Archive for March 15th, 2008

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My Friend the Chauffeur

March 15, 2008

I enjoyed Secret History Revealed by Lady Peggy O’Malley so much that I immediately went in search of another book by the Williamsons. My Friend the Chauffeur is different from either Peggy O’Malley or It Happened in Egypt, but I think I’m beginning to get a feel for how the Williamsons write.

The chauffeur in question is not actually a chauffeur. He is Lord Terence Barrymore, an impoverished Irish nobleman (the Williamsons are obviously very fond of impoverished Irish noblemen, as they have appeared prominently in all three of the Williamson books I have read). Terry’s best friend is an English baronet named Ralph Moray, who spends his winters at the Riviera, where he edits the English newspaper. Sir Ralph, in an attempt to make some money for Terry, has placed the following advertisement in his paper:

“WANTED, LADIES, TO CONDUCT. An amateur automobilist (English, titled) who drives his own motor-car accommodating five persons, offers to conduct two or three ladies, Americans preferred, to any picturesque centres in Europe which they may desire to visit. Car has capacity for carrying small luggage, and is of best type. Journeys of about 100 miles a day. Novel and delightful way of travelling; owner of car well up in history, art, and architecture of different countries. Inclusive terms five guineas a day each, or slight reduction made for extensive trip. Address—”
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