Today Professor Henry Higgins and Eliza Doolittle from D.E. Ireland's new Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins mystery series chats with us.
A year ago she spoke the most appalling English – if one could call what she uttered English. But Pick and I spent months training her to speak and act like a lady. Now even the haughtiest titled lord would not guess she was recently a Cockney flower seller from the East End. But such is my gift. I transform people’s lives by changing their speech. And if it makes me a tad arrogant on occasion, I believe I am justified.
Yet despite my skill at knowing where a person comes from simply by listening to them say a few words, I have had precious little time to spend on my work lately. Since Eliza entered my life, I have been accused of murder, driven mad by her young man Freddy Eynsford Hill, hounded by Scotland Yard, and forced to spend absurd amounts of time with the raucous Doolittle family. Small wonder I am easily out of sorts these days, but I am a civilized man determined to rise above such nonsense. Although I must admit there are times when I am rather amused by the whole lot of them, especially Eliza. And don’t think I harbor romantic feelings for the girl. For she is a girl, and I am twice her age. Still, that little cabbage leaf can make me laugh more than anyone in Britain, and she has a sharper mind than most of the people I knew at university. However, I would take tea with the insufferable Freddy before I ever told her that.
Squashed cabbage leaf, heartless guttersnipe – you can see the abuse Professor Higgins heaps on his pupils! And I was one, for six endless months, toiling over wax cylinders and pronouncing vowels or consonants, until I could pass as a Duchess. What did I get for winning his bet? Nothing. He toddles off with Colonel Pickering to Spain, of all places, leaving me to fend for myself. So I accepted when the brilliant Hungarian Maestro, Emil Nepommuck, offered me a teaching position.
Unfortunately, someone stuck a knife in the Maestro’s back. And wouldn’t you know the Professor physically threatened Nepommuck as revenge for taking all the credit in my transformation. None of this was my doing, but who gets the blame? Indeed. And I’m also the one who must prove Higgins’ innocence. What a blooming mess.
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D.E. Ireland is a team of award-winning authors, Meg Mims and Sharon Pisacreta. Longtime friends, they decided to collaborate on this unique series based on George Bernard Shaw’s wonderfully witty play, Pygmalion. While they admit the lovely film My Fair Lady and its soundtrack proved to be inspiration, they are careful to stick to Shaw’s vision of the beloved characters from Eliza to Higgins to Pickering, Mrs. Pearce, Freddy Eynsford Hill and his family, while adding a slew of new characters they’ve dreamed up to flesh out their own version of events post-Pygmalion. Find them at: