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Sent: Sat 1/6/2007 1:23 AM According to BISAM, the online literature archive of the german group Datenschlag, the translator of ‘John Bull beim Erziehen’ is Erna Neumann. There are 6 entries, the first edition, continuing volumes 1-4 and an additional ‘Amerika beim Erziehen’ (3 volumes). All volumes of ‘John Bull beim Erziehen’ were published 1901, except for the continuing volume 4 (1903). The entry for the very first volume has the annotation that the letters were translated from the journal ‘Family Doctor’ instead of the indicated source ‘Society’, which is believed to be a printing error. The continuing volumes were translated from the ‘Society’. ‘Amerika beim Erziehen’ was translated from the ‘Illustrated Boston News’. In BISAM Erna Neumann is also named as author of ‘Erzählungen von der Rute’ (narratives of the birch) (Pressburg 1906: Verlag H. Hartleb). The library of the country of Vienna offers its readers unrestricted access to the continuing volumes of ‘John Bull beim Erziehen’ so I could look through them. I found 15 letters which discuss breast-rings. (2 in the first volume, 11 in the second volume and 2 in volume three) Although they are mostly discussed under the heading ‘die neueste Modethorheit’ (the newest fashion folly), a part of the correspondents insists on the long tradition of breast-rings. They mention narratives, romances, historical and medical books and trace the custom back to Egyptian, Greek and Creol girls who wear breast-rings which are not pulled through holes but put on nipples and grow in with time. Most writers who want to make the point that breast-rings aren’t a very new fashion say they’ve already seen them 3-5 years before. One person writes of a recently deceased duchess he knew personally. She wore her breast-rings 25 years. One correspondent mentions a french book from 1857 which describes women and girls wearing jewellery in holes of their breasts in Morocco. One writer refers to ‘one of the oldest medical works published in the USA’ in his private library, which mentions breast-rings as a fashion at European courts. Nine correspondents are male, six female. Four of the women also describe their own experiences getting breast-rings and wearing them. Except for one letter whose writer has heard of a young french aristocrat wearing portraits of his wife it is always women who wear the breast-rings. Three writers disfavor breast-rings, everybody else (and especially those who are wearing breast-rings themselves) approve of them. Those having breast-rings like the feeling of the rings rubbing against the clothes and sliding through the openings causing a comfortable, tingly and titillative feeling. Many writers are persuaded (and in fact very fascinated) that the breast-rings provoke fuller, firmer and rounder breasts. That is also the reason why they are often recommended for women with small breasts. One correspondent, having breast-rings herself, explains her firmer and rounder breasts by the constant excitation of the nerves caused by the rings. In ‘one of the oldest medical works published in the USA’, mentioned before, breast-rings are linked to breast cancer. The writer who reports this estimates this as baseless fear because of his own experience as physician. The operation is said to cause little pain. It is compared to the operation for earholes, accomplished with a thicker or longer needle. After the operation women receive an ointment to treat possible inflammations. The rings are inserted when the edges of the wounds are healed. Some of the writers also mention their occupations. There is one actress, one owner of a shop making corsets, two doctors, one teacher and a jeweller. These six persons all travelled: The actress once played in New York, the corset maker, one doctor and the jeweller worked for some time in Paris. The second doctor is from New York and reads the journal in Liverpool. Nearly all correspondents agree that the fashion of breast-rings has spread enormously in recent times. It used to be the fashion of ladies of the ‘demi-monde’ and artists. By the time of the letters princesses, women from best circles as well as salespersons had breast rings. Writers also tell of teachers in finishing schools, who either operated young girls or accompanied them. One correspondent saw a complete shop window that was filled with jewellery for breasts in Paris. There was a luxurious variant (solitaires, turquoise, brilliants, diamonds, pearls, scarabs, tiny golden bells ‘in the Swiss style’ with brilliants, extra jewellery to fix on the rings) and a cheaper variant which consisted of ‘simple golden rings’. The correspondents also report on a famous French singer, who tied her breasts ‘tighter than they could be by nature’ with a chain and a famous actress who wore beads with ties. The operation is very often accomplished by jewellers. There is also one mention of a teacher and one of a ‘massage clinic’ in New York where female physicians operate. According to one letter the operation costs between 10 and 20 Francs, which the customer gets reimbursed when buying the rings from the same jeweller. One of the colleagues of the writer of this letter, working for a jeweller, used to operate girls from the bourgeoisie and sales assistants for 2 Francs on Sundays, earning himself some extra money. Another writer inquires at a jeweller’s and reports that the jewellery costs between 60 and 2000 Francs. The widest diffusion of breast-rings exists in Paris. Writers often refer to the breast rings as ‘anneaux de sein’. Less women have breast-rings in England, although a jeweller reports on having earlier operated 20 women in England and during the six months since the first article about them appeared in the ‘Society’ 43 women. One correspondent cites a brochure by a New York physician who complains of young American women going to Europe and getting breast-rings in Paris. The brochure sees breast-rings as dangerous to health and encouraging ‘unhealthy sensuality’. One correspondent writes that breast-rings are often mentioned in the feature pages of ‘La vie parisienne’ and ‘Fin de siècle’ in connection with ladies of the ‘demi-monde’. In one letter which disapproves of the fashion of breast rings, another correspondent is accused of probably actually being a jeweller himself, trying to boost the fashion. One writer wonders why he can’t remember the mention of breast-rings in the book ‘Histoire artistique, médicale et anecdotale de seins et du décolletage’. The correspondents also disclose the addresses of the jewellers who operate and sell breast-rings. (Rue de la Paix, Palais Royal, Rue Leopold, Rue St. Honore, Bond Street, Westend) This is a summary of the content of the letters. I didn’t have the impression that they were fantasies or covered advertising when I read them. But there are always only accounts of having operated a princess or heard from the duchess. None of the correspondents says that he belongs to best circles himself. best regards, Selma Selma Kadi Studentin Institut für Soziologie Universität Wien _________________________________________________________________________ > -------- Original-Nachricht -------- > Datum: Thu, 4 Jan 2007 23:21:16 -0000 > Von: Hera Cook <h.cook@BHAM.AC.UK> > An: H-HISTSEX@H-NET.MSU.EDU > Betreff: FW: Victorian breast-rings > > From: Lesley Hall [mailto:email@example.com] > Sent: Thu 1/4/2007 9:50 PM > > Further to my recent query on this subject, I have now made > investigations and all the evidence seems to suggest that the single > source for the apparent popularity of pierced nipples and breast > jewellery in 1890s England can be traced (via various intermediary > texts) to the correspondence columns of the periodical _Society_ around > 1899. > I would not consider this an entirely reliable source. Although the > journal does contain a substantial quota of social and political news and > gossip, reviews of plays, etc, the correspondence column was almost > entirely given over debates on corporal punishment (this recalls the > earlier famous one in _The Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine_), the merits > of tight lacing, and similar topics. There are advertisements by the > pornography dealer Carrington and increasingly what appear to be coded > advertisements for prostitution (offering rather specialised services). > I am therefore strongly inclined to consider this much disseminated > claim factitious, unless anyone has any additional evidence in support. > Thanks > > Lesley Hall > firstname.lastname@example.org > www.lesleyahall.net > > -- Der GMX SmartSurfer hilft bis zu 70% Ihrer Onlinekosten zu sparen! Ideal für Modem und ISDN: http://www.gmx.net/de/go/smartsurfer