"A Candle Loses Nothing By Lighting Another Candle" - Father James Keller

Friday, April 9, 2010

Erin O'Riordan Reviews “Hysteria” by Rushmore Judd


Set at the turn of the last century, this five-chapter novella discusses the treatments of Dr. Tunney for hysteria and other female disorders. The women in this story explore their real sexual feelings forbidden by society.
Book Length: 28 pages


I had the pleasure--and I do mean pleasure--of reading Rushmore Judd’s erotic novella “Hysteria” the other day. Set in 1890, the fictional story is based on fact. In the Victorian era, vibrators were medical devices. Women made appointments to see their (always male) doctors for vibrator treatments that induced orgasms. This was seen as a legitimate cure for hysteria, a vague disorder said to make women irritable and causing headaches and other womanish ailments. The word “hysteria” comes from the ancient Greek word for “uterus,” and the ancient Greeks imagined a woman’s uterus getting restless or angry and wandering around inside her body, causing all kinds of mischief.

Isabelle has heard the other ladies in her social circle talking in hushed tones about the wonders of Doctor Tunney and his treatments for female hysteria. She makes a clandestine appointment to see him, without telling her husband. Isabelle, a typical Victorian lady, is shy about letting a strange man see her body. When she sees Dr. Tunney, a handsome thirty-something single man with dark, curly hair, broad shoulders, muscular arms and a deep voice, she’s torn between her modesty and a coquettish desire to flirt with him. Isabelle’s “cure” is so pleasurable, she can’t wait to see Dr. Tunney again. 
In fact, Isabelle so enjoys the world of secret pleasures behind the doctor’s soundproofed door, she makes an appointment for her willful daughter Margaret. “Spirited” Margaret is just coming into her young womanhood, unmarried, and still a virgin. By the time her first appointment is over, Margaret would very much like Doctor Tunney to change that. Will he be able to maintain his professional demeanor? Or will he give in to Margaret’s unspoiled charms? 

“Hysteria” reminded me of “The Ontological Engine, or, The Modern Leda” by Vinnie Tesla, one of my favorite erotic stories ever. Like Mr. Tesla, Rushmore Judd is gifted with a fertile and wonderfully shameless imagination. This story is very sex-positive. All the participants are willing and joyful, despite the restrictive Victorian atmosphere. The only problem with “Hysteria” is that it will leave the reader panting for more.

Reviewed By: Erin O'Riordan
Author of Romantic Erotica and the Pagan Spirits series

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