Noo ye kis ma boot or A strik ye wi ma whip!

Somewhat to my surprise, I was recently able to get a copy of House of Tears (creditted to Harold Kane and illustrated anonymously by Joe Shuster).

At some point, I'd like to scan the thing,[1] but I don't want to damage it in the process of scanning, and the volume is bound in a way such that it does not naturally open flat. For now, I'll offer a verbal description.

The book is 20 sheets folded into five gatherings[2] to make a total of 80 pages. The gatherings are bound together by three staples, running from front to back but near the fold. A cover of dull-yellow paper, textured like parchment, is wrapped around these pages and glued to them at the fold. The volume is about 5 3/8 in × 8 in × 3/16 in (13.7 cm × 20.3 cm × .5 cm); I'd guess that it were printed on 8½-by-11 sheets before binding and trimming.

There are 65 pages of text that were almost certainly set with an elite[3] typewriter. There are ten full-page, black-and-white interior illustrations, two more than the eight that I discovered on-line. Both are plainly also by Shuster. One of these shows a fellow in a suit standing close behind a woman in a classic French maid's outfit; the other shows three women, one upon a throne-like chair, one in a dress lifting up her skirt to expose her lingerie, and the third behind her, apparently yanking or pinching her ear and dressed in a maid's outfit.

Although I've not read the story, it is apparently about a wealthy Illinois man who hires a Scottish woman to be the governess for his 15-year-old daughter, rather hoping that the governess will turn-out to be a dominatrix, and discovering that this is, indeed, the case. I cannot help but be amused at the thought of a household of Americans trying to figure-out what the H_ll a Scottish dominatrix is demanding of them, but a cursory investigation suggests that Miss Phyllis neither speaks Scots nor has a note-worthy accent. What I do see is a lot of space given over to sound-effects.

I'm not sure what that was, and perhaps I'm just better-off not knowing.

[1] No copyright registration was made, as this would have identified a person or a business entity that could be traced to owners, and those involved in production of this work could have been prosecuted under anti-pornography laws. It might be a fine thing to reverse the consequences of past censorship, and allow claims that could not have been registered to be made, but I believe that this particular work would then be orphaned.

[2] A gathering is a group of sheets stacked and folded together. The term signature is frequently mis-applied to gatherings.

[3] twelve characters per inch

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2 Responses to Noo ye kis ma boot or A strik ye wi ma whip!


    Until today, I had never even considered the possibility of a Scottish dominatrix! It strikes me the author may have based the character on a real person, as the inventing of such a character seems too randomly implausable. Then again, what do I know?

    Could not stop chuckling reading this post! The title alone should draw in anyone to investigate further.

    'Tis a shame, a double edged sword if you will, that the rarer such an item is, the more one wants to scan it for several reasons, yet the scanning would likely damage the volume and severly decrease it's value. For now, the description is enough!

    (incidentally, I also used an elite typewriter to write my comment...I held it both hands and used the corner to gently tap the keys of my computer keyboard)

    "Noo ye keep a-bloogin' 'boot dese tings, or ye'll be feelin de wrat' o' me haggis!"

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