Rated 4.21/5 based on 33 reviews
England, 1860, and by her mother’s orders Constance is in treatment for Hysteria. She never complains. Until a new doctor takes over and threatens the only pleasure she knows in life.

18 and over please.
Download: epub mobi (Kindle) pdf more Online Reader
Words: 9,090
Language: English
About Eva Gale

Eva Gale loves white cupcakes with bitter chocolate frosting, lots of dark roast coffee and six-foot piles of books. She would prefer them all at once, but she takes what she can get. She lives in the farmlands of NJ, with her husband and seven children whom they homeschool. They have one doofus Doberman, a Yellow Naped Amazon named Gizmo, two cats and two Blackberry Hamsters named Mac and PC but are looking to add chickens, guinea hens, bees and Lancashire Heelers to their collection. When she’s not guiding school, she’s writing, weeding the garden or doing endless loads of dishes and laundry.

Also by This Author

Readers of This Book Also Read


Review by: Lana Amore on Jan. 29, 2016 :
If you filled in those 'Two Years Later" you'd have an amazing book on your hands. The first two chapters are spectacular.
(review of free book)

Review by: J.J. Black on March 28, 2015 :
Too short needs more filler content. What was present was good though
(review of free book)

Review by: Tez Miller on Feb. 28, 2015 :
Only 24 pages? Good, but I don't see how Dr Drake fell in love with Constance.
(review of free book)

Review by: Nenia Campbell on July 19, 2014 :
I'm not really sure why this is shelved as a romance, as there really isn't much. HYSTERIA is a short (very short) story about a girl named Constance who is being treated for her hysteria in Victorian England.

Hysteria is now known as a synonym for "panic" (or the title of a Muse song), but it used to be a handy-dandy catch-all term to describe the behavior of women who didn't act the way society wanted them to. This could be anything from bona fide mental illness to causing trouble to...I don't know, sexual abnormalities.

Constance has mental illness in her family and her mother preemptively signed her up for these treatments for her "hysteria." Apparently, these treatments sometimes included manual stimulation to induce "hysterical paroxysms", or orgasms.

And what did they use to do this, apart from their hands?

Dildos! Vibrators! And water nozzles!

Not much has changed in the last 150 years!

(Image from Wikipedia)

Once a week, Constance is dressed to go to the doctor and then she disrobes and the doctor shoves a metal dildo in there and starts twisting it around and Constance hates it and is humiliated, obviously, but she also loves the orgasms, which makes her feel guilty, and self-blamey (I really am crazy). She's gotten addicted enough to the sensation that she's started masturbating furiously whenever she's alone, which only serves to reinforce her dysfunction.

One day, the Doctor is replaced by a comely new young doctor named Doctor Drake. And Constance is horrified (and yet also perversely delighted) that he is attractive. Horrified, because now she can no longer separate her physical arousal from its instigator, and delighted because ooooh, Dr. McDreamy has just met his Victorian-era match. But then Constance's mother must intervene because she is a bitch...

HYSTERIA just didn't really work as a 24-page short. Everything was so abrupt and I was very confused about what was going on until I read some of the other reviews on this site and then did some research about the treatment of hysteria in Victorian times. (What I know about hysteria is that it refers to "wandering womb" and was popularized by Hippocrates, that brilliant, misogynistic bastard, and was treated by forced hysterectomies. Owie.)

If this was a full length novel, and featured some actual character depth and plot arcs, I feel like HYSTERIA could have been more than decent. As it was...meh.

1.5 stars.
(review of free book)

Review by: Rakab on July 27, 2013 :
Nice peek into mind of a girl tortured by prohibited desires. Quite hot story beside that.
(review of free book)

Review by: maria rivera on April 12, 2013 :
I'll read it again, it is a good story, too short though.
(review of free book)

Review by: L. Neal on Jan. 24, 2013 :
What a creepy, dark short tale. I learn something new everyday, never knew this went on....I was actually wondered who condoned these treatments. Medicine has come very far in the modern world, thank God. I enjoyed this short story. Hoping the author gives us a full novel.
(review of free book)

Review by: Michelle Birbeck on Nov. 20, 2012 :
This is the second of Eva Gale’s short stories I’ve read, and I loved it. I’m not one for history, but the occasional historical novel I do enjoy. This is one of those. It isn’t the hot and steamy erotica that 101 Degrees Fahrenheit was, and was more along the lines of The Seduction of Gabriel Stewart, in its slow build and fantastic finale.

The only complaint I had, in fact, was that, as with the other stories by Eva Gale, the ending seemed somewhat rushed.

