Dearest Scandal Lovers, ‘Tis the season. ‘Tis the season for MRG, KAB, LHB and myself (JAF, in case you’d forgotten—don’t worry, I often do so myself) to be turning in papers, both graduate and under; to be working towards deadlines, both real and superpressinglyholyshitmyrealpeoplejobridesonthisreal, and to be kickin’ it back in the loving if somewhat guilt-tripping-why-don’t-you-call-more-often-and-then-when-you’re-home-you’re-always-out-with-your-little-friends-we-never-see-you arms of our families. We know you know how it goes.
But despite the fact ’tis nonetheless the season, you’ll have noticed we haven’t posted about salacious historical holiday goings-on. Part of that is the aforementioned list of excuses, and part is because while you know we here at For Shame! love our calendar-marked celebration days, we are a non-denominational blog (and the obvious story here has been done todeath, amirite?). We welcome all the altars at which our various far flung readers and correspondents worship, and our only blog dogma (blogma. you’re welcome.) involves paying high homage and frequent fluid sacrifice to the Great and Powerful Fassbender.
So here’s a little post the whole family can get behind, in honor of the fast-approaching state-side return of everyone’s favorite high-production public-television night-time tuxedo-people soap-opera, Downton (-) Abbey. Soon, dear reader, you too can be privy to what I see every day—chinless British people, in better quality clothing than I will ever own, being awkward and emotionally repressed, and taking forever to solve minor problems. God bless you, Julian Fellowes, for so successfully tapping into the voyeuristic dreams of middle-class westerners.
As popular television has taught me, the late Victorian gentry class was composed entirely of penniless men with excellent stately homes and even more excellent facial hair, and the only thing that saved the British upper crust from slipping into the decidedly less-tweedy lower classes were boatloads of American heiresses more than ready to have their gold dug in exchange for titles. Enter the 5th Earl of Carnarvon, and owner of Downton’s own Highclere Castle, George Herbert. By the turn of the 20th century, he’s mad broke, but luckily along came She Of The Fortuitously Fruitful Name And Checkbook, Almina Wombwell. After love at first co-sign, they got hitched in 1895, and proceeded to not have sex. Like, at all.
FLASHBACK: You see, George’s biffle was Prince Victor Duleep Singh, godson of Queen Victoria, friend to King Edward vee-eye-eye, and Last of the Really Great Maharajahs of Lahore. He was also a gambler, lout, and total horndog, who took the impressionable young Yargos to an Egyptian whooairehouse on their Grand Tour. Along with some nice t-shirts for the fam, the 5th Earl came back to England with a raging STD that left him facially scarred and sexually blighted. To compensate for his ruined manhood, George took the next logical step and used his enormous fortune to set up a private photo studio where he took nudie photos of literally thousands of women. Then he got married.
But while no rumpy-pumpy between the Earl and Mrs. Carnarvon graced the musty halls of Highclere, Victor Duleep Singh, that Dr. Phil for the silver spoon set, took it upon himself to fix the floundering marriage of his brohort by putting his own fruit in Almina’s much-neglected basket.
The proverbial honeymoon period in which all three basically lived together on their palatial estate—George blissfully occupied with his celluloid lovers and apparently unaware his wife was getting nailed by somebody with a better title and a better mustache—came to an end in 1898 when the Earless got up the duff with Victor’s bi-racial baby and had to duck down to London to pop out a child which (thankfully) came out whiter than the Royal Family’s dirty laundry.
Which is to say white. Because apparently Victor’s mother was also white… so, “science,” or something.
Either way, George accepted the prodigal son as his own, and now had both an heir and lotsa sweet sweet moneys to keep him in castles and tittypics and trips to go dick around in that early 20th century aristocratic sandbox known as Egypt til he was old and grey. And while Almina was unable to see her lover again (though Victor was actually married, so their seperation most likely didn’t put him too far out of sorts), she didn’t get dumped in the street as would have been only right and proper for a woman of her depraved sexual transgressions. Everybody wins!!!!1!
So, with that heartwarming tale, happy holidays from our blog family (blamily. you’re welcome. again.).