Squire Hardman unusedThe Temple of Pederasty bannedFetish Girl rejected and The Jupiter Sonnets unpublished — but nothing at all for Harriet, governess to Richard Lovel. The only sense we have of how Glassco saw his creation is found in his writing.

Here she is, as first viewed through the eyes of Richard’s father: Lovel saw before him a tall young woman in her middle twenties, dressed with quiet elegance.

A brunette with a very white skin, she wore her dark, almost black hair in a plain style under her small bonnet, parted from forehead to crown and drawn smoothly back to a heavy chignon at the nape of her strong, graceful neck.

Her brow was well-shaped and intellectual, the nose was straight, short and full of energy, the mouth rather wide, with full underlie, the chin quite prominent. Everything in her face and pose denoted decision and force; but her glance, reserved, serious, even academic, could not conceal the warm brilliance of her violet-grey eyes.


Ophelia,had no cover illustration; nor did the reissue Under the Birch Paris: It wasn’t until the appearance of the more polite telling of this love story, Harriet Marwood, Governess New York: Grove,that the heroine was finally depicted.

As with Fetish GirlGlassco hated the cover. Here he complained that the model, ‘though well constructed’, had ‘the countenance of a mental defective’.

This poor failed Harriet reappears ahrriet on the cover of the Grove edition of Yvonne; or, The Adventures and Intrigues of a French Governess with Her Pupilsan erotic novel first published in Of the other depictions of the flagellating governess, Glassco would have only seen the first two. Sadly, his opinions are unrecorded.


Tuchtiging tot Tederheid [ Harriet Marwood, Governess ]. Anonymous [Gerrit Komrij, trans. Uitgeversij de Arbeiderspers, The lone Canadian edition of the cleaner version, and the only one to be printed under Glassco’s jarriet. It features an intentionally misleading Preface written by the author. An edition that perpetuates the misconception that the novel dates from the time of Queen Victoria.

From the back cover: Harriet as a poor man’s Bettie Page. There is nothing in the packaging to suggest that the book doesn’t take place in the ‘fifties. The sole Canadian edition of The English Governessand the only one narwood appear under the author’s real name. It ,arwood a great advantage over previous editions in that it features a highly garriet introduction by Michael Gnarowski.

A longer version of this post — more pictures! Posted by Brian Busby at 5: JRSM 05 October, Brian Busby 05 October, Newer Post Older Post Home. Journals McGill-Queen’s, My latest book is The Dusty Bookcase Biblioasis,a collection of revised and expanded reviews first published here and elsewhere. View my complete profile.


Harriet Marwood, Governess – John Glassco – Google Books

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