Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Mansion at Kintyre

Mr. Planter Leitner kindly invited me to look inside the "summer cottage" in Kintyre - I refer to it as the mansion, as it dwarfs my tiny cottages in the Downs - so I took him up on the offer.

My first stop was the Shakespere Room, dedicated to the Bard of Avon. As unladylike as it is, I could not stop from helping myself to a cigar from the box and *cough* puffing on it *cough* as I perused the room. Below, a portrait of famed English stage producer David Garrick and a putative death mask of Mr. Shakespeare.

The shelves are filled with works by and about Shakespeare and his plays. This includes plays wrongly attributed to Shakespeare as of 1664, altered versions of plays, and a 19th century view of women in Shakespeare's works. Hmm, I may have to pull that one from the shelf.

As I made my way to the other wing of the mansion, I must have brushed against a hidden mechanism that revealed a passageway to an underground chamber. This must have been what Mr. Leitner meant in his reference to "Giordano's basement"! I looked at the art on the walls, but, sadly, I left my lens cap on when I took pictures down there.

I rectified this situation when I returned to the main floor and entered the 1878 Room. This library contains works and ephemera (such as the portrait of President Rutherford Hayes that may be seen to the left in the picture below) available as of that date.

Shelves in this room are labeled: "Deadwood and the Dakotas," "Controversial Issues" (which, at the moment, means "slavery"), "Literature," "Social Sciences," "Religion," "The West," "U.S. History and Government," "Matters, Manners, and Philosophy," and, um, "Erotica."

Purely in the interest of research and the advancement of Knowledge - the things I do for you, Gentle Reader - I pulled a recent volume from the latter shelves. It was entitled The Romance of Lust, or Early Experiences. As that great font of human knowledge, Wikipedia, relates, this book was published anonymously in four volumes between 1873 and 1876.

I fanned myself profusely while scanning the book. "The novel is told in first person....Charlie [Roberts] possesses...seemingly insatiable sexual appetite." I spent the next two hours with the book - again, all in the name of Science, of course. I shall not detail the sordid perversions described therein, only noting that this book should not be seen by the faint of heart!

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