|About the Book|
As John McClain describes, THE RIGHT HONOURABLE GENTLEMAN is in fact a certain Sir Charles Dilke, a Liberal Member of Parliament in the Victorian era who, had he not got his beard caught in the wringer, might have become the successor to GladstoneMoreAs John McClain describes, THE RIGHT HONOURABLE GENTLEMAN is in fact a certain Sir Charles Dilke, a Liberal Member of Parliament in the Victorian era who, had he not got his beard caught in the wringer, might have become the successor to Gladstone as Prime Minister. The circumstances leading to his destruction, his private affairs as opposed to those of the Empire, form the background for the evening which, I thought, was highly rewarding. The proceedings introduce Dilke in his finest hour, and obvious choice for the new cabinet, who is not at first perturbed by a number of anonymous letters suggesting that he has been having an affair with a certain young Mrs. Crawford. But then Mr. Crawford sues for divorce, naming Dilke as corespondent, and giving as evidence his wifes confession that she had been the mistress of Sir Charles for some time, furthermore, that a maid in his household had also been party to their indiscretions. The emphasis of the drama is skillfully balanced between Dilkes avowal of complete innocence, solemnly sworn to privately for the benefit of his fiancee, and the insistence of Mrs. Crawford, supplemented by dates and facts, that he was indeed guilty for her ruin almost immediately following her marriage. There are many other spicey adjuncts to the case. The revelation that Sir Charles had engaged in a prolonged and serious liaison with Mrs. Crawfords mother, and that Mrs. Crawford was wildly in love and had been carrying on a torrid relationship with a certain Army officer, Capt. Forster, which may have been a reason for inventing her charges against the unhappy Dilke It is a fascinating enigma.