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Martinus
Posted on Tuesday, September 02, 2003 - 10:43 am:   

Sorry to be such a nag -- I have already sent you 2 e-mails on this, but my mail program has been acting funny lately, so I don't know whether you got them or not. It is a minor but factually important detail. Anyway, here's the basic text of the e-mail:

<<I have noticed a minor error on the webpages of the Jorkens books (which I am looking forward to very, very much). You refer to a preface by "Lord Edward, the 20th Baron of Dunsany", which from the point of view of the rules of the British (and Irish) peerage system is erroneous, and I hope it will be correct in the books when they appear.

First, only younger sons of Dukes and Marquesses can put "Lord" in front of their first names -- it is only a courtesy title and not a real peerage title. Thus, Oscar Wilde's lover Lord Alfred Douglas was the younger son of the Marquess of Queensberry, and Sir Winston Churchill's father Lord Randolph Churchill was the younger son of the Duke of Marlborough. The younger son of the Marquess of Milford Haven was known as Lord Louis Mountbatten until he got a real peerage as Earl Mountbatten of Burma and became just plain Lord Mountbatten. If referring to a Baron by his first name, you MUST use a construction such as "George, Lord Byron" or "Alfred, Lord Tennyson".

[The only exception that I am aware of are baronesses in their own right -- i. e., peeresses who have a title of their own instead of using their husband's title. They always use the full title "Baroness" instead of "Lady". Thus, ex-Prime Minister Thatcher is referred to as "Baroness Thatcher".]

Second, Barons are almost always, except in extremely rare and highly formal circumstances (I am uncertain as to the details of this rule, but I think it applies to official documents), referred to as "Lord".

Thus, the most correct way of referring to the current Lord Dunsany is "Edward, the 20th Lord Dunsany", or plain "the 20th Lord Dunsany".

Yrs respectfully,
Martin
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Night Shade Books
Posted on Tuesday, September 02, 2003 - 10:46 am:   

Martin,

Caught the email, just hadn't had a chance to get back to you and fix the page yet.

Jason

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