by Theodore Kowalski from The Lighthouse Library series by Eva Gates
First off, do not ever call me Teddy. My name, thank you very much, is Theodore.
I permit a handful of people who knew me in my younger days to call me Teddy. After all, that's what my parents and teachers always called me, although even back then I knew that name had none of the gravitas that I deserve. Theodore. A name of kings and men of great intellectual stature.
It was long before I went to Duke (I wanted to go to Oxford or Cambridge, but my parents put their foot down at paying for that) for a degree in English literature, that I knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that my future lay in books. And not any books but rare and valuable volumes. The sort of books that deserve the attention of a scholar such as myself.
I consider it to be nothing but a mere unfortunate happenstance that I was born and raised in Nags Head, North Carolina. My inner-self is a true English gentleman. Some fools refuse to recognize that, but I always present myself as I really am. I tried smoking a pipe once, and didn't like it much, but I find if I wave the smoke around in my closet it gives a nice aroma to my clothes. It can be difficult to find a proper cravat or a good Harris tweet jacket in the shops in the Outer Banks, but in that online ordering has been a boon.
I was also born far past my time. I think the 1920s would have suited me best. I dream of hailing black London cabs in the fog, ladies with Marcelled hair and sleek dresses, men's smoking clubs, and the great age of English literature. I am cursed with perfect eyesight, but I find that a pair of spectacles fitted with clear glass give me a mature, sophisticated air.
Wouldn't you agree?
The Bodie Island Lighthouse Library has just announced that it has obtained a full collection of Jane Austen first editions for a special summer exhibit. My invitation to tonight's reception for friends of the library seems to have been overlooked. Something, no doubt, about that unfortunate misunderstanding when Bertie James saw that 19th century map-book sticking out from under my coat.
Not a problem, I will attend regardless. I hear the new young librarian will be there. I am sure she will wish to benefit from my in-depth knowledge of 19
th century literature.
Unfortunately, that pompous twit Jonathan Uppiton will be in attendance also. Will no one rid us of that pretentious parvenus?