Immoral Literature–My How Things Have Changed




A long time ago it didn’t take much to be accused of selling or reading immoral literature. Heck, you could mail a letter to someone of the opposite sex and scribe something considered so innocent today and still be arrested. Those meek and mild words of “innocence” could wind you up in the slammer for a few years.

I bought some immoral Victorian Literature last week at an Almonte auction. People giggled as I waved my card and bought three “taboo” books for a mere 5 dollars. One of those books is worth over $150 dollars on the internet– so who is  laughing now LOL.

One of the immoral book’s subjects was based on corporal punishment in school. According to the book, the Scot’s dourness on punishing the student was supreme. There were differences made between birch and leather and that the cane should be brought down on the student hard and strong. This book with subjects such as: corporal punishment for home and school and how to cane your servants was one surely that was hidden away in drawers and wardrobes.

The other book Nell in Bridewell printed in 1900 was nothing more than what I call Victorian trash.  It is the story, in the form of fiction based on fact, of a young girl who experienced the horrors and indignities of a 19th (1848) Century House of Correction in Germany. Okay, if the other two books were hidden in a drawer; this had to be buried in a deep hole somewhere. I think if someone was ever caught buying the book in the 19th century they would have been locked away  in the Perth gaol with the key thrown away in the basin.

There was a time in Ontario when film versions of Shakespeare’s greatest plays were too violent or too racy for the public good. In 1910 the film versions of Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet were considered inappropriate, and in those days the police force had the power to shut down what they deemed inappropriate.  No sweat Shakespeare– it’s all good today. However,today is another thing– no matter what goes across our screens or printed in books–even a 14 year-old knows what’s going on.


Perth Courier, Nov. 9, 1888

Belleville has a sensation.  Mr. Thomas Aldwell, ledger keeper in the Dominion Bank threatens to sue Rev. J. W. Burke, formerly principal of the Perth High School, and now rector of St. Thomas Church and Rev. S. Daw, rector of Christ Church for libel if an apology is not forthcoming.  The alleged libel is a statement that he has been circulating immoral literature




Clipped from The Ottawa Journal06 Jun 1910, MonPage 1


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Clipped from The Ottawa Journal24 Sep 1907, TuePage 1


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Clipped from The Ottawa Journal24 Sep 1955, SatPage 1


Perth Courier, May 21, 1869

Nolan-McMunn—Married, at St. Paul’s Church, Almonte, on the 31st May, by the Rev. J. W. Burke, Mr. John Nolan of the Township of Pakenham to Miss Eliza McMunn of the Township of Ramsay.

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News and now in The Townships Sun

Related reading

Singer Sewing Machines and Scandals

Shenanigans in Wemyss?

She’s a Lady— Whoaaa Whoaaa Whoaaa

Group Hanky Panky in Perth? NOOOOO!


About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

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