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#1
Old 10-26-2000, 07:25 AM
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My 4th grade teacher told us it was advice Puritan mothers gave their daughters in colonial Massachusetts. I am skeptical. It sounds more like something from the Victorian era. Or was it something invented in recent times and applied to the olden days (a line from a historical novel, perhaps)?
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Old 10-26-2000, 07:57 AM
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The variation I have heard has Queen Victoria telling her daughters, shortly before their wedding nights: Lie back, grit your teeth, and think of the Empire!

To me, this sounds like something modern people think sounds like something the Victorians would say, so color me skeptical. Besides, would Queen Vicky have had that many children if she really thought sex was so awful?
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#3
Old 10-26-2000, 07:58 AM
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IMHO, the phrase was a uniquely "Empirical Lady" thing to do, due to the empires etiquitte (SP?) for ladies to do. Ladies of the empire were expected to be reserved, in all areas. So I assume that its an 18th century tradition, from the Motherland itself.
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Old 10-26-2000, 08:26 AM
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Flodnak-not only did Queen Victoria NOT hate sex, she adored it. Albert was her life, and they had a VERY hot and heavy sex life. She may have been talking about childbirth-which she hated.
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#5
Old 10-26-2000, 08:46 AM
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The original version is the journal entry by Lady Hillingdon (1857-1940), first published in 1912 - 'When I hear his steps outside my door I lie down on my bed, close my eyes, open my legs, and think of England'. I suspect that the comment was meant to be ironic.
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Old 10-28-2000, 12:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Guinastasia
Flodnak-not only did Queen Victoria NOT hate sex, she adored it. Albert was her life, and they had a VERY hot and heavy sex life. She may have been talking about childbirth-which she hated.
I don't remember where I read this, but this gibes with the story I heard. Sort of. The story I heard was that Victoria was not the "prude", Albert was. (I didn't hear that Victoria "loved" it.)

When I first heard the phrase in the OP, it definitely was attributed to having come from Victorian times.
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#7
Old 10-28-2000, 12:28 AM
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Um, the "it" that Victoria loved being "sex", of course.
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Old 10-28-2000, 01:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by APB
The original version is the journal entry by Lady Hillingdon (1857-1940), first published in 1912 - 'When I hear his steps outside my door I lie down on my bed, close my eyes, open my legs, and think of England'. I suspect that the comment was meant to be ironic.
And her husband was no doubt thinking of one of Nelson's gags, "England expects every man will do his duty."

bibliophage, why in the world would Puritan girls be told to think of England? They had just left England because it was so wicked and nasty. But I am impressed your 4th grade teacher talked about S-E-X. Mrs. Busby, my 4th grade teacher, would have been shocked to the core!
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Old 10-28-2000, 02:23 PM
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Hmmm...well, Victoria didn't exactly say she loved sex outright, but when her doctor told her she couldn't have any more children after Beatrice, she said, "But Doctor, must I have no more fun in bed?"
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#10
Old 10-28-2000, 03:47 PM
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>> the phrase was a uniquely "Empirical Lady" thing to do, due to the empires etiquitte (SP?) for ladies to do

Can you explain the "Empirical Lady" part? I am not sure I get it.

I did a net search for that and came up empty.
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Old 10-28-2000, 08:16 PM
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sailor: Can you explain the "Empirical Lady" part? I am not sure I get it.

I think ToF was trying to say "Imperial Lady", or ladies of the Victorian era when the British Empire was at its height. (Although now I have this wonderful mental image of nineteenth-century followers of David Hume sitting around in their bustles and bonnets arguing over whether there's any rational basis for believing in sexual enjoyment. )
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Old 10-28-2000, 10:04 PM
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bibliophage, why in the world would Puritan girls be told to think of England?
Even if religion was oppressed and the like, I'm sure that there was more refinement to be found in civilized England than in a log cabin with a bunch of hairy unwashed settlers trying to grow crops in stoney New England soil. Just my guess of course.
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Old 10-28-2000, 10:50 PM
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I had thought that Victoria said it to Alexandra, but indeed, in an age of arranged political marriages, Victoria and Albert were very much in love, as were Nicholas and Alexandra.
It must be a Victorian UL!
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