Scandalous Behaviour


When Miss Nicola Montford first came to Lady Blake’s house, her aunt had high hopes for her: with no daughters of her own it might be fun to help a young gentlewoman through a few seasons before seeing her appropriately married off. Too many long years later and the girl – if you can use such a word to describe an old maid of eight and twenty – has proven herself lazy, improper and thoroughly incapable of running a household.

If she will insist on behaving like a child in perpetuity, what choice does Lady Blake have but to treat her as one? Her leather paddle and her heaviest clothes brush are both still to hand, after all, and a spinster’s bloomers will part just as readily as a schoolgirl’s when thrown over someone’s stiff satin lap.

Nicola may squirm and struggle under these ministrations – she may even protest and talk back – but by the time her unmarried bottom is striped bright red, she realises that perhaps she can recall the week’s fishmonger order after all.