Monday, November 21, 2011

Clouds of Witness cont

La Rôtisserie de la Reine Pédauque, L'Anneau d'Améthyste, South Wind (our young friend works out very true to type), Chronique d'un Cadet de Coutras (tut-tut, Charles!), Manon Lescaut. H'm! Is there anything else in this room I ought to look at?”
La Rôtisserie de la Reine Pédauque and L'Anneau d'Améthyste were written by Anatole France.

Anatole France (16 April 1844 – 12 October 1924), born François-Anatole Thibault, was a French poet, journalist, and novelist. He was born in Paris, and died in Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire. He was a successful novelist, with several best-sellers. Ironic and skeptical, he was considered in his day the ideal French man of letters. He was a member of the Académie française, and won the Nobel Prize for Literature in recognition of his literary achievements.

In La Rotisserie de la Reine Pedauque (1893) Anatole France ridiculed belief in the occult [At the Sign of the Reine [Queen] Pédauque]

L'Anneau d'Améthyste is The Ring of Amethyste, also by Anatole France, 1899.

South Wind is a 1917 novel by British author Norman Douglas, his most famous book. It is set on an imaginary island called Nepenthe, located off the coast of Italy in the Tyrrhenian Sea, a thinly fictionalized description of Capri's residents and visitors. The novel's discussion of moral and sexual issues caused considerable debate

Chronique d'un Cadet de Coutras by Abel Hermant tells the adventures of of a younger son of the Coutras family.

Manon Lescaut (L'Histoire du chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut) is a short novel by French author Abbé Prévost. Published in 1731, it is the seventh and final volume of Mémoires et aventures d'un homme de qualité (Memoirs and Adventures of a Man of Quality). It was controversial in its time and was banned in France upon publication. Despite this, it became very popular and pirated editions were widely distributed. In a subsequent 1753 edition, the Abbé Prévost toned down some scandalous details and injected more moralizing disclaimers.

Set in France and Louisiana in the early 18th century, the story follows the hero le Chevalier Des Grieux and his lover Manon Lescaut. Des Grieux comes from a noble and landed family, but forfeits his hereditary wealth and incurs the disappointment of his father by running away with Manon. In Paris, the young lovers enjoy a blissful cohabitation, while Des Grieux struggles to satisfy Manon's taste for luxury. He scrounges together money by borrowing from his unwaveringly loyal friend Tiberge and from cheating gamblers. On several occasions, Des Grieux's wealth evaporates (by theft, in a house fire, etc.), prompting Manon to leave him for a richer man because she cannot stand the thought of living in penury.

The two lovers finally settle down in New Orleans, where the virtual absence of class differences allows them to live in idyllic peace for a while. But when Des Grieux reveals their unmarried state to the Governor and asks to be wed with Manon, the Governor's nephew sets his sights on winning Manon's hand. In despair, Des Grieux challenges the Governor's nephew to a duel and knocks him unconscious. Thinking he had killed the man and fearing retribution, the couple flees New Orleans and venture into the wilderness of Louisiana, hoping to reach a neighbouring English settlement. Manon dies of exposure and exhaustion the following morning, and Des Grieux returns to France to become a cleric after burying his beloved.
“I don't think so. Where'd you like to go now?”

“We'll follow 'em down. Wait a jiff. Who are in the other rooms? Oh yes. Here's Gerald's room. Helen's at church. In we go. Of course, this has been dusted and cleaned up, and generally ruined for purposes of observation?”

“I'm afraid so. I could hardly keep the Duchess out of her bedroom.”

“No. Here's the window Gerald shouted out of. H'm! Nothing in the grate, here, naturally—the fire's been lit since. I say, I wonder where Gerald did put that letter to—Freeborn's, I mean.”

“Nobody's been able to get a word out of him about it,” said Parker. “Old Mr. Murbles had a fearful time with him. The Duke insists simply that he destroyed it. Mr. Murbles says that's absurd. So it is. If he was going to bring that sort of accusation against his sister's fiancé he'd want some evidence of a method in his madness, wouldn't he? Or was he one of those Roman brothers who say simply: 'As the head of the family I forbid the banns and that's enough'?”
The Marriage Act 1753, full title "An Act for the Better Preventing of Clandestine Marriage", popularly known as Lord Hardwicke's Marriage Act, was the first statutory legislation in England and Wales to require a formal ceremony of marriage. It came into force on 25 March 1754. The Act was precipitated by a dispute about the validity of a Scottish marriage, although pressure to address the problem of clandestine marriage had been growing for some time.

Before the Act, the legal requirements for a valid marriage in England and Wales had been governed by the canon law of the Church of England. This had stipulated that banns should be called or a marriage licence obtained before a marriage could take place and that the marriage should be celebrated in the parish where at least one of the parties was resident. However, these requirements were directory rather than mandatory and the absence of banns or a licence – or even the fact that the marriage was not celebrated in a church – did not render the marriage void. The only indispensable requirement was that the marriage be celebrated by an Anglican clergyman. The common but mistaken assumption that a simple exchange of consent would suffice is based on later, erroneous readings of ecclesiastical case law: such an exchange created a binding contract to marry rather than a legal marriage.

The banns -- the public declaration of an intended marriage, usually formally announced on three successive Sundays in the parish churches of both the betrothed. To "forbid the banns" meant to forbid the wedding.

“Gerald,” said Wimsey, “is a good, clean, decent, thoroughbred public schoolboy, and a shocking ass. But I don't think he's so mediæval as that.”

“But if he has the letter, why not produce it?”

“Why, indeed? Letters from old college friends in Egypt aren't, as a rule, compromising.”
“You don't suppose,” suggested Parker tentatively, “that this Mr. Freeborn referred in his letter to any old—er—entanglement which your brother wouldn't wish the Duchess to know about?”

Lord Peter paused, while absently examining a row of boots.

“That's an idea,” he said. “There were occasions—mild ones, but Helen would make the most of them.” He whistled thoughtfully. “Still, when it comes to the gallows——”
A gallows is a frame, typically wooden, used for execution by hanging, or by means to torture before execution, as was used when being hanged, drawn and quartered. The gallows took its form from the Roman Furca when Constantine abolished crucifixion.

1 comment:

  1. Why does Wimsey say "tut, tut," in reference to Hermant's book, and what does the list of books mentioned (other than "Manon," which is discussed at length later), tell us about Cathcart (assuming the reader is familiar with those titles)?