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Authors: Walter Donway

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The Price of Hannah Blake


Victorian England’s Secret Sex Scandal

By Walter Donway

Romantic Revolution Books


The Price of Hannah Blake:

Victorian England’s Secret Sex Scandal

Walter Donway

Copyright © Walter Donway 2012

All rights reserved.

This book is a work of fiction and the creation of Walter Donway. All characters and incidents, including those involving historical characters, are imaginary. All characters involved in sexual situations of any kind are intended to be portrayed as being 18 years or more of age.

Published by

Romantic Revolution Books

279 Stephen Hands Path

East Hampton, NY 11937

[email protected]

Published in the United States of America

Cover design by
Derek Murphy, Creativindie

Formatted by
Everything Indie



To my thousands of readers on the Web site
whose excitement and enthusiasm cheered on the creation of this novel when it was serialized there.


Attention All Readers

This book is for readers at least 18 years of age who enjoy erotica that includes graphic sex scenes, explicit sexual language, and potentially upsetting fantasies about sexual behavior.



Chapter 1: The Girl with The Insolent Eyes

Chapter 2: The Price of Hannah Blake

Chapter 3: “This Is Wicked…”

Chapter 4: “We Must See All of You”

Chapter 5: “Her Arse Is Fine”

Chapter 6: “We Perform Naked, Portraying Love and Lust”

Chapter 7: “Never Show Modesty”

Chapter 8: “‘They Are the Duke’s Titties,’ Said Charles”

Chapter 9: “They Just Devour You, Every Crumb”

Chapter 10: “You
a Little Beauty!”

Chapter 11: “In Honor of Your Wedding Night, Hannah”

Chapter 12: “I Pronounce You Maiden and Monster”

Chapter 13: “You Can Do Anything You Want, Charles”

Chapter 14: To Live…

Chapter 15: Freedom, Wasn’t It? Right Out There?

Chapter 16: She Screamed It: “Don’t Stop!”

Chapter 17: “And He’s a

Chapter 18: “It’s about the Moral Heart of England”

Chapter 19: “Don’t Give Up”

Chapter 20: “You’re the Husband, Tonight, Hannah”

Chapter 21: Cock Fight at Dusk

Chapter 22: “The Danger Is Real”

Chapter 23: “The Duke Wants Me to Be a Virgin”

Chapter 24: “I Will Be Brought to Him”

Chapter 25: The Consulting Detective and the Napoleon of Crime

Chapter 26: “The Way a Husband Takes a Wife”

Chapter 27: “Being Dead Doesn’t Change”

Chapter 28: “We Will Act, Mr. Landau, Good Day, to You”

Chapter 29: “I Must Go, Now”

Chapter 30: “What You Cannot Bear”

Chapter 31: “I Am Randy for the Girl!”

Chapter 32: “‘This Won’t Take a Minute,’ Said the Walrus”

Chapter 33: “Forever Blot Our History”

Chapter 34: “Are You There, David?”

The Price of Hannah Blake


Chapter 1
The Girl with the Insolent Eyes

The duke had let it be known that he found tiresome the proper performances offered the public: the coy, euphemistic allusions to sex and the body itself; the priggish morality of “do” and “don’t”; and the fashion on stage, as elsewhere, to conceal every contour of the body. To watch the realm’s most glamorous actresses and dancers on stage talking like school girls or country parsons, and clad like nuns, the duke said, put him to sleep in the royal box. It was an exaggeration, of course; but his listeners discerned the shape of a truth concealed within it—the truth in the duke’s trousers. And, he then added, his voice dropping to a whisper, he did not give a bent farthing for the strictures of his sister, the queen. (Some reported the duke actually had said he didn’t give “a big fart” what the queen thought.)

An enterprising court toady, now scarcely remembered, saw in this plaint his opportunity to become a favorite. He arranged for substantial sums to be conveyed to those actors and actresses most beloved of the public if they would consent to a private performance of a ribald type for an audience unspecified but hinted to be of the highest station. But these fat purses were returned to him, with stiff gestures, or in silence, nor could he resort to threats against public personages who were darlings of scribblers of Fleet Street.

Persistent, as well as clever, the toady proposed that an entire company of thespians and dancers be created using the comeliest boys and girls of the kingdom to perform for the exclusive enjoyment of the duke. Being unknown, of poor family, these youths and girls could be purchased by agents of the duke, as they were purchased for the brothels, or simply snatched (“impressed into service” was the phrase he chose). Many could be found in orphanages, workhouses, and prisons, and without great expense. Such disappearances raised no troublesome outcry.

Once enrolled in the duke’s troupe, of course, they could not be allowed at large ever again since the narrow and righteous opinion of the public, and the duke’s own sister, would be goaded into a holy frenzy of indignation, hypocrisy, and cries for blood at the revelation of such goings on.

