The pleasant Intrigues and Surprizing Adventures of an English Nobleman at the last Carnival at Venice. By a Person of Quality. London: London: Printed for J. How and M. Hotham, 1707. Price 1 s.
The volume obviously did not sell. As the publisher supposed the gallant sujet was outdated he changed the course with a new titlepage and preface selling the volume in 1712 as a roman à clef of political implications - which was most certainly far-fetched
- The pleasant Intrigues and Surprizing Adventures of an English Nobleman at the last Carnival at Venice. By a Person of Quality (London: J. How/ M. Holtham 1707). [Date of publication see TC, Mich. 1707, 3, 571.]
- A Secret History of the Amours and marriage of an English Nobleman with a famous Italian Lady (London, 1712).
The novel is probably the fairest brother of Menantes' Satyrischer Roman (1706) - both offer two male friends as heroes in parallel love-affairs, both include sections placed in Italy. Unlike Menantes' book which dived into the scandals of Hamburg's opera the The pleasant Intrigues and Surprizing Adventures of an English Nobleman remain satisfied with their two positive heroes - i.e. with little of the necessary scandalous revelations. The book failed on the market. New titlepages and prefaces had to sell the remaining copies in 1712 as a "Secret history" - the new preface had to indicate a roman à clef and vindicated the whole genre of scandalous secret histories as vital to all historians who will never get accurate information out of official histories approved by those in power.
At the carnival in Venice "my Lord" falls in love with a witty and anonymous Italian lady. He enjoys a coincidental affair with another lady who mistakes him for the lover she was expecting. The unhappy lover joins the company and awakens in his fury the lady's husband. Gallantry commands to escape and to leave the lady's reputation unblemished. The new rivales finish their escape with an appointment for a duell - "my Lord" eventually wounds his adversary. Soon after that he gets the chance to save the very lady he originally fell in love with from drowning. He enjoys as a reward the hospitality of her family and now has to notice that the lady's brother is the man he latly wounded at the duell. The plot is doubled with similar stories of the hero's friend. Both men finally run away with their respective Iatlian brides - the code of honour is, however, respected, they do not marry their ladies without the consent of the respective families. The language is extremely polite, the morals are still gallant: my Lord's adventure of the anonymous one night stand does not ruin his reputation - his bride accepts such encounters.