Monday, 7 May 2012

An Ideal Standard Husband



Editor's comment: The glorious, naughty 1890s! British plumbing doesn't get better than this!
(No, really. It doesn't.)

Lady Chiltern's husband not only comes with the standard Victorian fittings, but is, in fact, ideal:
hygienic and morally righteous, with a stellar career and a magnificent, bushy beard.

Mrs Chevely wants Lord Chiltern to use his influence as an M.P. to back a fraudulent scheme to build a dirty canal in Argentina. In order to ensure his cooperation, she blackmails him with a compromising letter. However, Lord Chiltern ultimately says no, as lady Chiltern has declared she will stop worshipping him otherwise, and a gentleman must by necessity be adored by a rosy-cheeked, long-suffering woman in an uncomfortable corset, or people will start rustling The Times at him and exposing him to uncomfortable silences at the club.
Unfortunately for Lord Chiltern, Mrs Cheveley possesses a compromising letter written by Lord Chiltern, and exposes the secret of his scandalous past to his wife, who declares she will never forgive him. Never. Not ever.

Lady Chiltern, in despair, writes a compromising letter herself,
to her and her husband's mutual friend Lord Goring.
In an unfortunate turn of events, Mrs Cheveley gets hold of the letter when she visits that irreparable dandy.
Moments later, Lord Chiltern discovers Mrs Cheveley in Lord Goring's drawing-room.
Convinced that the two are having an affair, Lord Goring storms out.

Mrs Cheveley, prowling around Lord Goring's drawing-room, tries to bargain Lord Chiltern's dirty letter in exchange for marriage with Lord Goring. That ingenious man - a credit to the aristocracy - however, cleverly foils her plot by revealing a bracelet that he can prove she once stole. Mrs Cheveley gives up Lord Chiltern's letter to avoid arrest, but decides to give Lady Chiltern's compromising letter, which she has cleverly concealed upon her person (let's not mention where), to Lord Chiltern.

However, Mrs Cheveley's ill-natured plans are thwarted - Lord and Lady Chiltern forgive each other their respective sins, Lord Chiltern denounces the Argentinian canal scheme in the House of Lords, and Lord Goring gets permission to marry Lord Chiltern's sister. They celebrate with a stupendous party, of the chandelier-swinging, absinthe-bottle-smashing kind, at Café Royal. Hurrah!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...