Return to 1873: Introduction

Return to 1873 by ‘d’

A diary of days spent as a Victorian Young Woman kept under Strict discipline

Introduction : The top floor

At the top of our house is a floor that is kept normally locked away. It is our `time warp’. Once, immediately after the house was built in the 1840s, it would have been where the servants slept but, long before we bought the house, it had been transformed into a separate self-contained flat (apartment). Because of our lifestyle, and because we felt we could do without the flat’s income when we bought the house, we decided to reclaim the floor and to set it aside as our `homage’ to the bad old Victorian days.

Those of you who know us, or have read about our life style, will know that I am a twenty nine year-old submissive (and masochist!), The Bear being my Master. Our particular `kink’ is that we both enjoy transporting me back to the harsher days of the mid Nineteenth Century, and making me live and dress and act completely as a somewhat unfortunate and badly treated young woman might have done in those days – days when young women had little or no rights even in the most civilised of Western countries.

During the years we have been together, the top floor has been transformed. Two small bedrooms have been knocked into one large room to make `The Schoolroom’, and the flat’s living room has been converted into a combined bedroom and punishment room. The tiny kitchenette remains, although locked off most of the time, the bathroom has been `simplified’, and all the carpets and modern furnishings have been removed. The window in the new bedroom has been boarded up and sound-proofed, all other windows double or triple glazed and have been either permanently covered up or have opaque window glass so it is impossible to look out.

All `mod cons’ have been removed. There is no electricity, no central heating and only cold water plumbed through to the top floor. Its walls have been painted a depressing off-white colour, or are a drab grey-green, and all the furnishing are either genuine Victorian pieces or are modern replicas, suitably `aged’. It is a dark, silent place, totally cut off from the outside world, and just right for containing a Victorian young lady who is to be kept under the harshest of discipline..

Sybilienne Conventions and Dress.

One important aspect of our role-play has to do with a totally fictitious school for young ladies called St Sybil’s. (Readers will find it referred to in my fictional stories, especially in `Claire’s Tale’). In the six years we have been together, we have acquired or I have made several complete sets of uniform clothing for a `Sybilienne’.

It is NOT a comfortable or convenient means of dressing, being heavy and entrammeling, being under-pinned with a full length corset that is always be worn laced up as tightly as possible, and finished off with a floor length cape without armslits that must always be at least buttoned closed down to waist level. To add to all that, I have to wear gloves all the time and have my head and hair covered by two tight fitting coifs that match the rest of the heavy woollen uniform and leave just the front of my face exposed. As can probably be understood wearing such a uniform all the time can be both oppressive and tiring – it is meant to be just that ! But it is what I must wear whenever we `go back’ to Victorian times.

Eighteen months ago we had our first major `time travel’ experiment. I went to live in the top floor as a Sybilienne for several weeks. It was a time that was designed to see whether it was possible to `transport’ me back in time and to find out how I would really react to a longer term `immersion’ into our scene. It was partly successful but what we both learnt was the ways in which `real life’ could worm its way even into the shut-away top floor of our home.

My need for baths and showers, for 20th century food, and for stimulus not available in our `Victorian world’ all interfered with the total success of our experiment. But we made up our minds that, when the opportunity occurred again, I would volunteer to be shut away in the top floor, and that this time I would HAVE to live in accordance with our `Full Sybilienne Rules’.

This time there would be NO modern-day comforts or pleasures.

The Sybilienne Rules are tough enough if we are just scening for a day or two, so I knew I was in for a hard time once I was shut away in the rooms upstairs. This would be especially so as my Master, The Bear, had made it plain that he was going to be a very strict and unforgiving taskmaster, and that I would be properly punished for my faults, no matter how trivial or unavoidable. So I was fully aware that I was in for a very hard time indeed as soon as I was locked upstairs for the duration of my stay in `Victorian Times’.

As things turned out, my stay there was even more fraught than I had anticipated for a whole variety of reasons, nearly all unpleasant!

The one task I knew I would have to complete each day was making diary entries, and this article is the end-result of those efforts. They were primarily written so my Master could see how I was reacting to my incarceration, as well as a schoolroom exercise, as readers will see. They are largely reproduced here just as they were written at the time I was locked away: some very minor editing has been done to make them more comprehensible to the reader who does not know us well. Apart from that, the entries remain as originally written.

It was only when our friend, Leviticus, showed interest in them that we considered them for publication. I hope that they prove interesting to his readers and fans.

As a final note, it is our intention to repeat this experiment. However next time it will be for a great deal longer, with NO relaxation in the severity of the lifestyle, nor of the discipline’s strictness. Now that really SHOULD produce some interesting diary entries!


London, February 2000

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