Tuesday, August 04, 2009
Guest Blogger - Janet Mullany
We're very excited to have Janet Mullany here on the blog with us today. You'll all know Janet from her brilliantly innovative Regency, The Rules of Gentility. She's going to be talking about her new book, A Most Lamentable Comedy. So, Janet, over to you!
Hi, I’m Janet Mullany, and my Little Black Dress Book, A MOST LAMENTABLE COMEDY was released last week. I thought I’d invite my heroine, Lady Caroline Elmhurst, who is much more interesting than me for an interview. Lady Caroline—
CE: A moment, ma’am, if you please. I am shocked. Shocked, I tell you. That vulgar Mrs. Giggles person referred to me as “a gloriously flirtatious hussy with a PhD in gold digging.” Mrs. Giggles, indeed. A most ill-bred person who apparently has little better to do than read books all day. And to insinuate that I should attend an all-male institution for the dubious privilege of placing letters after my name—well, I am sure we all know what she means by that.
JM: Oh, I don’t think she—
CE: It is no matter. I am a gentlewoman. She, apparently, is not. Your question?
JM: I wish you would tell these other ladies about why you are attending this house party.
CE: (simpering) I do so adore Shakespeare and when dear Lady Otterwell invited me to take part in Otterwell’s production, I was only too happy to lower myself. After all, a lady is always genteel, even when obliged to become an actress.
JM: What’s your favorite play?
CE: Oh. The one with the ghost.
JM: Hamlet? Macbeth? Richard III?
CE: No, the funny one. No matter. To tell the truth, Mrs. Mullany, I find London somewhat uncongenial of late. Tradesmen can be such vulgar people, particularly if a lady has fallen upon difficult circumstances. For someone as sensitive as myself, it can be most distressing, and I thought the country air would do me good.
JM: But I thought you were quite wealthy.
CE: I regret Elmhurst squandered the money I inherited from my first husband, dear Bludge, leaving me in embarrassed circumstances.
JM: So you intend to marry again?
CE: Almost certainly. Or—that is to say—we are all women of the world here, I believe.
JM: Of course. Discretion is absolute, ma’am.
CE: If a gentleman were to make the right sort of offer—I believe you understand me—I should be inclined to leave the matrimonial knot untied.
JM: Good idea. After all, it’s going to be about 60 years until married women can keep their own property.
CE: Heavens, I wonder how many husbands I shall have had by then!
JM: How goes the matrimonial—or otherwise—hunt, Lady Caroline?
CE: There is a gentleman from the Continent, a Mr. Congrevance, who is of great interest, very handsome and undoubtedly wealthy. My maid, Mary, is finding out all about him from his manservant with whom she has been flirting disgracefully. I think he should prove adequate.
JM: Good luck!
CE: Exactly what do you mean by that?
JM: I don’t wish to be indiscreet, but I believe today he visits the Vauxhall Vixens.
CE: What! Those hussies! I must go over there directly and rescue him from their clutches (gathers her parasol, gloves, bonnet and her copy of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and prepares to traverse the Internet).
JM: Thanks, ladies for having me and Caroline visit, and my apologies for her precipitous departure. Lady Caroline Elmhurst is the heroine of a Most Lamentable Comedy, on sale now at all the usual places in the UK, and with free shipping worldwide from The Book Depository Come and chat with Mr. Nicholas Congrevance at Vauxhall Vixens today.
Thanks, Janet, the book sounds wonderful! You can find out more about Janet and her books on her website