At first Sight the Item may appear to be a Seat, its slatted wooden Top curved as to fit the Shape of an Arse. Yet a Glance at the Straps and Timbers of it reveals otherwise. The Apparatus is indeed concerned with Posterior Matters, though not in the Mode of Sitting. One may rather be sure that when its Function has been discharg'd, that very Position will be best avoided. For the Thing is a Whipping-Bench, no less, made out of the finest Oak to a Plan from Sir Montague's own Hand. It is unique to the House and we hope to see it become the Envy of the Circuit. Thus wrote the new bride at Ardingley End in 1728, drawing Jane Barrett-Greene, National Keeper of 'Rare' Books and devoted corrector of wayward youth, into a search for the original manuscripts. It takes her - and a priapic young companion - to a disciplinary order in France whose Director wields a vicious cane. Bringing her prize back to its house of origin, Jane becomes embroiled in a scheme of the strict new patriarch to re-enact a flagellatory tableau from the notebooks in the Great Hall.

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