Adults Only. This is an American Civil War novel, a good stirring adventure with lots of rough sex and walloping. It’s Victorian erotica published in London in 1899 but set in the United States.
The central character, Dolly, a Northerner, starts out helping in the Underground Railroad, getting escaped slaves to freedom. She ends up spending most of the Civil War on a plantation in the South.
Wikipedia calls it “pornographic” but it’s really not. While there are spankings and rapes, this isn’t "The Pearl."
The book claims to be non-fiction. Certainly the grasp of the details of a war fought 35 years before is good.
Usually in Victorian erotica, the person being spanked comes to enjoy the experience—flagellation is generally an aphrodisiac. In "Dolly", spankings simply hurt.
We probably ought to feel sympathy for the narrator, Dolly, and contempt for her admittedly despicable rake, Randolph. But by novel’s end, the self-centered Dolly has complained, cried and fainted so often, we start almost siding with the heartless Randolph. He takes what he wants and never whines. When he dumps Dolly, he sets her up in a house and gets in a farewell spanking—that’s chutzpah!
He comes out of the war in fine shape; she opens a brothel.
Thirty modern annotations and several illustrations help the reader enjoy the text.