Well, it seems little short of miraculous, but within the next few days, this bijou blog-ette of mine will have reached 50,000 views. (It’s at 49,697 as I write…) And that seems to me a pretty significant achievement.
So, I did want to do something a bit delicious to celebrate and to say thank you…and of course, I had absolutely no ideas about what I should do, so I asked around and a few friends suggested that I post some cut bits of my work…
I think they were hoping for cut juicy bits. (Sorry, there aren’t any of those.)
But there are some rather amusing bits/chapters from May 1812 which comprised a sub-plot about the character Ned Hardy and his inamorata, Miss Wythenshaw. It was quite an interesting sub-plot, and I liked it a lot.
But, as anyone who’s read the thing will know, May 1812 is not a short book. And my editors were pretty clear that said plot had to go–okay, okay, I was fancying myself as Charlotte Dickens at the time and didn’t see why I should limit myself to just one couple. I mean, Dickens didn’t, so why should I?
However, publishers being publishers (there’s a special class they take to teach them how to say “no” to authors–I’m convinced of it), these charming, delectable scenes got cut.
Hence, for my 50K treat–that is to say as soon as I reach that magic number–I shall be unveiling them to the public here on this blog, with the hint that they form the back story, not of the book I’m currently writing, but of the one after that–which will follow Ned’s disappearance…
The second thing that’s rather been knocking about in my tiny mind concerns introductions…
Now, I wrote about this a fortnight or so ago, and I thought the matter was done and dusted. But it appears not so.
For about a week after I’d posted about how to introduce someone to a chap with a title, I was pointed to the blog of a person of whom I’d never heard who was clearly referencing the aforementioned blog–apparently it was a huge topic of conversation on Twitter…(Why does no one tell me these things?)
Anyway, the author wrote at some length about this–during which I got more and more confused–but the gist of the argument was that gender, not rank, was the determining factor in who gets presented to whom. And the reason given was that ladies had to be more careful with their reputations, so one had to check with them as to whether they’d wish to have Lord Fuddleface introduced or not.
No and no and thrice no! Nice try, but no cigar.
The rule is, (and it is a rule and it does matter) rank always trumps gender. That’s always. There are no exceptions–except perhaps in a seraglio and I’m not going there.
Think of it as a British-people version of rock, paper, scissors. There are no exceptions. Not any. Rock always beats paper and scissors. Rank always trumps gender.
So Miss Fiddlesticks would be presented or named to the Duke of Bolton (who had a penchant for opera singers–he married the actress who played Polly Peachum after all…and had a special garden created for her at Hackwood: Polly Peachum’s Garden it was called…) even though he was a lecherous old goat.
No ifs, ands or buts. And my guess is she would gladly have traded her reputation for a trip up the aisle with him.
And if you doubt me on this, and naturally there will be those who do, please refer to Debretts’ incomparable website on Correct Form.
Read it. Recite from it. Make it your Bible. They even have a nifty little thing called Ask the Expert.
Finally, last weekend, I had the great good fortune to attend a day of re-enactments at the You’re History Festival which was playing at Broadlands.
And what to my wondering eyes should appear but a troop of Landwehr, getting in mode for Waterloo 2015.
Now I cannot tell you how chuffed I was to happen upon them. Really, I can’t.
I’ve been studying the reform of the Prussian army in 1813 for months now, studying the creation of the Landwehr (the Home Guard as it were), the battles fought by them in conjunction with the Russians–they fought like tigers–and just admiring them and their officers beyond measure.
And I did take pictures and I just wanted to share a few of them here. Aren’t they grand!