Wednesday, February 11, 2015
The Subconscious Is a Scary Thing
Yet even after all these years, the process can still sometimes take me by surprise. Remember the cross-dressing Frenchman, La Chapelle/Serena Fox, in WHY KINGS CONFESS? At the time I wrote that book, I could not have told you where he came from. All I knew was that he was a great character, particularly for a murder with a mysterious female shoe print left at the scene of the crime.
But then the other day when I was doing some research on French spies in London, I ran across a reference to the Chevalier d'Eon and went, "Oh, yeah!" You see, I now remember reading about d'Eon some thirty years ago (Jeez; was it that long ago? Yikes.) when I was doing historical research in Paris. But I had totally, totally forgotten about him.
And that's scary.
P.S. I've also been criticized by people who found Sebastian's easy acceptance of Serena in that book an anachronism. Yet a betting pool was actually started in London about d'Eon's true sex, with the Chevalier himself being good-naturely invited to take part. He was even allowed to attend court dressed as a woman when he returned to Paris. He claimed to have been born female, but after his death he was discovered to be anatomically male.