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Tag: Lady Rosamund and the Poison Pen

An Interview With a Vulgar Man

In my capacity as occasional contributor to the Teatime Tattler, I was most fortunate to arrange an interview with Corvus, the caricaturist who took London society by storm over a year ago. 

No one knows Corvus’s real name or even what he looks like. For the interview, he was completely screened from my sight. All I could discern, judging by his voice and accent, is that he is an Englishman, likely of the merchant class—educated, but lacking what is known as ton. I am relieved to know that he is not a gentleman of birth, for no such man would stoop to publishing vulgar caricatures, making game of the highest and best of English society—including Lady Rosamund Phipps, one of the stars in the firmament of the beau monde.

Caracaturist and Scandal

As if that were not dreadful enough, some of his caricatures indicate that he has a tendre for Lady Rosamund! When I taxed him with his impudence at coveting a lady so far above him, he gave a chuckle that sent a shiver down my spine. “I wouldn’t let just anyone birch me.”

Horrors! How crass of him to refer to that ghastly drawing in which poor Lady Rosamund is doing just that. Can you conceive of anything more insulting—to expose his bare bottom to the world and suggest that Lady Rosamund would enjoy punishing him in such a way?

Although, I must say, I have it on the best of authority that Lady Rosamund did indeed say that Corvus deserved a birching. I believe we all agree with that, but never that she wished to inflict the punishment in person. Naturally, she would send a burly footman to accomplish such a disagreeable task.

“Why,” I asked him, “do you put your artistic talent to such a base use?” The reason was obvious—filthy lucre.

He laughed again. “Money, of course. That’s what you expected me to say, isn’t it? And it’s true, the caricatures are a valuable means of support for me. But that’s not all.”

“Admiration?” I wished he could see my brows raised in haughty inquiry.

“It is always a pleasure when one’s art is appreciated by others,” he said. “I’m sure you write gossip for the same reason. Deplorable as gossip is, the way you phrase it is a form of art.”

I admit, I didn’t know whether to be offended or complimented. So much for haughtiness.

I sensed his grin at my expense. “I draw to amuse the populace,” he said after a pause. “To show for their delectation the folly, venality, and indifference of the upper classes. Not that they don’t already suffer from this every day of their lives, but to have it displayed for the lower classes to see and laugh at whilst at the same time it embarrasses their so-called betters… Maybe that’s why I do it.”

There ended the interview, gentle readers. I leave it to you to decide what you think of Corvus, and whether you will continue to enjoy—or deplore—his caricatures. However, I believe we all are agreed in wondering who he is, who will unmask him…and what punishment Lady Rosamund will devise for him when that day comes.

About the Book

Lady Rosamund Phipps, daughter of an earl, has a secret. Well, more than one. Such as the fact that she’s so uninterested in sex that she married a man who promised to leave her alone and stick to his mistress. And a secret only her family knows—the mortifying compulsion to check things over and over. Society condemns people like her to asylums. But when she discovers the dead body of a footman on the stairs, everything she’s tried to hide for years may be spilled out in broad daylight.

First the anonymous caricaturist, Corvus, implicates Lady Rosamund in a series of scandalous prints. Worse, though, are the poison pen letters that indicate someone knows the shameful secret of her compulsions. She cannot do detective work on her own without seeming odder than she already is, but she has no choice if she is to unmask both Corvus and the poison pen.

Will Corvus prove to be an ally or an enemy? With the anonymous poison pen still out there, her sanity—and her life—are at stake.

Caracaturist and Scandal

Buy links:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B087BBLLNL/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B087BBLLNL/

Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B087BBLLNL/

Amazon Australia: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B087BBLLNL/

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lady-rosamund-and-the-poison-pen-barbara-monajem/1136829963

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/lady-rosamund-and-the-poison-pen

Apple: https://books.apple.com/us/book/lady-rosamund-and-the-poison-pen/id1507264864

About the Author

Rumor has it that Barbara Monajem is descended from English aristocrats. If one keeps to verifiable claims, however, her ancestors include London shopkeepers and hardy Canadian pioneers. As far as personal attributes go, she suffers from an annoying tendency to check and recheck anything and everything, usually for no good reason. Hopefully all this helps to explain her decision to write from the point of view of a compulsive English lady with a lot to learn about how the other ninety-nine percent lived in 1811 or so.

