Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Chapter 13 “Good to see you in a place like this!”

Ferreira 1863 port

This chapter of The Lust World sets up Lord Hoxton's birthday party in Hampshire, which takes place the weekend before the expedition leaves for Brazil.  There is no equivalent in the original inspirational tale and from this point I diverge from that until we reach the plateau itself.  This enables me to indulge some of my other interests; one of which is English country houses and some of the Victorian erotic novels set in them, such as The Romance of Lust (1873).

All of this chapter is set in The Babylon Exploration Society, the inspiration for which I have already covered in a previous post.  Although this episode does not advance the main story very much it contains material whose content will become important in due course.  I have written a lot of chapters which take place before our explorers arrive in Amazonia and I was wondering whether to cut these out in favour of  a crisper narrative but I have enjoyed writing and researching them so you will get them whether you like them or not!

Lord Hoxton, Molloy and Britten drink a Ferreira port from 1863 which was the last great port vintage before the phylloxera beetle destroyed the roots of the vineyards in Portugal and just about everywhere else in Europe.   Phylloxera almost totally destroyed the wine trade in Europe and it was only by grafting vines onto American, phylloxera resistant roots that the wine industry was saved. ironically, as the beetle had come from American vines being imported into Europe in the first place.  I have never had a pre-phylloxera wine although I did once have an 1896 port at Oxford.

Molloy's embarrassment, horror and fascination mirrors mine when I first saw a friend of mine have sex with a woman in front of me in a hotel suite in Rome but that is a story for the CHronicles of Triple P in the future!