True Wedding Night Stories from the Victorian Boudoir

“Lie back and think of England” was the prominent mindset of many Victorian brides.

Either they heard whispered horrors from elders or knew next to nothing — in some cases, both. Wives who delighted in the unspeakable act undoubtedly would have felt shamed admitting such. For it was not meant to be enjoyed by women.

Accessible marriage manuals for young husbands and for young wives lacked instruction, used confusing metaphors, or failed to address consummation at all.

To better understand Victorians and sex, a set of letters and diaries reveal their propriety and perspective of what happens in the boudoir.