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  • Ha ha!

  • Sir_Krackalot

    “Usually I quite like that, but”

    Oh? Does Henry’s tongue let slip more than he meant it to?

    • That he likes to be outclassed? Nah, that’s a pretty typical symptom of protagonitis, and practically a requirement for rogues.

    • Sanjay Merchant

      Nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more!

    • dana

      Perhaps simple admiration for a greater rogue than himself?

      Don’t we all admire a charming rogue, even other rogues?

  • reynard61

    “The Duke of Kent, 1599. Real Name Unknown.”

    Really?! The guy holds a rather high landed title and nobody knew his given name? Very, *very* odd…

    • SpiralingVortices

      Perhaps he used a fake name? How do titles normally work? Is there some sort of contract, or do you just get a certificate?

      • Sapphire altera

        In the Elizabethan era, most titles were hereditary. IRL, there was no duke of Kent at that time, but there was an Earl of Kent (someone with a surname of Grey). Doesn’t seem to have been a particularly important post, but it would still be pretty weird that his name would be lost (even if there was some effort made to expunge the records, its like *something* would survive).

        Of course, this is the Widdershins universe, not real life. :)

        • RLB

          There _can_ be an Earl of Kent and a Duke of Kent at the same time, if they refer to different Kents. Usually the latter is an improvement on the former (as with the first Duke of Kent, who was born Earl, then created Marquess, then Duke, all for being a high-standing politician-courtier – not the later PM Earl Grey, by the way, after whom the tea is named and who may or may not be related), and I can’t find any current exceptions, but AFAIK it should be possible to have, e.g., a Duke of Kingston (upon Thames) _and_ an Earl of Kingston (upon Hull, though who’d want that :-P ?)
          And yes, in the Age of Favouritism (which that certainly was), it’s quite plausible that a rogue could take a false name, gain access to the court and the eye of mentally-not-so-virginal Bess under that name, be created Earl or even Duke; or he could have gained it on the battlefield – see the Duke of Albemarle. It’s even more plausible that he could then have fallen out of grace, be deposed of by means of a sharp blade, and then discovered to have had a false name, or several – without his real one ever being known. (Again, I don’t think such a case ever actually occured – but it’s not implausible.)

          • Sapphire altera

            according to there’s only one Kent in Britain (the county), but I wouldn’t put it past Luxuria to invent another one :P

            • Euodiachloris

              One place can have two (or more) titles attached to it, if they differ in both function and specific land parcel — just as long as the name attached to both is of the general area, rather than, e.g. the specific hillside of each. Kent is pretty big… (not as big as Northumbria, but the Percy family are not the only titled family in sight, there — and, their seat has even moved a couple of times).

        • Sanjay Merchant

          Is this just building up to a scholarly pun on “Duke of Earl”?

          • Sapphire altera

            I personally like the Kent rhymes people have going in a later comment thread :P

    • Jay

      Or damnatio memoriae at work. He was a traitor, after all.

      • David Argall

        damnatio memoriae almost never works, there being just too much interest in who got the government so mad. The possible successes can be cases where History forgot, not where it refused to remember.
        The name of a duke would be everywhere, and impossible to suppress, which gives us two options here.
        The writer may have known the name, but feared to print it. [Good Queen Bess was not an opponent of the death penalty, as we have already seen.] Plenty of other sources would still have the name, but we have not seem them. A deep plot was involved. X killed the heir to the dukedom, and took his victim’s place. Later, he also killed the Duke, and “succeeded” to the title. After holding the title for some time, probably years, it became normal to think of him as the Duke. However, when he started on some larger treason, he was discovered, and so were his earlier crimes. It was established that he was not the legal Duke, but his real name could not be discovered, so he was just referred to by the title he had stolen since they could not think of a better title to use.

        • dana

          The traitor formerly known as Duke?

        • John

          I admit that wen I saw Queen Elizabeth refer to him as “the nameless wretch formerly known to us as” I assumed it was an attempt at damnatio memoriae. But now that I see that history really doesn’t know who he is, it seems more likely that his situation is similar to the Comte de Saint Germain. Kent being thoroughly English, he doesn’t have a mysterious foreign background to help obfuscate his identity, but the fact that he’s in Widdershins 200 years after his head was cut off with nothing but a minor scar on his neck to show he was decapitated seems to clearly indicate some major magic that could easily serve the same purpose.

          • Aw, man. Didn’t even notice the scar. D:

        • Jeff

          “damnatio memoriae almost never works”

          How could you (or anyone) know whether that was true or not? The majority of instances that are commented upon are attempts that failed. But just to give a counter-example – as a result of Stalin’s Great Purge, there are still hundreds of people who had positions of some importance (enough to apear in photos with high ranking members of the govt, or even Stalin himself), for whom no known records still exist.

          • David Argall

            We don’t know a lot of Stalin’s minions for innocent reasons. It wasn’t all that safe to get to be well known after all, and this was heavily a secret society that tried to keep its enemies [us for example] in the dark. So people could easily drop out of history’s sight without any attempt to hide them.
            To have a true “damnatio memoriae”, pretty much everybody must know his name, and then everybody must know not to say that name, or to recognize it when mentioned by others. So the name is better known after nobody “knows” it. It can still be forgotten [just about everything is eventually], but the effort to suppress the name is pretty much self defeating.