As for qualifications, Barbara is the author of over twenty historical romances and a few mysteries, for which she has won several awards. On the other hand, she has no artistic talent and therefore is really stretching it to write about an artist who draws wickedly good caricatures. But she’s doing it anyway, because he’s irresistible. To her, anyway. Not so much to the aristocratic lady. Or at least not yet.

Social media links:

Website: http://www.BarbaraMonajem.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/barbara.monajem

Twitter: http://twitter.com/BarbaraMonajem Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3270624.Barbara_Monajem

The Caricaturist Strikes

It was clearly my duty to visit my friend, Mr. Charles. I knew he would be most distressed when he sees this morning’s newssheet, for prints by Corvus, London’s most scandalous caricaturist, bring him a good deal of revenue. They also provide fodder for the Teatime Tattler.

Soon we were cozily ensconced in his office at B.P. Charles and Co, Stationers, in the Strand, tea and plum cake before us. I pulled the offending newssheet from my bag. “Look at this. How ghastly!”

caricaturist

Corvus mocks the cream of English society—most recently, Lady Rosamund Phipps. The headline read: At all costs, Corvus must be unmasked!

Was he distressed? “Not at all, my dear girl. This is excellent publicity,” Mr. Charles said.  

“In what possible way?” Everyone longs to unmask Corvus, but how dreadful if it meant he could no longer produce such scandalous caricatures. In his latest, he well-nigh accused Lady Rosamund of murdering her footman, suggesting that the poor man had refused to take her husband’s place in her bed. “If his identity were disclosed, he would no longer have access to the scandalous doings of the beau monde,” I said. “If he is a gentleman, society would shun him; if a servant, he would be thrashed.”

“He won’t be unmasked,” Mr. Charles said smugly. “If I, who receive his drawings regularly, have not yet learned his identity, who is likely to do so?”

I eyed him narrowly. “Have you tried to unmask him?”

He bristled. “No, for he wishes to remain anonymous, and I respect that.”

More likely, he respects the amount of money he makes from selling the prints. I gave him a Look.

He chuckled, but then we were interrupted by his assistant. “Mr. McBrae to see you, sir.”

“Show him in,” Mr. Charles said, “and bring another cup and plate.”

A dark-haired gentleman of medium height appeared, and we were duly introduced. “Mr. McBrae does etchings for me,” Mr. Charles said, showing him the newssheet. “You’ll find this nonsense amusing.”

caricaturist

“Aye, I saw that claptrap.” Mr. McBrae helped himself to a slice of plum cake. “Lady Rosamund won’t be arrested for murder. She’s the daughter of an earl.”

“Perhaps not,” I said, “but how unkind of Corvus to mock her. She can’t help it if her husband is unfaithful.” I paused. “Although it is rather strange that she is bosom friends with his mistress—but such a situation is not unprecedented in the ton. Perhaps it is her attempt to pretend nothing is wrong, poor thing.”

Mr. McBrae snorted. “No need to feel sorry for her. She found the caricature amusing.”

“How do you know this?” Excitement gripped me. “Have you met Lady Rosamund?”

“We were introduced.” He rolled his eyes. “She’s far above my touch.”

Evidently so, for although he spoke like a gentleman, he must be poor indeed if he scrapes a living from doing etchings. But how thrilling to meet the daughter of an earl! “What is she like?”

He shrugged. “Well-mannered, but aware of her own worth.”

That was only to be expected—and not the least bit scandal-worthy. “Tell me, Mr. McBrae—do you think she pushed the footman down the stairs?”

