Nice work with the Arthur chapter. I'm taking it's an allusion to the Arthur mania that happened in real life (chiefly in the American South)
Bingo!Nice work with the Arthur chapter. I'm taking it's an allusion to the Arthur mania that happened in real life (chiefly in the American South)
Yep. Plus it basically justifies the Carolinian order in perpetuity. It's just egalitarian enough to get buy in from the rest of the population.So, rolling with the punch of Normanism, Gamble figures out a way to have all the nobility and ceremony that ideology promises but in an Anglo-Saxon context instead of a French one.
Maybe a plot twist: they take him, force him to have a child and then make him have a "sudden heart failure", and raise the Washington heir as a prop. Certainly MADNESS enough, but I would think they'd consider Burr and Custer moreso the fathers of the nation than Washington ITTL.One interesting bit that featured prominently in 1.0 was that Washington had biological children. It's unlikely one of his descendents is going to be a beacon of freedom in the Redux but there's been nothing to directly refute that there was an identical divergence that just didn't pan out what with the changes in the mid 19th century. Maybe pm Napoleon and ask if you could do a little something with that? A Washington living irrelevantly abroad during the Great War bemoaning the state of the American experiment would be interesting. Maybe ORRA wants to lure him back for propaganda value and he tells them off in a fiery rant before getting immolated.
That's a really interesting way to look at it! I hadn't even thought of it along those lines per se. If I had to sum up the direction I think Carolina should take (as long as Napo doesn't off them randomly) I think I'd sum it up as a 1950's culture and aesthetic, built on a social framework from the 1880's, and financed via the most modern methods of economic manipulation and neo-colonialism. I do see the Cokies being much more economically libertarian than the rest of the Free World though, to go along with the whole ancap ideaI like how Caroco's turning into simultaneously a theo-democracy, as well as a proto ancap corporate state
Hmmn, to be honest, I miss more dialogue, quotes or thoughts from madness!Audrey. That way the story could underline more how different she is internally from the Audrey we know. A quote at the start of the story would have been interesting.The Belle of the Ball: The Story of Baroness Audrey Kathleen van HeemstraFrom the beginning of the nation's history, the Carolinas have been obsessed with aristocracies and nobility, the country gentry and the noble knights. In fact, the core of Carolinian society consists of a home-grown aristocracy, albeit one that can be surprisingly meritocratic for those who make a fortune. However, there's always been a sense that it "ain't the real thing." Many European aristocrats scoff at Cokie pretensions to nobility, viewing them as "imposters who lack the blood pedigree or breeding" to be a true aristocracy. For the Cokies' part, there was always a certain "Nordic Charm" that was missing. To solve this issue, one lucky man would help import some said charm, in the form of Baroness van Heemstra.
The Baroness at a cotillion ball hosted in her home (1956)
Audrey Kathleen van Heemstra was born on May 10th, 1929, to Ella van Heemstra and her British husband John Anthony Churchill Miller in the Dutch East Indies. Ella van Heemstra was the daughter of Baron Aarnoud van Heemstra, the Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies at the time. The Baron insisted that Audrey take the family name instead of her father's, as he openly despised the man. Discord between grandfather and father aside, Audrey had a very sheltered and privileged childhood, during which she lived in Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, London, Copenhagen, and Berlin. Her family's aristocratic Dutch origins and wealth gave them the ability to traverse the continent in a way most people could not. By the age of 16, she was fluent in Dutch, English, French and German, and could passably speak the Scandinavian languages. She had also learned painting and ballet during this time. However, many of her favorite memories of her childhood were of her summers in the East Indies, on her grandfather's plantation. The Baron was indulgent of all his grandchildren, but held a soft spot for Audrey. This was in large part because of her immense interest in the arts of plantation management and colonial governance. She would spend hours with him in his study, learning about crops, soil, climate patterns, and the fine art of controlling large groups of native laborers. Her grandfather also introduced her to big game hunting and horseback riding on a family safari in South Africa, both of which became passions of hers. The relationship between grandfather and granddaughter was incredibly strong, and the Baron was in many ways her father, since her actual father was often busy engaging in various business ventures, political affairs for the BU, and regular affairs. For his part, the Baron viewed her as the strongest of his grandchildren, recounting with pride an incident in which a 16 year old Audrey put down a strike by one of the plantation crews by riding up to the men on horseback, and lashing them repeatedly. It would become a defining moment in the young woman's future.
By the age of 18, Audrey began to court. The selection of suitors was truly stunning. Among their ranks were a Norwegian fish magnate, several high profile British politicians, a half dozen members of the Dutch nobility, a member of a cadet branch of the Goodyear clan, and several high profile Yankee war heroes who had been made Sers by the Church. She spent several years being wooed by these various men at balls, banquets, and chaperoned visits to their homes. However, none of them terribly impressed her. The Norwegian was cold, and coincidentally averse to warm climes like her beloved East Indies. The Dutch noblemen were clearly only after her for her grandfather's status, and felt businesslike when courting her. The Goodyear fellow was arrogant, impetuous, and spoiled. The Brits all reminded her of her hated father. The other Yankees were all rather boorish and crass, and at least one flat out told her that he wanted to make her "A real trophy wife. Bagging a classy Teutonic aristocratic broad like you really completes my image as a Pinnacle Man. What do you say doll?" Nonetheless, by the age of 22, she was seriously considering marrying one of these men. If she took too much longer to marry, she would go from being viewed as "discerning" and become a "possible spinster." She was on another one of the family's estates in South Africa for their Easter celebration when that calculus was thrown to the wind. Family events were never pure blood family; associates, clients, and would be associates came by to socialize and pay their respects to the Baron. This particular Easter, one of their family's long time business partners from Carolina sent his son in his stead. This young fella was William James Newport II, and he was an image of Cokie class and breeding, even if his father was a self-made man. He introduced himself to the family and found Audrey "intoxicating." After paying respects to the Baron, Billy Newport spent his evening pursuing Audrey, who was slow to warm to him at first. What finally broke through to her was when the young Newport told Audrey he liked her because she was "A woman, not a girl." He later received both her and the Baron's permission to court.
