Thursday, 23 October 2014

The Defeat of Lady Grantham

Fiction ~ short story
Published in Six Common Things, November 1893
Approx. 1,800 words
(First read 23/10/2014)

After doing a teeny bit of sterling work on behalf of the humble downtrodden governess in the previous story Poor Miss Huntingford, EFB and his faceless narrator return to undo it all here.  It's a year later and Miss H has now married the eldest son of her former employer Mrs Naseby, making her a very wealthy woman, society queen, etc.  The story tells of the first encounter between this new Mrs Naseby and arch-snob Lady Grantham, while Miss Grantham (from Poor Miss Huntingford), here thoroughly de-clawed and
outclassed by her mother*, merely looks on.  How will the humble ex-Miss Huntingford deal with this harpie?  Well, the fact is that she's gone totally native:
She lounged up to the cedar where we were sitting, bowed to me as if she ought to remember me but just did not, with that sublime self-possession which I had always imagined a thing which some were born with, but to be as unattainable as the line of aristocratic ancestors with which it is usually coupled.
The long and the short is that the new Mrs Naseby has become as odious as everyone else in Society, and so is able to give as good as she gets in her no-holds-barred claws-unsheathed catfight with Lady G.
I do, however, think that the story is mistitled: the result is a draw.  You can judge for yourself: the story's available online here.

*Benson has seen fit to make Lady Grantham Spanish for no reason other than that jibes can be made about her not being English.
P.S. Almost forgot to mention that Dodo's dadastardly second husband (Prince Waldenech) makes a brief cameo appearance in the conversation here.

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