Her Grace the Duchess of Morpho Eugenia, aka A.S. Byatt

I was talking on the telephone last night to my dear friend from Cortona who has directed me to this ideal kingdom. You need to scroll down until you reach the Viceroy of Redonda’s announcement of this year’s annual prize, a list of the noblesse of that Kingdom, and the patent for the ennobling of Claudio Magris as the Duke of Seconda Mano. I am reminded of a large and angry Englishman at the University of ******* (who registered off the top of the scale on the Lady Novelist’s spookdar) who used to object to my pronunciation of Latin, bellowing at me once that he held all foreign titles in contempt. We must have been telling him what we had done on our holidays.
I am particularly delighted that the Viceroy of Redonda has seen fit to ennoble Sir John Elliott (a historian of Spain who saved my bacon more than once in the years of struggle with the late Sir Richard) as the Duke of Simancas. Simancas is the not particularly convenient castle outside Valladolid where they keep the records of Spain. (Actually I had a rather good time there because I found the joke Book of Queen Juana the Mad, no I am not making it up, I do not need to make things up.)
I think a former next-door neighbour of my Spanish Grandmother’s, who was quite a senior man in Spain at the time, thought that it would be good to keep the history of Spain where it wouldn’t get dirty with a lot of people touching it.
Back to Redonda. This is the only nobility that any anarchist would be proud to join, indeed it is perhaps the last aristocracy left in the world, in the pure, pristine and exact sense of aristocracy.
If the Viceroy of Redonda wishes to appoint an Historiographer, an Epigrapher or a Maestro de Capilla I apply for all and any of these posts hereby.

5 Responses to “Her Grace the Duchess of Morpho Eugenia, aka A.S. Byatt”

  1. Andreas minor Says:

    Un titulo que me parece muy satisfactorio para usted. Y si Vd necesita un paje / joven cub reporter como un ayudante, yo quisiera solicitar el puesto.

  2. Andreas minor Says:

    Acabo de leer en esta pagina ( http://javiermarias.es/REDONDIANA/DuquesdeRedonda.html ) que ya exista un historiographer en ingles en el reino, Roger Dobson, y tambien un Real Maestro de Esgrima, which pleases me greatly.

    El acto dar la posicion de Duke of Megalopolis a Francis Ford Coppola es casi ingenio.

  3. Jon Says:

    The Joke Book of Queen Juana the Mad? How wonderful! Do tell us one.

    Oh. I see. The joke Book of…

    Ahem.

  4. Peter Says:

    Andreas praeclarus– let us make application together: yourself as Paje de Hacha de su Real Majistad de Redonda (a metaphorical as well as literal post)and myself as Epigrafador y Iconografador Real. Now, how do we set about submitting the application. Hey, Jonathan, it’s a bit like trying to join the Rosicrucians in the good old days, isn’t it? and I will try to recover my Simancas notebook and give you some of the jester’s jests, or alternatively, mei cari, buy myself time to invent them.

  5. The Man From Maryport Says:

    Well, I too was looking forward to a few rib-ticklers from Queen Juana’s Joke Book. Surely, if such a thing does not actually exist, it becomes necessary to invent it? Or at least its putative contents . . .

    Over to you . .

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