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"A man who seeks truth and loves it must be reckoned precious to any human society."

- Frederick the Great

Sunday, 3 June 2012

A Lycanthropic Coming-Out in Eighteenth-Century London

“So just how many humans really do know your secret?” Brian had finished reading my last blog post and seemed sceptical. “All this business about ‘coming out’ seems rather dubious, considering that the laws of your Sisterhood prohibit revealing yourselves to humans. Or at least so you have told me: any human who learns the truth about you is condemned to be eaten. Obviously that doesn’t apply to everyone, or I should have long since been served up as a main course.”

“You’re more like an hors d’oeuvre,” I said. “We generally like a bit more meat on the bone.”

“But I weigh nearly fifteen stone.”

“I said meat, not fat. But to answer your question: I have only revealed myself to three humans who lived to tell the tale. The first was Lord Kendrick Llewellyn, twenty-fifth Duke of Caerfyrddin, the father of my eighteenth-century incarnation, who discovered my secret quite by accident on a December evening in 1755.”

“You mentioned him once,” recalled Brian, “saying that, of all the fathers in all your incarnations throughout the centuries, he was the closest to your heart.”

“That’s right, not least because he never stopped loving me, even after learning the truth – unlike the father before him, Rhioganedd Llewellyn, the twenty-first Duke of Caerfyrddin, who ordered that I be burnt at the stake for witchcraft in 1648.”

“Not very civilised of him,” said Brian, “but I suppose the seventeenth century was prone to that sort of thing. Tell me about Lord Kendrick.”

“He raised me alone after my mother had died in childbirth, and was always terribly concerned about my welfare, though his ideas of a proper upbringing for young ladies hardly coincided with my own. To put it succinctly: he intended to marry me off to some English gentleman to improve the family income, since we were richer in titles than in gold. However, once the killings began…”