Winner of our MOST OUTRAGEOUS RAKE Award
a Five-Rake Read!
Today we are in Berkeley Square, calling on Phrygia, Lady Thistlebloom, patroness of the British Museum and general arbiter of good taste and social graces. Lady Thistlebloom is at home and entertaining our newest Hero of Great Reknown, Mr. Nicholas Congrevance, hero of A MOST LAMENTABLE COMEDY, by Mrs. Janet Mullany, and recently returned from the Continent after a lengthy absence. Let's listen in:
* * *
Lady T: Good afternoon, Mr Congrevance. So kind of you to come. Do have a seat, won't you? Would you care for tea?
Mr. C: Your servant, ma'am. Why, tea would be delightful. Tea, plus the company of delightful English ladies, is something I've missed sorely.
Lady T: I understand you have recently returned from abroad, Mr. Congrevance.
Mr C: I have indeed, ma'am. I've traveled the continent quite widely these past few years
Lady T: Do you know, I was in Venice myself, quite recently. A rather odd thing occurred there. I saw a gentleman who resembled you quite closely. In fact, I should say he could very well have been-- but no, I believe he was an Italian fellow, some Comte de Something or other. Picked up by three ruffians and tossed head first into a canal. Since he most likely drowned, I am certain you could not have been the fellow.
Mr C: How shocking! Foreigners do the oddest things.
Lady T: Indeed yes, and his trousers were at his ankles. I suspect he was discovered by a cuckolded husband.
Mr C: I am most sorry you were subjected to such a grievous sight. For a lady of your tender sensibilities the shock must have been very great.
Lady T: Indeed yes. Quite huge. The shock, that is. And did I hear Lord Otterwell say he had come across you in Rome?
Mr C.: Lord Otterwell? Yes, of course. I go to visit him shortly.
Lady T: Oh, he is the most delightful gentleman. He puts on a Shakespeare play every year, as you probably know. Last year Lady Cynthia Bellbury played a breeches role in As You Like It, and it is quite extraordinary that she spends all her time in the country now, often seen in breeches, in the company of the lady who played with her. They are quite inseparable.
Mr C: How charming. And will you be going this year? Maybe we could travel together.
Lady T: Regretfully I declined the invitation after hearing that a certain lady had been invited. You have not been in town long enough to hear of her disgraceful conduct. She is quite dreadful, excessively vulgar, and--
Butler: Mrs. Jane Haddon, ma'am.
Mrs. H: Oh! My dear Lady Thistlebloom, I didn't know you knew Count Orlovsky! So honored to meet you again, your grace!
Lady T: Don't be silly, Jane, this is Mr. Nicholas Congrevance.
Mrs. H: I assure you, I knew him in Paris as Count Orlovsky. Why, you rogue, you disappeared entirely!
Butler: Lady Venetia Whitham, ma'am.
Lady W: Oh, dear Reverend Biddle, how delightful to see you again. I have thought so often of your good works among the poor of Vienna. Dear Phyrgia, you must make a contribution to the Reverend Biddle's fund. I am sure you will be delighted with his gratitude.
Lady T: You are mistaken, my dear. This is Mr. Nicholas Congrevance.
Mrs. H: No it is not. It is Count Orlovsky.
Butler: Mrs. Janet Mullany, ma'am.
Mrs. M: Ladies, I'm afraid I cannot stay--I must take Mr. Congrevance off your hands. We have an emergency committee meeting of the Association for the Rescue and Succor of those in Extremis. I'll bid you all good day.
[hasty farewells are said and Mrs. Mullany escorts Mr. Congrevance out, leaving the three ladies to decide who their caller really is]
Mr. C: Whew. That was unfortunate. I'm delighted to meet you again, Mrs. Mullany.
Mrs. M: I warned you not to linger in London, Nick, you idiot. I can't believe two women from your lurid past showed up at Lady Thistlebloom's and didn't want to kill you.
Mr. C: Well, you know, I left them both very happy. I always do.
Mrs. M: After emptying their husbands' pockets.
Mr. C: Where are we going? The Association for the what? It sounds like ARSE.
Mrs. M: It's a joke I wanted to recycle from the last book. Here we are. Mrs. Jacobs, this is Mr. Nicholas Congrevance.
Mr. C: Your servant, ma'am. [Whispers to Mrs. Mullany] Should I send my manservant to enquire of Mrs. Jacobs' maid what her allowance is?
Mrs. M: Don't be a fool, Nick, she's a writer. She doesn't have any money.
Mr. C: And these other ladies?
Mrs. M: They're the ladies Mrs. Jacobs has invited over to ask you questions. I'm sure they want to hear all about you.
Mrs. J: So delighted to meet you at last, Mr. Congrevance. Mrs. Mullany has told me of all your charms. I'm quite happy to see for myself, and I'm sure you will become a remarkable asset to society. Do allow me to introduce you to the ladies of ARSE, your devoted readers and fans.
Mr. C: Do pardon me, Mrs. Jacobs, but what is ARSE?
Mrs. J: Why, Mr. Congrevance, I am shocked. You have not heard of Ardent Readers of Salacious Editions? Our membership is quite large. ARSE is expanding everywhere. The membership, that is.
[Mrs. J turns to the eager-faced ladies who await them.]
There you are, ladies, did I not promise you the most delic-- well, let us simply say his starring role in Mrs. Mullany's marvelously naughty, 5-Rake-Winning book has brought him to the foreront of our imaginations.
Ladies, I am pleased to introduce to you, Mr. Nicholas Congrevance, winner of the prestigious IN SEARCH OF HEROES Award for Most Outrageous Rake of 2009. Feel free to ask any questions.
Ah-ah, though, Mrs. Cullidawny, you mustn't touch.
(Mrs. Jacobs wishes to point out that she and Mrs. Mullany had a bit of fun putting together this interview, and we hope you have enjoyed it, too.)
Mrs. Mullany's book, A MOST LAMENTABLE COMEDY, is publishe through Little Black Dress and is available through Amazon.com, UK , on Book Depository.com, and a few other places too. And while youre out there looking, drop by her website at http://www.janetmullany.com/) and learn more about Janet and her funny, saucy and sexy books.
She is, after all, the creator of our delicious Mr. Nicholas Congrevance, our sexy MOST OUTRAGEOUS HERO.