Rosa Coote

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Rosa Coote is a fictional dominatrix appearing as a stock character in a number of works of Victorian erotica, including The Convent School, or Early Experiences of A Young Flagellant (as the notional author) by William Dugdale[1][2][3] and "Letters to a Lady Friend" or "Miss Coote's Confession" in The Pearl.[4][5][6] Henry Spencer Ashbee writes of The Convent School that "The book is not altogether badly written; no part of the narrative however is attractive".[1]

The surname "Coote" is taken from the historical General Sir Eyre Coote, who was disgraced in a flogging scandal in 1815:[7][8] in "Miss Coote's Confession" the general is stated to be Rosa Coote's grandfather.[4] The character is probably based on the real-life Theresa Berkley who ran a brothel in Soho in the 1830s.[9]

The character reappears in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen by Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill. She is Headmistress of the Correctional Academy for Wayward Gentlewomen, where the League discover Hawley Griffin, the Invisible Man, impregnating her students (who believe he is the "Holy Spirit").[2][10][11]


  1. ^ a b Henry Spencer Ashbee (as Pisanus Fraxi), "Catena librorum tacendorum", 1885, p.244
  2. ^ a b Annalisa Di Liddo, "Alan Moore: Comics As Performance, Fiction As Scalpel", Great Comics Artists Series, Univ. Press of Mississippi, 2009, ISBN 1-60473-213-X, p.179
  3. ^ Steven Marcus, "The other Victorians: a study of sexuality and pornography in mid-nineteenth-Century England", Transaction Publishers, 2008, ISBN 1-4128-0819-7, p.76
  4. ^ a b Henry Spencer Ashbee (as Pisanus Fraxi), "Catena librorum tacendorum", 1885, p.344
  5. ^ Peggy J. Kleinplatz, Charles Allen Moser, "Sadomasochism: powerful pleasures", Haworth Press, 2006, ISBN 1-56023-640-X, p.60
  6. ^ Claudia Nelson, Michelle H. Martin, "Sexual pedagogies: sex education in Britain, Australia, and America, 1879-2000", Palgrave Macmillan, 2004, ISBN 1-4039-6350-9, pp.24,27
  7. ^ John Chandos, "Boys together: English public schools, 1800-1864", Hutchinson, 1984, ISBN 0-09-139240-3, pp.236-7
  8. ^ R. G. Thorne, "The House of Commons, 1790-1820, Volume 3", Boydell & Brewer, 1986, ISBN 0-436-52101-6, p.499
  9. ^ Iwan Bloch, William H Forstern, "Sexual life in England, past and present", F. Aldor, 1938, pp.353,361
  10. ^ Maryanne Rhett, "The Graphic Novel and the World History Classroom", World History Connected, vol.4 no.2 (Feb. 2007)
  11. ^ Marc Silver and Giovanna Buonanno, "Cross-cultural encounters: identity, gender, representation", (XXI national congress of the Associazione Italiana di Anglistica, held at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia on 25 - 27 September 2003) Officina, 2005, ISBN 88-87570-89-2, p.110

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