Overall though, five stars, and absolutely a recommended read!
(reviewed for Short, Sweet, and Snappy blog)
(review of free book)

Review by: Bertha Sampson on Nov. 07, 2012 :
Excellent writing. I enjoyed this very much.
(review of free book)

Review by: Kelly Krance on Sep. 27, 2012 :
An excellent piece of writing. I would like to read more about these characters and the life they build together.
(review of free book)

Review by: Manuela Cardiga on Sep. 16, 2012 :
Stunningly well-writen, captures the spirit and the feel of the Victorian era beautifully.
(review of free book)

Review by: Nicole Thornton on May 28, 2012 :
Thanks for a good read.
(review of free book)

Review by: Sarah Spelbring on April 27, 2012 :
Its a bit too graphic for me, even if the "treatments" are true. It gave me shivers as I read it, wonderful story-telling, I'm just not fond of the content.
(review of free book)

Review by: Punya on Jan. 28, 2012 :
Interesting. I loved it!
(review of free book)

Review by: SM Johnson on Dec. 23, 2011 :
Quite nice.
(review of free book)

Review by: Chay No on Nov. 23, 2011 :
Quite strange... don't know if I would actually read this one again.
(review of free book)

Review by: Doris Holmes on Sep. 13, 2011 :
I'm glad we are not giving those type of treatments in this day and age. Men always think that sex is the answer. Good story.
(review of free book)

Review by: Sibel Hodge on June 21, 2011 :
First of all, when I read this, I wasn't aware of the "treatments" for hysteria given to women in the 19th Century, and it's pretty creepy and freaky to think this actually went on!

I'm not in to erotic romance really but I have to admit the writing sucked me in. It's very eloquently written and pretty powerful. But I was disappointed with the ending which happened too quickly and gave no real reason or explanation for it. I think the short story could've been expanded on to make for a more fulfilling ending.
(review of free book)

Review by: Anjelika Thea on June 11, 2011 :
This review has spoilers.

2.5 stars. When I first started this, I did not know about the historical background of Hysteria and the treatments that had been recommended until I'd read a couple of reviews and looked up the information online. It enabled me to look at it from a different perspective, and made it a better reading experience.

I liked this story. The HEA was rather sweet although it was too short to show why and how Dr. Drake and Constance fell in love. It was also a bit uncomfortable to read and I wasn't certain I would finish it. I think it was because there was some "ick" factor for me in how the two met and under what circumstances. There was also the fact that as the reader, I was reading from Constance's 1st person, present tense POV. It is actually a bit disturbing how eagerly she looks forward to her treatments and manipulates her mother and her doctor to get her way although I can see why she would do so. But the writing style lent her voice a particular "mad" quality to it. If I could have seen her processing why she had felt so anxious and disturbed by Dr. Drake, I think I would have liked it better. And then, there's the question of whether Dr. Drake had the authority to remove her from her parents' care and take her as his Ward.
(review of free book)

Review by: Rikki K on June 07, 2011 :
The 'treatments' are creeping me out. I had no clue about those. The story however is well written, and I really thought the main character and her mother were completely mad.
(review of free book)

Review by: Chay No on April 23, 2011 :
Interesting story... can't decide if i like it or not... quess I will have to go back and re-read this story...
(review of free book)

Review by: Rushmore Judd on April 23, 2011 :
Interesting. We both wrote a story with the same title in a similar time frame and with a similar experience. Of course our stories are different. I complement you on yours. Well done. I agree with an earlier commenter that it could have been longer.
(review of free book)

Review by: Ernest Winchester on April 22, 2011 :
Odd! Two stories. Same title. Two fictitious accounts of very real nineteenth century quack treatments of “Hysteria” in women. Stories of machines designed to do what a man should have been taught to do.
(review of free book)

Review by: BD Nelson on April 21, 2011 :
Thank you for sharing this delightful story. I enjoyed it very much and found it to be very well written.
(review of free book)

Review by: a_white on Feb. 19, 2011 :
I actually wish it was written out to be a little longer, like mending time periods together, but other than that it was beautifully written.
(review of free book)

Review by: graveallure on Feb. 08, 2011 :
This story has gotten a number of positive reviews with good reason. It is tastefully and beautifully done, and draws attention to a little known historical fact of how women were viewed and treated in the nineteenth century. Sometimes people are just drawn together. It is part of the mystery of love. To have expanded on the relationship between the main character and her doctor would have required a full length novel, and though it would have been enjoyable to learn of that two year period spent together as their relationship developed, as a short story, it still felt powerful and stirring.
(review of free book)

Review by: Brandy Hunt on Jan. 14, 2011 :
While there are parts here that could have used some expansion, I felt this was well written. And caused some conflicting emotions. What a strange and horrid time for women.
(review of free book)

Review by: Shelley Cramer on Dec. 26, 2010 :
I have to agree with Alice. An explanation of the connection they felt would have been helpful.

I had never heard of such treatments, and after reading was prompted to do a little research out of curiosity.

Excellent reading and I learned something!
(review of free book)

Review by: Alice V on Dec. 19, 2010 :
A very good read. I love the different words usedto describe Constance's encounters with the doctors. I wish the ending wasn't so rushed. I think it needs to explain more of why Dr Drake wanted her and their "connection."
(review of free book)

Review by: Ms. Milliscent on Sep. 05, 2010 :
I'd heard of, but not thought much about, these quack medical treatments for hysteria in the Victorian age. This book did a wonderful job portraying the emotions such treatments could have elicited. Thank you for this fun story.
(review of free book)

Review by: Kate Sterling on May 08, 2010 :
I enjoyed this one quite a bit.
(review of free book)

Review by: seraphina on April 18, 2010 :
Great story. You did your research for this one. The feelings of the female lead are nicely expressed, the 'evil' mother, the rescue... I really enjoy this!
(review of free book)

Review by: Katarr Kanticles Press on Aug. 18, 2009 :
I had only recently learned of the 'treatment' for hysteria in that time period. Have to say that you did a wonderful job at portraying it and Constance's emotions.

Very much enjoyed reading.
(review of free book)

Report this book