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Fashionable Intelligence

By A Lady of Distinction

All of London is talking about one thing and one thing only: the arrival of the new Duke of Durham. His Grace, we are told, hails from America, of all places in the world, which begs the question of how this came to be.

Older readers—or younger readers who bother to visit their aged relatives and actually listen to them speak of scandals from days of yore—will recollect the Great Scandal of 1784 in which the fifth duke’s brother, the Lord Harry Cavendish, beloved rake, absconded to America with the duke’s prize horse. This horse-thieving younger brother had done a stint in the army, as second sons are wont to do, especially when they are so obviously unsuited to clergy. Whilst stationed in the colonies, he happened to fall in love with an American woman. It was a love so great that he would forsake family, country, membership at White’s, and a voucher for Almack’s.

After extensive sleuthing this author has been able to determine that Lord Harry Cav- endish established a farm in Maryland where he bred and trained racehorses, raised his family, including a son who followed in his footsteps, and refused to use his title.

That is, until the fifth duke died without a son, making Lord Harry the next in line. When Her Grace, the duchess of Durham, finally tracked down that horse-thieving younger brother, it was too late. Unbeknownst to anyone, the dukedom had been passed from one generation to another.

So yes, dear readers, a horse farmer from the colonies now holds one of the loftiest titles in England. His arrival is expected any day now and this author has it on excellent au- thority that he is bringing three sisters of marriageable age. Let there be no conversa- tions about a dull season, for this one is sure to be most entertaining . . .

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