    • ShadeTail

      As per the first page of the chapter:

      “…The nameless wretch formerly known to us as…” That seems to suggest he was more or less erased from the record books.

      • glynis37

        As the title “Duke of Kent” wasn’t created until the 1700’s (they were mere “Earls of Kent” in 1599), I think this qualifies as artistic license.

        • You mean the title of “Duke of Kent” wasn’t recreated until the 1700s after having been dissolved in the late 1590s and having all references to it expunged from the official record.

          • glynis37

            That’ll work!

      • Silly Zealot

        Yeah, but look at all those roman fellows who got condemned to damnatio memoriae and we still can look their names in whiskypedia.

    • Darth Fez

      Names are often said to have power, so it may have been the duke himself who made certain his real name was erased from memory. The man certainly has certainly means at his disposal.

    • MoeLane

      “So, it’s the old Duke of Kent that you’re wondering about? Ah, that’s a name I haven’t heard in a while: Bessie took his betrayal cruel hard, she did. She pulled him out of the muck, she did: when the Queen found him the Duke was just some hedge warlock keeping company with Kelley and running errands for Old Man Walsingham. But he was clever, and hungry, and ever so pretty about it, so next thing you know he’s sporting lace and a handy title – and looking cross-daggers at Raleigh. Raleigh had his last laugh at that, let me tell you: much good it did him…”

  • SpiralingVortices

    Um, it may or may not have been intentional, but Henry’s line in the third panel “the th’ rogue” sounds a bit off. Perhaps out should just b “th’ rogue”?
    (Sorry, sorry… But it is a bit confusing)

    Edit:.Yay, it’s fixed!

    • Odo

      If you think of it as a compound noun, the “th’ rougueish flirtin’ one”, it can make sense, but I rather think that in this case Kate got lost in the grammar.

      • Fixed! Henry’s dialogue is a maze of dropped Gs and abandoned vowels, it can be tricky.

  • Columbine

    Focus on what’s important! Academic cred not danger!

  • Darth Fez

    Awww. It’s going to be love at first death-defying adventure.

  • robert袋蟻食skitch

    My greatest piece of wisdom regarding the Duke of Kent… is that it’s rhyming slang for ‘rent’

    • Sanjay Merchant

      The grand old Duke of Kent,

      He had ten thousand yen.
      He bought some Nikkei stocks,
      And then he sold them off again!

  • Sanjay Merchant

    Man, Luxuria has a permanent “Would you do me? I’d do me.” smirk, doesn’t he? (Granted, it’s only appropriate.)

  • Sanjay Merchant

    Wow, she’s positively giddy given that she just learned a man that’s over 200 years old, powered by evil magic has taken an interest in her, by name. She may be Harriet’s ancestor (ancestrix?), but she’s got Sidney’s temperament.

    • kuku

      Except a more scholarly bent – she’s giddy for the research plum!

  • Seems my couch supposition was correct (as opposed to their being a second bed in the vardo), since it would be wildly inappropriate for two unmarried young people of opposite genders to sit on a bed together (as if it wasn’t inappropriate enough for them to be alone in her residence as it is).

    Also, a book could [i]make[/i] her academic reputation! That’s obviously more important than theoretical danger, especially since she’s got Henry here to handle to fighting!

  • DocHarleen

    Okay, (1) is Henry Barber bisexual? Because that would make me very happy. (2) am I the only one who is sort of thinking of Luxuria as Lord Flashheart?

    • (1) can’t say for certain, but I’ve no reason to believe that is the case and (2) not anymore

      • Phlebas

        (1) Panels 2 and 4 could be read that way.
        (2) That pose in the last panel certainly seems a little Flasheart! I think mister L is more of a charmer and less of a braggart, though, or at least we’re seeing him through the eyes of someone (a bit) affected by his charm.

    • 1 – Yep!
      2 – It’s more of a subtle thing, same swagger though, for sure. Woof!

      • rlb

        Well, except that Luxuria seems to be the real deal, and Flashheart has always struck me as a vainglorious, essentially empty cad.

  • l33tninja

    Curiouser and curiouser

  • impishacid

    Also, I’m pretty sure it was common in the Elizabethan era to just refer to nobility as their domain, in lieu of their actual name? I *do* have this impression mainly from Shakespeare, though, and it could easily be an affectation of his or a device to avoid using actual names.

    EG in King Lear, the character Gloucester – he’s actually the Earl of Gloucester, that’s not his name, yet everyone in the play calls him “Gloucester” as though it were his name. Similarly, people often just say “France” when specifically talking about the King of France.

    Anyway – again, IF that’s accurate – it doesn’t actually seem terribly uncommon if everyone just referred to him as Kent / the Duke of Kent, with his actual name, if any, being practically unknown. That’s how I read the execution speech, anyway, as that commoners generally just knew him as (the Duke of) Kent, which he no longer was.

    It still doesn’t explain how other and higher nobility would tolerate not having a name for him, ofc.

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