Found yesterday in Lawrence James's Aristocrats (page 4):

"Once at a supper party a ferret emerged from the cleavage of the late Lady Strange, approached her plate, gnawed at a lamb chop and then returned to its refuge. The other guests continued to eat without remark."

First of all: awesome.

Second of all: the way this sentence is structured, it sounds as though Lady Strange was deceased ("late") at the table when this happened. Since the author does not give a date for this event, I assume he was referring to Cherry Drummond, 16th Baroness Strange, who died in 2005. Since the book was published in 2009, she would certainly be the most recent late Lady Strange.

Thirdly, if no one reacted, I assume it wasn't a big deal. How did this story get out, then? Did some harassed butler serving at the table let it leak?

Now, having done some very minimal research on Lady Strange, can we talk about the names going on here? I'll admit that "Cherry" is an unconventional name for a baroness, but sister just rocked it out with her own children, who were named: Adam Humphrey, Charlotte Cherry, Humphrey John Jardine, Amelie Margaret Mary, John Humphrey Hugo, and Catherine Star Violetta.


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