The Viscount Heartbreaker
The London Tattler - January 18
After nearly two years' absense from town society, James Lindford, Viscount Farley, has returned from his second sojourn to the Orient. His mother and stepfather, Viscount and Viscountess Acton, hosted an exclusive dinner party for him at their home on Port Man Square. He plans to make his first social appearance at the Edgerton Ball, Tuesday next.
The London Tattler - January 22
The Earl and Countess of Basingstoke have formally announced the betrothal of their youngest daughter, the beauteous Lady Catherine to James Lindford, Viscount Farley. Though some were surprised by the announcement, your faithful correspondent has long suspected that the pair would wed. After all, Lord Farley has a strong interest in the foreign affairs of our great land, and the Earl of Basingstoke is one of the king's most trusted advisors in such matters. It can only be hoped that Lord Farley will be content now to reside in his home country and make foreign policy, and leave the actual adventuring to unattached young gentlemen.
The London Tattler - January 30
The lovely lady Catherine Winfield was spied arm in arm with her fiancé, James Lindford, Lord Farley, at the French Opera House. They are widely agreed to be the handsomest couple presently on the scene, and word has it that their wedding celebration will surpass that of the Duke and Duchess of Ashbourne.
The London Tattler - February 4
Expect half the town to be sick today, for despite the blizzard attacking the city last night, the engagement party at the Basingstoke manse was a veritable crush, with more bared arms, shoulders, and bosoms on display than at a midsummer ball. Lady Catherine, shortly to become Viscountess Farley, was aglow and the undisputed star of the evening with her admiring beau circling in close attendance upon her.
The London Tattler - February 6
An ugly rumor has arisen, only to be proven no rumor at all, but rather, the unadulterated truth. Your faithful correspondent has learned that less than three weeks after the formalisation of their betrothal, the much-feted Basingstoke-Farley union may dissolve before it has rightly begun. It seems that the proper Lord Farley has behaved in a decidedly improper manner - not that most young men have not. But he has the apparent effrontery to bring the results of his indiscretions into his own household. Poor Lady Catherine has taken to bed in shock.
The London Tattler - February 9
The latest word on the Farley brouhaha is that the Viscount's bachelor household now boasts both a small girl and a baby as its newest residents. Two children from his past, could there be more? Your faithful correspondent has seen them and regrets to report that one of them is a dark-skinned infant, obviously the result of a dalliance with some exotic eastern culture. There can be no doubt now about Lord Farley's scandalous escapades while abroad. Inquiring minds wonder, since his itinerary took him to Lisbon, Naples, Cairo, and Bombay, does he intend to present his fiancé with a by blow from each of those ports?
The London Tattler - February 14
Saint Valentine sends felicitations to lovers everywhere. But the patron saint of love cannot mend the damage Lord Farley has inflicted upon the heart of the woman who so faithfully awaited his return from his lengthy sojourns aboard. Your faithful correspondent is the first to report the legal dissolution of the betrothal contract between the grievously wounded Lady Catherine and the philandering Lord Farley. Rumor has it that Lord Farley's political aspirations cannot help but suffer as well: Lord Basingstoke is not known for his forgiving nature.
The London Tattler - February 19
The Fleet Street Haberdasher's near Chancery Lane was the site of a near brawl between the widely castigated Lord Farley and the Honorable Mr. Peter Wilkerson, middle son of the Marquis of Gorham. Were it not for the cool head of Mr. Kerrigan Fairchild, blood surely would have been spilled. It seems that Lady Catherine has many defenders who cannot forgive Lord Farley the grave disservice he has done his former fiancé.
The London Tattler - February 24
Two long time servants in the Farley town house have abandoned their post. Although neither felt at liberty to discuss the tumult that reigns in their former place of employment, neither denied that a front window was shattered three days ago, that the laundry shed was set afire, and that the curtains in one of the downstairs rooms were ripped down from their hangings. It is abundantly clear to this correspondent that Lord Farley has taken complete leave of his senses. Perhaps his foreign travels have fevered his brain. Whatever the cause, it is fortunate for Lady Catherine that she has discovered his moral weakness prior to binding herself to him in perpetuity. And speaking of the beauteous Lady Catherine, on Monday evening she made a triumphant return to society at the Dowager Countess Bedham's annual rout. Wearing a spectacular gown of golden gauze overlaid on a darker golden silk underskirt and adorned with rosettes of embroidered seed pearls, she entered on the arm of the Honorable Mr. Percival Langley, widely known as her staunchest defender and admirer...