Book Review

"The Odalisque" by Richard Manton. ISBN 1-56201-177-4

In case you are not familiar with harem terminology, an Odalisque is a female slave in the harem. The main character in this novel is Jenny Langham, by no means a submissive girl for her time (Victorian England in the 1880's). She resists her fiancé's advances and decides that she will never get married. Jenny is looking for adventure and asks her uncle to take her with him on his military assignment to Karthoum in Egypt. The English society in Karthoum thinks of Jenny as a delicious little tease. Self-assured she rides her horse like a man, rather than the more appropriate side-saddle for ladies. This gives her an opportunity to show off in tight riding pants:

"At twenty years old, her figure in tight riding-pants had a firm and well-exercised look with its rather tomboyish robustness. The tight jeans and close-fitting boots that she wore for riding shaped the robust young legs and thighs and the firm proud cheeks of Jenny Langham's bottom. Despite its rather sturdy fullness, Jenny Langham's bottom was one of her most attractive and sexy features for any man who chanced to be walking behind her."

Jenny quickly progresses from a tease to a spectator of public floggings. But the city of Karthoum is under siege and eventually falls to the Mahdi's troops. Jenny Langham's capture marks the beginning of her becoming an odalisque. For the first time, Jenny experiences the sting of the lash across her own bottom:

"A white brilliance of the chandelier caught the speeding black leather as if it were a thunderbolt. The strap rang across the bare cheeks of Jenny's backside like a pistol-crack. Her body jerked against the bonds holding her and then she cried out. The pain of a strap wielded so viciously on her bare buttocks exceeded anything she had ever felt when punished as a child at home or school. She uttered a piercing scream at the second echoing blow and then a howl of anguish at the third. The Mahdi watched, impassive as a carved guardian of the pyramids."

"Unceasing and unremitting, the strap rang out across the flinching pallor of Jenny's behind, torturing her with a scalding anguish. It slashed and smacked, making the pale bottom-flesh jump and quiver. The split tails of the flat leather curled agonisingly round the smooth inner surfaces of her splayed thighs. Jenny shrieked and pleaded, sometimes in wordless frenzy and sometimes in the words of submission to which punishment-rooms and the cells of female prisons have so often echoed."

"The Odalisque" is a well written story with historical detail. Most of the punishments involve female bottoms, but there is one scene in which Jenny's attendent-boy gets whipped in public. Jenny's behavior at that whipping will make you want to pick up the lash yourself to teach this young lady a lesson.