“Not at all,” he scoffed. “If she wanted to get rid of a footman, she would merely dismiss him.”

“But in a fit of temper…?” I suggested. Aristocrats are notoriously capricious.

“I doubt she would have found the caricature amusing if she actually were guilty.”

I sighed. Not that I wished Lady Rosamund to be a murderess, but scandal is the lifeblood of the Tattler.

“Just wait till you see his next effort,” Mr. Charles said with a twinkle.

Mr. McBrae cocked his head. “What has he pulled out of his sleeve now?”

Mr. Charles grinned. “That would be telling.”

Surprised, I asked Mr. McBrae, “Do you not do etchings of Corvus’ drawings?”

He shook his head. “No, for I work at my lodgings. Once drawings by Corvus are in Mr. Charles’s hands, he keeps them very close indeed. Attempts have been made to steal them, most likely by another printer.”

“Heavens!” I assumed on my coyest expression. “Dear Mr. Charles, pray give me some small clue about the new caricature?”

“It will embarrass Lady Rosamund,” he said.

I huffed. “That’s not a clue. His caricatures always embarrass someone.”  

“Yes, but I fear she will find this one particularly upsetting.”

Odious man, to tease me so! “Fine, but is what he depicted true?”

“How should I know?” Mr. Charles said. “By what I have heard, her maid is impervious to bribes, and I expect the other lady’s maid is—” He coughed. “How indiscreet of me.”

“Which other lady?” I cried.

But he wouldn’t say another word, and although Mr. McBrae sent me a sympathetic glance, he knew nothing useful.

Well! I am no fool. Mr. Charles was indiscreet on purpose. He expects me use what little he said to drop several improper hints in the Tattler. So I shall—whilst hoping that no one unmasks Corvus!

About the Book

Lady Rosamund and the Poisoned Pen

Lady Rosamund Phipps, daughter of an earl, has a secret. Well, more than one. Such as the fact that she’s so uninterested in sex that she married a man who promised to leave her alone and stick to his mistress. And a secret only her family knows—the mortifying compulsion to check things over and over. Society condemns people like her to asylums. But when she discovers the dead body of a footman on the stairs, everything she’s tried to hide for years may be spilled out in broad daylight.

First the anonymous caricaturist, Corvus, implicates Lady Rosamund in a series of scandalous prints. Worse, though, are the poison pen letters that indicate someone knows the shameful secret of her compulsions. She cannot do detective work on her own without seeming odder than she already is, but she has no choice if she is to unmask both Corvus and the poison pen.

Will Corvus prove to be an ally or an enemy? With the anonymous poison pen still out there, her sanity—and her life—are at stake.

Buy links:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B087BBLLNL/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B087BBLLNL/

Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B087BBLLNL/

Amazon Australia: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B087BBLLNL/

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lady-rosamund-and-the-poison-pen-barbara-monajem/1136829963

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/lady-rosamund-and-the-poison-pen Apple: https://books.apple.com/us/book/lady-rosamund-and-the-poison-pen/id1507264864

About the Author

Rumor has it that Barbara Monajem is descended from English aristocrats. If one keeps to verifiable claims, however, her ancestors include London shopkeepers and hardy Canadian pioneers. As far as personal attributes go, she suffers from an annoying tendency to check and recheck anything and everything, usually for no good reason. Hopefully all this helps to explain her decision to write from the point of view of a compulsive English lady with a lot to learn about how the other ninety-nine percent lived in 1811 or so.

As for qualifications, Barbara is the author of over twenty historical romances and a few mysteries, for which she has won several awards. On the other hand, she has no artistic talent and therefore is really stretching it to write about an artist who draws wickedly good caricatures. But she’s doing it anyway, because he’s irresistible. To her, anyway. Not so much to the aristocratic lady. Or at least not yet.

Social media links:

Website: http://www.BarbaraMonajem.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/barbara.monajem

Twitter: http://twitter.com/BarbaraMonajem

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3270624.Barbara_Monajem

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