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I don't know about you, but if one more person exclaims, "That's so Downton!" as if Fellowes single-handedly discovered La Belle Epoque, I may do something regrettable with a pair of canvas pliers and a staple gun.
I prefer true Edwardiana, not an imaginary version of it, and this is an excellent example of it.
Reginald is a fictional character who could have existed in no other time, and could have been created by no one except that master of satire, Saki. As Richard Bleiler has said, Reginald "delights in exposing social pretentions and wreaking genteel but devastating havoc."
Here are all the stories from the1904 collection REGINALD, including the seasonally appropriate, REGINALD ON CHRISTMAS PRESENTS: "Unlike the alleged good woman of the Bible, I'm not above rubies." (As he proved many times).
In Saki's 1910 collection, REGINALD, there is a story called THE SOUL OF LAPLOSHKA in which the author says, "Hating anything in the way of ill-mannered gossip ourselves, we are always grateful to those who do it for us and do it well."
He might have been speaking of Reginald.
Like many of Wilde's characters, he is deliciously wicked and witty, and one might find him wearing after a time. But would one want to do without him all together? I think not!
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