The Man who Laughs Part II: Book 4: The Cell of Torture
Much like Hunchback we get a torture scene though it’s pretty different. First let me backtrack a little bit. Back in Book 3 there was this chapter called The Wapentake. A Wapentake was an administrative division of the English court. Basically in the context of this story, if they touch with their staff thing you’re pretty much arrested and here in Book 4 one comes for Gwynplaine. However prior to that Gwynplaine torments himself over the beautiful duchess or the heavenly Dea, poor guy, two women want his love, does he have to spilt his heart in two? Dare I say he’s torn apart. Actually, No, he burns the letter and then the court cop shows up. Gwynplaine is taken silently as to not upset Dea.
Ursus then follows Gwynplaine and the Wapentake to the jail, the Southwark jail. There Gwynplaine sees a prisoner pretty much being torture but not quite because they didn’t torture people in England as that time, instead they deny the poor guy food and drink. The man also claims to know Gwynplaine which Gwynplaine denies and freaks out.
The Sheriff then says to Gwynplaine,
I have before me,” said the sheriff, “Lord Fermain Clancharlie, Baron Clancharlie and Hunkerville, Marquis of Corleone in Sicily, and a peer of England.”
Rising, and offering his chair to Gwynplaine, the sheriff added,–
“My lord, will your lordship deign to seat yourself?”
Gwynplaine is a lord! WHAT! I should go back and skim through that chapter on the English nobles, because even if I had paid attention I would have forgotten. *
Anyway this book was okay, I mean really only a few things happen but the twist was nice though.
*Thanks to magic, (CTRL+F for the name Clancharlie) I found the the mention of the title in that boring part way back at the start of the book.
LinnÃ¦us, Lord Clancharlie, Baron Clancharlie and Hunkerville, Marquis of Corleone in Sicily, derives his title from the castle of Clancharlie, built in 912 by Edward the Elder, as a defence against the Danes. Besides Hunkerville House, in London, which is a palace, he has Corleone Lodge at Windsor, which is another, and eight castlewards, one at Burton-on-Trent, with a royalty on the carriage of plaster of Paris; then Grumdaith Humble, Moricambe, Trewardraith, Hell-Kerters (where there is a miraculous well), Phillinmore, with its turf bogs, Reculver, near the ancient city Vagniac, Vinecaunton, on the Moel-eulle Mountain; besides nineteen boroughs and villages with reeves, and the whole of Penneth chase, all of which bring his lordship £40,000 a year.
Now how could one possibly forget that at the end of chapter full of paragraphs like it? My sarcasm aside it was still a nice twist though.Follow thehunchblog