Chapter One

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Extract from: "A Diatribe on the Whimsical Lower Sex: The Educated Female" by Lord Marshall Sutherland, published in La Belle Assemblee, April 1822.

"... Give a woman her education and let forth the wrath of a proud, boorish and disobedient wife. An educated woman is not a suitable mate for a man of principles among the nobility. A wife with a mind is not a suitable woman with which to breed. It is evident that a woman who buries her nose in intellectual journals and the like will neglect the needs and wants of the children and her husband. A woman who thinks is not a homely one."

Response to "A Diatribe on the Whimsical Lower Sex: The Educated Female" by Lord Marshall Sutherland; by Miss I.P. Bright, published in La Belle Assemblee, May 1822.

"Any rational-minded person can say with the utmost confidence that Lord Marshall Sutherland is a nonsensical idiot of the most base wit and form."

Response to Response to "A Diatribe on the Whimsical Lower Sex: The Educated Female" by Lord Marshall Sutherland; by Miss I.P. Bright; by Lord Marshall Sutherland, published in May, 1822.

"Miss I.P. Bright, being a woman of notable intelligence, would certainly make no gentleman a  suitable wife."

Chapter 1

"Blast and damnation!" Imogen Prudence Brightmore swore most vehemently as she crumpled the fine paper the article was published in and stomped her foot in a visible display of childish fury. "That man is insufferable! An utter cad! Simply deplorable! Why, I cannot stand him! He is the illest, most foullest, lowest form of life to have ever-"

"Imogen," tsked Oriana Harmony Brightmore, idly turning the page of the latest works by Shelley, "you're simply causing a scene. Why don't you go outside and throw a tantrum first?"

Imogen cast her sister a peeved look. "He said I am an unsuitable wife," she snapped, irked. To her extreme irritation, Oriana turned another page of her book in a fashion that simply oozed of boredom. She was, Imogen knew, acting this way just to provoke her. It was what the Brightmore children did.

"You did provoke him," Oriana drawled in a femininely uninterested voice. "You've been provoking him for two years now. You should expect such retorts by now."

"B-but this!" Imogen angrily shook the fist that had so tightly clamped the paper the article was written on that it began to  poorly resemble a well-used, flaccid dish rag. "He has stooped irreparably low this time! Oriana, he has tarnished my reputation! By God, I-"

"Were that so," Oriana gently closed the book and peered at her sister calmly, "you would not be writing under a pseudonym. Nobody knows who the devil I.P. Bright is, Imogen."

"Well," Imogen huffed in a remarkable imitation of their mother when she was at a loss as to what to say to one of her many belligerent brood. "I can't very well believe that my own sister can sit there and take a stand against me. My points are coherent and concise, not to mention implicitly valid and convincing. His, on the other hand, are ignorant and archaic, deplorable and induce a violent percussion of nausea in the reader. But my own sister has decided that his opinion is better than my own!"

"Do try not to endeavour to become the martyr, Imogen," Oriana stated dryly. "Lord Sutherland and yourself have been playing verbal tennis for as long as I can remember. These little explosions of yours are hardly anything to remark upon. In fact, I suspect your next step will be to pick up a quill and jot a hasty and biting response to Lord Sutherland's diatribe... again."

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