The Art of Deception
or Pride and Extreme Prejudice
This week continues a spy story set in late Georgian England, the year before Trafalgar. Last week Lady Grey, with her daughter and Alice paid a social call on Roderick. While they discussed finding properly vetted servants who would work with Thomas and Hannah – whom Roderick considers essential – Alice has slipped off. Ostensibly to help with the tea (and drawing Lady Grey’s opprobrium at her ungenteel conduct), but in reality to quiz Hannah about Roderick.
Alice most definitely was not making a cake or anything else of herself; Hannah stirred the fire and put a kettle on to boil; then they waited, watching the pot, which gave Alice a chance to ask her a few questions about her new master.
“Hannah, what was Lord Fitzpatrick doing in Washington?”
“Can’t really say, Miss.”
“What were you doing for him, then?”
Hannah continued to be evasive, “Not much.”
“You can tell me, I’m cleared; he and I are going to work together.”
“Whether we like it or not, Miss Green?” Roderick had quietly slipped into the room behind them, “Hannah, she is one of us.”
“I still can’t tell you much, Miss; I just listened to Massa Jefferson and his friends; then told Thomas what I heard.”
Alice looked at Roderick, “And Thomas told you?”
Now that you’ve read my hackery, please see the talented writers in Weekend Writing Warriors.
My apologies for creative punctuation.
Nothing under the sun is new. The late Georgian/Early Regency was a time fraught with fearsome change and political turmoil. This Gilray cartoon shows the unwashed and uncouth masses (in caricature) demonstrating at Copenhagen fields in 1795. The London Corresponding Society held a meeting November 12th where they demanded parliamentary reform. Reforms that would have benefited the commoners. They were dealt with by the treason act (1795) and eventually completely banned in 1799. One of the artistic touches is actually a message – the commoners are drawn as clownish, stupid figures – incapable of self-governance and requiring the firm hand of authority. A hand Pitt (featured image) was more than willing to supply. The Poor Law he shepherded through parliament laid the basis for the workhouses of Dicken’s day.
In the featured image, Pitt’s right foot (on the left) is being kissed by the members of his party (Torys) and his right rests upon the opposition (Whigs). Charles Fox is clearly visible underneath his big toe. Meanwhile he plays with the world as if it were a yoyo.
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.
Get Free Stuff and try out my landing page. There are three free complete short stories (including an ARC for Frankenkitty) available after you’ve gone through the hoops.
11 thoughts on “The Art of Deception 49”
I wonder what she’s trying to find out.
Since she just found out that morning he’s not a French spy, she’s trying to gage his character. Thank you for reading and commenting.
So typical of that era, when personal staff were completely underestimated. Thank you for the cartoons, they are an excellent lesson in history!
Thank you. The more I study the cartoons the more details I find. There’s very little that’s slapdash in them.
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Interesting look into the spycraft of that time. Great snippet, as always!
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Thank you. Hannah was inspired by the real case of “Crazy Bet” Elizabeth Van Lew who corresponded with Mary Bowser, Jefferson Davis’s (black slave) cook in Richmond during the Civil War. Miss Van Lew sent three to four reports in code from Richmond to Washington every week until Richmond fell at the end of the war. She and her companions were much better agents than Belle Boyd or Rose Greenlow (who worked for the South).
The plot is certainly thickening. Great snippet.
Gotta love the suspense when spies are around. 😉
Thank you. The suspense is only beginning.
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