The Art of Deception
or Pride and Extreme Prejudice
This week continues a spy story set in late Georgian England, the year before Trafalgar. Roderick had just enquired after his valet/chief co-conspirator Thomas in last week’s snip. This week we find out where he is, and a few other things.
“He and his wife are at your townhouse, surely-”
“I came here directly; stayed with Edward Spode last night as we arrived from Bath late in the evening; the poor man is besotted about some blasted female. She disappeared from Bath and we can’t find her.”
Alice suggested, with a hint of laughter in her voice, “Lucinda Haytor?”
“That’s the name; how did you know? Wait, don’t tell me … she’s another agent.”
“I won’t then, she’s a student at Mrs Hudson’s private academy. I gather Mrs Hudson would like her to move on, but not to active service and if Mr Spode is cleared, I can put her in contact with him.”
Roderick turned to Lord Grey, “Any other amateur young women I should know about?”
My apologies for creative punctuation.
Champagne – likely to be consumed about this time – either to celebrate the new or console one to the losses of the old, is widely thought to be a French invention. Thanks to the Treaty of Versailles the name is legally bound to the Champagne region of France – except in the USA which never signed the treaty (so we’re technically still at war with Imperial Germany).
What’s interesting is that Champagne has deep English roots – a Dr Christopher Merret, from Gloucester, published the mechanics of sparkling wine in a 1662 paper to the royal society. It was sparkling cider, not white wine, but Dom Perignon’s “I’m drinking stars” moment shouldn’t have been a big surprise. (There are reports of sparkling cider and wine going back to the 1630’s in England.)
The modern process of producing champagne in large quantities and with something that resembles reliability is a French invention. So this “We did it first” is a case of sour grapes. None the less, it was the English who first made bottles that were strong enough to safely hold the sparkling wine.
The featured image shows a collection of 18th and 19th century wine bottles from the society for historical archaeology.
Still working on a cover idea – hard even though I’m a dashed good photographer (if I say so myself). That and editing the manuscript to put more description/reaction into it. (not to mention a few thousand words).
Frankenkitty is available.
What happens when teenagers get to play with Dr Frankenstein’s lab notebooks, a few odd chemicals and a great big whopping coil? Mayhem, and possibly an invitation to the Transylvanian Neuroscience Summer School.
Like poor Cecelia, ” The Curious Profession of Dr Craven” is back from the dead.
I’ve released a sweet regency romance, Miss DeVere This is a fun read.