View Full Version : Hard Times - Bounderby's sex life

11-22-2013, 11:26 AM
It's a delicate subject, especially for a Victorian book, but I wonder whether Bounderby ever consummated the marriage with his wife. The thought is unpleasant. In the chapter in which Louisa gets out of bed and goes to her brother Tom's bedroom to encourage him to confess if he had stolen money, it is apparent that Louisa and her husband are sleeping in different beds, probably different rooms. This is odd. You can see Louisa might prefer this situation. However, you would have thought, Bounderby having married a beautiful, young woman, would have insisted on his conjugal rights. They never have children. Bounderby was fifty when he married Louisa, and it seems to be his first marriage. Perhaps he doesn't do women. He didn't do Mrs Sparsit, although she would probably have been amenable to becoming Mrs Bounderby. Perhaps he used tarts to satisfy his carnal lusts.

11-22-2013, 12:39 PM
I saw a post earlier this week or last about all these new classic novels being rewritten as pornos. Perhaps this is a worthy candidate? It's been a while since I read Hard Times, but I remember a strong current of repression all throughout--could be another element of class struggle and the repression therewith.

11-22-2013, 06:03 PM
I can't really see it as a porno. There is maybe potential for a nude scene by Louisa. In one chapter she gets out of bed and sneaks up to her brother's room.

As you lie here alone, my dear, in the melancholy night, so you must lie somewhere one night, when even I, if I am living then, shall have left you. As I am here beside you, barefoot, unclothed, undistinguishable in darkness, so must I lie all the night of my decay, until I am dust. In the name of that time, Tom, tell me the truth now!

A little disturbing since Tom is her brother. Also, it said just before that she had put on a loose robe, so she is not quite unclothed. It all happens in the dark, so it would be very tasteful.

11-22-2013, 08:28 PM
In the last chapter, the narrator foretells that Bounderby will attempt to ensure his name survives by paying some men to adopt it, but the plan will fail. Perhaps this is why Bounderby wanted to marry Louisa. He wanted an heir.