Quote Originally Posted by mr rusty View Post
... but I believe we cannot moralise on victorian values from a 21st century perspective.
True to an extent. Understanding the context in which people behaved within the context of their native environment and times is very important to understanding their beliefes and behaviours. But how does one draw the line on what is or is not moral? Do we excuse racial bigotry (thinking southern US in the 1950s, for example) as acceptable because the majority apparently practiced such beliefs and it was memorialized in the laws? Are bigots and bigotry moral? Were they ever moral, or will they ever be moral? Slavery was and still is socially acceptable in some cultures. Is slavery moral? It seems that every behavior can be rationalized if one constrains the limits of their thinking.

I read in an well-researched book about a 20th century European leader who did soemthing the complete opposite of your story. That behavior was a matter of national policy and accepted (albeit not universally even within that country). Should we not moralize about that too?

p.s. Your story is interesting because it is very much like another I read once 9in a well-researched academic book/journal) where the tribal king de-flowered each girl in the tribe. He even saved a memory by shaving her "personal hair" and kept it in a pillow, upon which he slept every night. I must admit to not being sure wheter to suggest that he was possibley depraved, or possible the luckiest man on the face of the earth.