Dear readers, tonight with me is the Lord Sorcier of Regency England. Most people find him handsome, strange, and utterly uncouth—but gossip says that he regularly performs three impossible things before breakfast. We’re here to find out the truth.
“Lord Sorcier” is a French title, isn’t it? How does one go about becoming the Lord Sorcier of England?
It wasn’t my choice, thank you very much. The Prince Regent suggested it, for some mad reason. He thought it was fitting, given that I supposedly defeated Napoleon’s Lord Sorcier in an epic magical duel.
You should really exercise more scepticism in your daily life. The ton also believes that I do three impossible things before breakfast every morning.
Three impossible things! Who has time for that sort of nonsense? I limit myself to two impossible things per day, at best.
You spent at least some of your life in the workhouses. What were they like?
I see you have indeed been listening to idle gossip. I would be happy to answer your inquiry in lengthy detail—in fact, I have described the hideous conditions of the workhouses to the House of Lords on more than one occasion. I am sure you could find a record of it. Would you like to hear about the lice, the influenza, or the boy who had his hand cut off from gangrene? I could go into the rampant abuse, the lack of food, or the constant, awful smell—
Er, how fascinating! We really must move on, I’m afraid, since we haven’t that much time.
I somehow suspected as much.
And what are the duties of the Lord Sorcier of England?
Primarily, I am told, I am supposed to defend King and country against black magic of all sorts. In practice, there is little black magic to be found, and I must say, I grow tired of noble ladies insisting that their larder has been looted by faeries.
Have you ever met a real, live faerie?
Oh yes, madam, I have. And you had better pray that you never do.
Is there any substance to the rumours that you might finally be seeking a wife?
Ah, we come finally to the question you were really intending to ask. I am pleased to disappoint you. The answer is no. The mothers of the ton may breathe a sigh of relief. I do not intend to marry any of their silly, useless, far-too-pleasant daughters. I have more important matters with which to worry myself.
Surely, you don’t mean to say that you are seeking an unpleasant wife?
I see we must persist on this subject. No. I do not intend to marry at all, in fact. But in the unlikely event that I were to consider such a terrible life choice, I would require a wife who doesn’t faint at the very first mention of a workhouse. This disqualifies every last lady of noble birth, at the very least, since your delicate constitutions are so averse to the subject of reality.
I see that rumours of your, er, manners were not unfounded.
My manners are perfectly suitable for the battlefield, I assure you. I did not volunteer to be elevated to a stature where I must tell pleasant lies all of the time.
I fear that’s all the time we have. But might I ask where you will be going when you leave us today?
Oh, madam… where else? I am going to a workhouse. There is a plague upon the children there which might yet involve real black magic. But no one of substance will care to hear about that. The children are poor, after all.
Olivia Atwater writes whimsical historical fantasy with a hint of satire. She lives in Montreal, Quebec with her fantastic, prose-inspiring husband and her two cats. She has been, at various times, a historical re-enactor, a professional witch at a metaphysical supply store, a web developer, and a vending machine repairperson.
You can find Elias Wilder on the pages of Half a Soul.
Join us next week to meet a man living in a unique kind of prison. Please follow the site by email (bottom-right) to be notified when the next interview is posted.