The Merry Order of St. Bridget

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The full title is The Merry Order of St. Bridget: Personal Recollections of the Use of the Rod

Paperback: 242 pages
Publisher: Nabu Press (March 1, 2010)
Language: English
< ISBN:1146234821 > Buy it from


We were each put into a separate room—mine was the lavatory—and our eyes blindfolded with a handkerchief. It seemed to me a long time I waited, but I suppose it was only a few minutes, and then some one entered the room.

“Take off your cloak,” a voice said that I knew for that of Mrs. D—, an English lady, fat, fair, and forty, full of life and fun, who had been one of the movers of the scheme—” Now come with me.”

The door of the tabagie was opened, and she led me in; then it was shut and locked, and I heard the sound of suppressed laughter all around me.

Then a voice from the end of the room called “Silence, if you please, ladies!” and three knocks sounded on a table, and the same voice asked “Who comes there?”

Prompted by Mrs. D—, I answered, “A candidate for a place in the Merry Order of St. Bridget.”

The Merry Order of St. Bridget — Personal recollections of the use of the rod is one of the most famous works of Victorian flagellatory fiction.

It was first published in York, England by John Camden Hotten in 1868 (often incorrectly cited as 1857) as Personal Recollections of the Use of the Rod by Margaret Anson, pseudonym of British author James Glass Bertram (1824-1892).

The novel has been reprinted many times, most recently in 2000 by Blue Moon Books. Some editions used the title The Merry Order of St. Bridget. The book is available online and can be read or downloaded for free.


A French translation was published in 1901 by Charles Carrington under the title Une société de flagellantes, using the writer's pseudonym Jean de Villiot.

Other works by James Glass Bertram

Under the nom de plume Rev. William Cooper, Bertram also wrote the fictionalized Flagellation and the Flagellants. A History of the Rod (1869), a best-seller for Hotten.

See also



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