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2 Oct

Chapter XXII

I searched for my family for months, but found not a trace. I had Grove hire agents to investigate; that, too, was all to no good purpose. Even in those days it was estimated that there were already almost two million people living in London, and anyone not wishing to be found could effortlessly disappear into the labyrinth, as Freddie had done, evidently dragging my family along with him into the shadows. When I returned my attention to the literary life, I discovered that I was no longer welcome at most Society functions. ‘The thing of it is, Jack,’ Ainsworth tried to explain, ‘is that it’s very bad form to get all possessive about another chap’s wife like that.’ He...
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31 Jul

Chapter XVIII

Already being in possession of a husband and a good fortune, and what with the fashionable summer season drawing to a close, Mrs. Garwood decided that what she was most in want of was culture, in the form of a personal tutor, an expert, she said, in literary history and composition, someone, in fact, very much like me. Now, never let it be said that I do not know an invitation when I hear one. Her husband was happy to consent, and I was engaged, on two hundred pounds a year no less, to minister to all of Mrs. Garwood’s creative needs, of which she apparently had many. In light of recent events, which were polarised and extreme,...
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3 Jul

Chapter XIV

Bannockburn
Years passed. And so, as they say, I grew to manhood. By the early part of next decade, I was quite the man about town, and as in love with the city as is any Londoner who was not born there but came in from the provinces. I was in the prime of my life, and fancied that I cut quite a dash. I dressed well, and like Cruikshank I was a bit of a dandy. My dramatic blue eyes and wild black hair, which I wore rather long and romantic, were always popular with the ladies. Affairs tended to be brief, which suited me perfectly well. This was mostly on account of my moods, which were better...
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