Day 4 – Morganatic Wives



 You know how it is. You go into the pound shop for your usual tin of meat and come out with a novella by 19th Century American writer Henry James.

There were three books to choose from. A guide to French B&Bs (the 2003 edition naturally), a history of BBC Radio 4’s the Today program and The Europeans by Henry James. Since I wasn’t planning to time travel back four years for my next holiday and since I already listen to too much Radio 4 to be reading about it as well, I picked up The Europeans.

I haven’t read any Henry James before despite The Turn of the Screw having sat on my bookshelf for quite a while now.  The pound shop is the Land of Firsts. My first can of corned beef, my first taste of dehydrated ‘shaped’ beef (more on that another day) an now my first Henry James.  The blurb on the back:

Eugenia, an expatriated American, is a morganatic wife of a German prince, who is about to reject her in favour of a state marriage. With her artist brother she travels to Boston to visit relatives she had never seen before, in hopes of making a wealthy marriage.     

 I had to look up morganatic in the OED:  

 A marriage between a man of high rank and a woman of low rank who retains her former status, their children having no claim to the father’s possessions or title.   

So like Charles and Camilla. Will post a review of The Europeans when I finish it.