This paperback tome, produced by Trafford Publishing, Bloomington, Indiana, USA, in August 2010, now also available as an e-book, traces the pro-military, patriotic and amorous meanderings of the war-crazy, heroic, back-packing, 007-style, once-balloonist Earl St. Maur – son and heir of the Twelfth Duke of Somerset and Jane Georgiana Sheridan. Choosing war, rather than dukedom, parliamentary, estate and protocol duties, he refuted the concept of Christian marriage. Wars in Persia, the Indian Mutiny and Garibaldi claimed the Earl’s youthful attention.
Histories of aristocratic families perambulate alongside those from the wrong-side-of-the-blanket, including the author’s Moroccan-born grandfather, whose consanguinity with St. Maur he seeks to prove via DNA tests; only if necessary, exhumation. Of mixed race, Mohamed, aged 12, immigrated as the Earl’s personal servant in 1868; the first of three illegitimates, from a mid-1850s liaison. He became a Christian in Britain, while later the Earl embraced Islam, a faith he had come to respect.
Frustration about failed courtships with titled ladies transmuted into a torrid love affair with gipsy kitchen-maid-turned-“Lady”, Rosina Swan. She bore him two recognised St. Maurs, one of them in Morocco. British-born Harold, eventually contesting for the dukedom, failed to prove his parents’ marriage, which a Dutch waiter-turned-hotelier was allegedly hired to witness in Torquay.
Close to the Pankhursts, Tangier-born Ruth, when married, recounted their romantic tale, sowing the seeds of friend George Bernard Shaw’s “Pygmalion”(play, 1913; book, 1916), eventually the film “My Fair Lady”. The story was aired frequently, among friends at Brownsea Castle, Dorset. A Suffragist, brilliant writer of Fabian Society Manifesto tracts and a heroic feminist, Ruth founded the Cavendish-Bentinck Library in London.
Heraldry, Genealogy, Medieval French and British History are rewritten by Silmon-Monerri, when he reveals that a ten-century-old controversial linking of the St. Maur, Ste. Maure and Seymour families as one big family is a myth – their separate origins being the subject of his next book, only briefly touched on here. Never properly explained before by the relevant authorities, Silmon-Monerri’s documentary proof, gleaned from French and British sources, solves the mystery forever.
Distributed by PR Newswire on behalf of Joseph Silmon Monerri
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