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Chapter 14 of Pride and Power is Live


W_L

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Chapter 14

We're back in London! This time I will give you a little geography and some background. There are a lot of details regarding the manner of the gate that you enter and the type of welcome you get in London as a person with a noble bloodline. It's something I should have mentioned during the first entrance to London, but I didn't  as it didn't feel right to add that level of etiquette to the early chapters of the novel. While I do have some working knowledge, limited as it is, of the historical etiquette during this era, I am not a big fan of it.  However, as I am showcasing exchanges and discourse between nobility and ranking, I wanted to establish a light touch of that medieval structuralism that still held sway in this era.

Also of note, William Paulet, aka the equivalent of the Finance Minister or Accountant of English Government is introduced. In the movie Elizabeth and Elizabeth Golden Age, his role is replaced primarily by William Cecil, but in history, they were both important members of the domestic court of Elizabeth I. Trusted advisors in economic and social policies, they shepherded England through a lot of reforms that helped invigorate and improve England's national strength. 

The idea of taxing Church lands for revenue and resale was considered, but it was never implemented. One interesting concept here is the potential of foreign intervention through investment, which modern nations like Sri Lanka with China and South American debt with US have seen in recent decades as detrimental to national health and economic productivity. Japanese Isekai manga and anime authors differ in style to me in this regard to economic interests, while I see the merits of foreign investment, I see a major problem with national security. 

Instead of Colonialism and Mercantilism which were the historical course for England along with the rest of Europe, I am setting my sights higher on a new brand of economic expansionism.

One important aspect that I want to end upon the ascension of Eli in the future would be the Sumptuary Laws. Not many people know this as it was not taught in Public Education, but it was part of advanced studies in Early Modern European History, there was a structural forbiddance of commoners or peasants from wearing or purchasing certain materials that nobles could wear and have. Such limitations were economic chokepoints that an Industrial nation like England had to contend with for hundreds of years. It was a backward law that inhibited fabric makers, weavers, and others from maximizing the resources of England.

Now as for Edward VI, was he gay or bi? Historical evidence is out on him. Lots of English kings had male favorites and sleeping in the same bed was not out of te ordinary back then. He supposedly had female lovers and mistresses as well in history, but I focused on his male lovers more. Edward VI's personality is actually borrowed from Edward II, who was supposedly a gay bottom. I found the idea of a young emotionally weary gay teenager surrounded by merciless courtiers and finding love with his male servant quaint. Barnaby Fitzpatrick was one of his favorites and he did make elaborate meat carvings and dish presentations for Edward (Barnaby is an early example of a food stylist, Medieval Queer Eye should probably offer I'm a job :o ).

As to Puck, he's not bound by any lover or relationship, so it was natural for him to accept being a third. (I did hint Ambrose Dudley was his type, but let me point out that Ambrose is too committed to his own family to form a deep relationship at the moment, it's one of those background things that I may need to explore in Res Publica Christiana short stories).

Jean-Paul Sartre's philosophies on existentialism permeate the story: "Existence precedes Essence" is a concept that one is born with certain parameters, while one develops certain traits. Edward may be a good person at heart, an innocent gay kid, and someone Eli can identify with as a true sibling, but he was born a male heir to the throne. With that Edward inherited schemers and courtiers all vying to use and abuse him for their own power games.

This week's law of power is the 24th law of power, "Play the perfect courtier", which is displayed various times in the chapter from making friends with powerful nobles to forming strong bonds with a group of like-minded allies. Eli was courting men like William Paulet and King Edward VI through selective identification of their needs and interests at different times. 

Notes:

1. There are many gates of entrance in London, Here are all ofthem:

Ludgate, Newgate, Aldersgate, Cripplegate, Moorgate, Bishopsgate and Aldgate.

2. Sumptuary Laws began to be removed in the 17th century, but mercantile laws remained for centuries that limited access to certain materials, despite the development of spinning wheels and water mills that could have pushed for an earlier industrial revolution.

For instance, Adam Smith, considered one of the fathers of Capitalism, was an opponent of Sumptuary laws and their protectionist descendants in Mercantalist economic model.

Quote

"All governments which thwart this natural course, which force things into another channel, or which endeavour to arrest the progress of society at a particular point, are unnatural, and to support themselves are obliged to be oppressive and tyrannical."

When you consider why I labeled my story as Libertarian Sci-Fi, you can probably associate that to this political assertions on the principles of freedom.

(Note: In the past, my political thought would be considered Consevative, but as modern Conservatives have become protectionist (though still falsely championing freedom to assuage some guilt), my stance no longer has an alignment and as such I'm not a Liberal or Conservative.)

3. Historically, yes, Robert Dudley would have been in Edward's Court and (maybe a potential love interest as Edward was into older boys as his favorites), but I am not going to play that kind of Soap Opera drama :P  yet :o 

Edited by W_L

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