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Rule of the Strap: Memories of a Scottish Girls' Reform School Hardcover – 1 Jun 1999

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: The Wildfire Club (1 Jun. 1999)
  • ISBN-10: 0952436884
  • ISBN-13: 978-0952436881
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,703,943 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 17 Mar. 2000
Format: Hardcover
At the times stated, it would have been impossible to proceed from school to being a qualified teacher by the age of 18.The descriptions of school from the pupil's point of view are very realistic and the account of corporal punishment of the period seems very accurate. It would, however, have been impossible at that period to move from an approved school to a teacher of a specialised subject in a secondary school without a university degree followed by teacher training.I cannot comment on the severity of punishment permitted in approved schools, but the author certainly seems ready to dish it out - and it is difficult to believe her claims of sympathy for the recipients.Domestically it seems remarkable that she was able to use the strap on her brother in school fashion at all. But what causes some concern is the use by the author and her aunt of the strap in school fashion on their daughters at home. Stern discipline was certainly not unknown at the time, but a mother would almost certainly apply the strap to the bottom, probably unclad - as she was happy to do at her approved school. Using the strap on the hand at home comes close to torture.The justifications and claims of no personal satisfaction do not ring true. The author, while no doubt using corporal punishment only when fully justified, engages in it with such severity that it is difficult to believe that she derived no pleasure.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Clifford on 7 April 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is a fascinating book, and not just because of the controversy that surrounds corporal punishment, or the relationship between such practices and their erotic emulation in some of the dominance/submission games played by many people. The question always arises in works such as this whether it is reliable as an accurate record of (historical) practice, or fabricated with an intent to titillate, and it is unfortunate that a very few details provided in the book seem at odds with credibility, as has been noted elsewhere. However, the book otherwise gives the impression of a highly dispassionate description whose level of credible detail seems well beyond the potential criticisms of prurience or intention to arouse. I suspect that it must be left to readers to make up their minds on this. The book reads exceptionally well and smoothly, presenting a picture of disciplined `Corrective Institution' life that is to me very credible.
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