Persuaded to this scheme, the duke oversubscribed the required sum, a fortune sufficient to refurbish a grand manor and high-walled grounds on the sea in the south of England. The work went under cover of a story about preparation of a summer residence for the duke, so that the carpenters, masons, plasterers, and gardeners who flocked to the site had no inkling of the true purpose of their work. Nor did construction of guardhouses and sentry stations within the vast grounds occasion much gossip. All accepted that a duke would wish to safeguard his person and his gold.

The duke soon visited to view progress and merely nodded; he then fixed the toady with a glinting eye, and said, “Do what you must, but I shall have no young man or woman less than 18 years of age—for my own youngest, Charlene, at 17, is still but a child.” The toady solemnly nodded. Soon scouts rode through the kingdom, but with particular attention to impoverished rural towns in Devon and Somerset, the Lake Country, and Wales, as well as to the miserable East End of London where ships docked daily at Wapping to disgorge bewildered, nigh helpless women traveling alone, including many fleeing pogroms in Poland and Russia.

A few boys and girls, just eighteen, were purchased from parents desperate in their poverty to save their remaining children. Others were seduced at the wharf at Wapping with offers of employment; some were curtly requisitioned from the East End brothels on pain of closure by the police. And so the compound beside the Channel, its gardens blooming already with mature transplants, became alive with young men and women of beauty who had disappeared from the world and now were the charges of stern teachers who disciplined the body, voice, and sensibility.

Each, according to his or her capacity to accept bitter reality, in time accepted that they never would see their families or any home they had known. The mansion with its dormitories, practice areas, theaters, quarters of the duke’s staff, guardhouses—and much more—part palace, part school, part prison—was their home. And what occurred within its walls resembled nothing any had seen, or imagined, or visited in dreams and nightmares.

It was a mark of the duke’s warmest favor and trust to be included in the audience for these performances. Works created for them—much dance, but also comedies or tragedies, farces or morality plays—led always (and with no great delay) to scenes that required young actors and actresses to disrobe and mimic or engage in every erotic fantasy of the suppressed Victorian psyche—though not always to the duke’s liking. “This is but Gilder’s dreary play of last season in London,” he fumed. “Performed bare-arsed by angels, but a no better play!” Once, during an intermission, he commanded that a play’s absurd dialogue be omitted entirely during its second half, the players performing in silence but for the nude ensemble’s musical accompaniment.

Undistracted by dialogue, the duke became so enchanted by the leading lady that he summoned her to his box at the play’s conclusion. His courtiers ushered to him a tall, raven-haired girl, not yet 20, still sweating from her exertions, her lovely face heavy with stage make-up. She had wrapped herself in a robe, though her feet were bare, and, being brought before the duke’s entourage, she stood with that poise instilled by months of relentless drill of the body in dance. Frankly appraising her, the duke remarked, even before she had curtsied, “I did not command that she be gift-wrapped!”

The girl merely smiled, and, with grace, shrugged off her robe and let it slip to the floor. She stood naked before her exclusive audience and made a curtsy worthy of a countess. The duke boldly inspected her fine breasts—pale, but with blood-dark nipples that reflected the coloration of her raven hair. His eyes fell, then, to the trim black triangle at the base of her belly.

The duke was not bad looking, still in his fifties, tall but heavy set, with broad shoulders; in photographs, he looked formidable. Neither his chestnut mustache and goatee nor his hair, with a generous part on the left, had become grizzled. His eyes were direct, open and inquiring—if not frankly challenging. It was the gaze of a man who had not put boyhood and its mischief quite behind him. The gaze could flash with humor, but, more often, with a covetousness accustomed to being satisfied. He did not say, ‘I should like to have that,’ but always, ‘I shall take that.’

His hands were large and well manicured, but stayed in his lap; he was not given to gesturing. Still, he was a sportsman, a hunter, a horseman, even an amateur pugilist—and exercise stimulated and fueled his libido. His sister, in a rare display of daring, had given him a fine drawing of the nude Leda from her own collection of drawings, mostly of nude males. She understood her younger brother; she simply did not approve—or that is the impression she chose to give.

Now, the duke said, “I shall entertain her in my chambers in one hour.” He did not glance at his watch; the girl would be there even if he did not arrive for two hours—or five—and she would be naked. The girl smiled, curtsied again, and was led away; the robe lay where it had fallen. The duke inquired as to who had been responsible for the girl’s instruction, and, being told, directed that a purse be delivered to that person with the duke’s compliments. It was a fortune, indeed, and an eloquent message to all who were responsible for the duke’s troupe.

Thenceforth, it was understood that on any evening the duke might fancy the company of a performer of either sex. His gifts were extravagant and his favor assured that a lad or lass took lead roles in future performances. It was less clear where the favored youth could spend the new-found wealth—confined forever to the mansion. In truth, it was promptly “requested” by the staff for the Troupe’s treasury.

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