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The Rodiad is a pornographic poem on the subject of flagellation published by John Camden Hotten in 1871, although falsely dated to 1810. It has been ascribed, apparently falsely, to George Colman the Younger.[1] A candidate for its authorship is Richard Monckton Milnes.[2][3][4] Henderson places it in The Library Illustrative of Social Progress published around 1872 (falsely dated 1777)[5] but it is not in the list of Henry Spencer Ashbee.[6]

The Betuliad, a manuscript in the British Library from Ashbee's bequest,[7] is identical to The Rodiad.[8] It was known under this title to Sir Richard Burton[4] who wrote to Milne on 22 January 1860 praising it.[9][10]

The Canadian author John Glassco repeated the false attribution to Colman and augmented it with an equally fictitious attribution of his own poem Squire Hardman printed in 1967.[11]


  1. ^ Knight, George Wilson (1971). Neglected powers: essays on nineteenth and twentieth century literature. Routledge. p. 129. ISBN 0-7100-6681-3.
  2. ^ Whyte, Christopher (1995). Gendering the nation: studies in modern Scottish literature. Edinburgh University Press. p. 216. ISBN 0-7486-0619-X.
  3. ^ Lycett, Andrew (12 March 2001). "Erotic heaven". New Statesman.
  4. ^ a b Nelson (2000) p.10
  5. ^ Henderson, Andrea K. (2008). Romanticism and the painful pleasures of modern life. Cambridge studies in Romanticism. 75. Cambridge University Press. p. 220. ISBN 0-521-88402-0.
  6. ^ Ashbee, Henry Spencer (1877). Index Librorum Prohibitorum: being Notes Bio- Biblio- Icono- graphical and Critical, on Curious and Uncommon Books. London: privately printed. p. 241.
  7. ^ BL MS Add.38,807.
  8. ^ William White, ed. (1980). "'The Rodiad': Authorship and date". The Book Collector. The Collector Ltd. 29: 429–430.
  9. ^ Nelson (2000) p.354
  10. ^ Godsall, Jon R. (2008). The Tangled Web: A Life of Sir Richard Burton. Troubador Publishing Ltd. p. 193. ISBN 1-906510-42-3.
  11. ^ Hammill, Faye (2009). "John Glassco, Canadian erotica and the 'Lying Chronicle'". In Anctil, Pierre; Loiselle, Andre; Rolfe, Christopher (eds.). Canada exposed. Canadian Studies. 20. Peter Lang. p. 286. ISBN 90-5201-548-1.
  • Nelson, James G. (2000). Publisher to the Decadents: Leonard Smithers in the Careers of Beardsley, Wilde, Dowson. Pennsylvania State University Press. ISBN 0-271-01974-3.