UnNews:Scholars Discover 19th Century Erotic Fanfic
2 May 2006
The fanfic - in the form of nearly twenty pounds of punchcards for Babbage engines - was discovered by accident by the presenters of the stulifyingly dull British TV programme "Antiques Roadshow", whilst they were pretending to give a rats-arse about a wooden chest thought to date from the "who-gives-a-crap" period. The punchcards were turned over to a leading Oxford University Internet archaeologist, who was promptly murdered, delaying the analysis of the cards until Inspector Morse was able to solve the mystery.
After several months of painstaingly restoration of the punchcards by the staff of the presitigious St. Ballmer's College, the cards were finally ready to run through a Babbage machine for translation. Researchers were shocked to discover that the cards contained thousands upon thousands of words of amateur fiction, continuing the adventures of several major characters of classic Victorian novels, with particular reference to their sex lives.
"We believe that the cards are not the work of one, but of several authors," says project leader Professor Masterman Fitzcholmondley-Wolfington-Smythe. "Some are quite tame, including a voyeurism scene involving Gabriel Oak from Hardy's Far From the Madding Crowd staring at Miss Bathsheba Boldwood's exposed ankle. Towards the middle of the scale is a 'crossover tale', describing Vivian Grey (from the novel of the same name, by Disraeli) in a torrid affair with Emma Woodhouse from Jane Austin's Emma. Whlist not explicit, it is certainly quite, quite indiscrete. There's surprisingly little slash to be found, other than an unfinished story describing Around the World in Eighty Days characters Jean Passepartout and Phineas Fogg indulging in felatio in the gondola of a hot air balloon, in which Mr. Fogg's moustache seems to cause poor Passapartout some discomfort. And, at the more extreme end of the scale is a story based on A Tale of Two Cities, in which the author proposes that Madame Defarge had her way with Sidney Carlton, shartly after Carlton was guilliotined.
"That one came with a misspelled 'extreme content' warning at the top'," he added.
Scholars and perverts have welcomed the find, with many comparing it favourably to such other classic nerdrotica as Walt Disney's 1928 cartoon depicting homoerotic relationships amongst the characters from the film The Birth of a Nation; the so-called "Gloucester Manuscript" which graphically describes Becky Sharp from Vanity Fair sexually assaulting Jane Ayre with a marital aid; or even Tolstoy's famous unpublished "lost chapter" of Anna Karenina, in which a magic spell turns Prince Oblonsky into a an anthropormorphic moose, whereupon he seduces and defecates upon an amputee.
- Algernon Swineburn "Saucy Vicoriana Found." The Times, May 1, 2006