Was La Comtesse de Ségur a sadist, as many critics have suggested? True, there are as many whips in her novels as in a torture chamber. The pages are filled with illustrations befitting of sado-masochistic fantasies: cruel parents and guardians flagellating half-naked children. This in-depth study is a defense of this misunderstood and misrepresented nineteenth-century French author. It explores specific accusations of sadism against Ségur and reinterprets the violent scenes in her novels against the backdrop of these accusations.