Over the course of the next year, Billy Newport II gradually pulled ahead of the pack of suitors. He visited and called often, was extremely knowledgeable in horseback riding and planting, and indulged in grand romantic gestures. Surprisingly to most, he was also very attentive and listened well to his would be wife as she spoke. When quizzed on this by Audrey, Billy replied "I know lots of folks think us Cokie boys are old fashioned when it comes to how we treat the fairer sex. Maybe we are. But part of being a chivalrous husband is knowing your wife. How else are you supposed to figure out her favorite flowers, or what chocolates she likes best? Besides all that, you have a beautiful way with words." However, what finally sealed the deal was a trip to Newport II's plantation in Yonderland, which he acquired himself without help from his father. It was a beautiful 12,000 acre piece of property growing tobacco, cotton, and sugar, and worked by over 150 natives in conjunction with some modern farming technology. During the course of her stay, Billy used the lash multiple times to "enforce order." One day, as Billy was tying a dishonest foreman to a whipping post, he looked at Audrey and said "How about you handle this feller? Us Cokie men like our women to be like steel magnolias. Beautiful, but tough. Go on, take that there lash and do your worst sugar cookie." Feeling like she was 16 again, she took the lash and gave the poor foreman absolute hell. Once it was over, Billy scrubbed the blood from her hands and said "You're a helluva woman, Audrey Kathleen van Heemstra. I'd be the luckiest son of a bitch on Earth to have a woman like you by my side as I run this place." She replied "I guess you better change your name to Lucky then." After receiving the Baron's blessing (he had preferred Newport to the rest from the start) the two were married on November 24th, 1953, in the National Presbyterian Cathedral of the Carolinas in Charlotte. The wedding was a glamorous affair full of celebrities and aristocrats, causing a media sensation. Newport's triumph also caused a minor national panic in Yankeeland because as the New York Times put it: "The triumph of a mere plantation owner from the Carolinas over some of our nation's greatest war heroes, and even a Goodyear, raises serious concerns about the Fluidation of our race. Audrey Kathleen van Heemstra Newport comes from a truly Pinnacle lineage in Europe, and is by all accounts a Pinnacle Woman of the purest, strongest, most refined Fluids. If a glorified farm owner from Carolina can win her over where war heroes and Pinnacle Heirs from here cannot, then it would seem to indicate that a Fluidation Gap has opened between us and the Cokies, and not in the way we would have hoped. Clearly, the nation must do more to breed the best bloodlines so we can close the Fluidation Gap before the Cokies marry all the most Pinnacle women, among other, even more frightening possibilities." Ironically the Fluidation Gap scare caused a small wave of marriages between Cokies and American women, as the Cokke figured they could try their chances in bagging good looking American women, and the women figured they should pursue Cokie men to improve their own bloodlines.
Natives on the van Heemstra plantation in Indonesia
Billy Newport II, pictured a month before marrying Audrey van Heemstra
Dick Nixon jokes with reporters to ease fears of a Fluidation Gap between Carolina and America (January 1954)
Panics in Yankeeland aside, the Carolinian media was obsessed with Audrey Kathleen van Heemstra Newport for a far less bizarre reason; her aristocratic glamor and charm. She was essentially the embodiment of every Cokie woman's dreams. Plus, her pedigree as a member of one of Holland's great families have her an authority that other women didn't have. Women's media soon obsessively followed her for trends in fashion and homemaking, while her love of horse riding saw a spike in women taking lessons. The parties she threw in her family's plantation became fixtures on the social calendar, attended even by the Chancellor. And with the birth of their five children in the first four years of their marriage (the first pregnancy resulted in twins, and renewed fears of a Fluidation Gap in the Yankee press) the family was the perfect image of what Cokie society considered desirable.
Behind the scenes, the couple embraced dynamics that were more equitable than the surface of Cokie culture would indicate. They kept no secrets from one another, and Billy Newport II was often called "the most honest planter in Africa" because his genuine, intense admiration for his wife meant that he never indulged in an affair, or coerced the native women in his employ into bed, and Audrey reciprocated. This wasn't unheard of, but was beyond the norm for many planters and their wives (women normally stuck to affairs with white men for safety). Beyond that, Audrey and Billy made all business decisions together, and the lady of the house could be even more ruthless than the man. Under their joint leadership, the plantation doubled in size, becoming a leading grower in the area. The control of the workforce was also a joint exercise, and one where Audrey honestly took the lead. She imported the latest and greatest psychological theories of workforce management from across the globe for use, and tested them out on various crews. She also earned a reputation for brutality in "disciplining" the workforce. Some of the time, it was the garden variety brutality that any number of Cokie planters and their wives indulged in in the wilds of Africa. However, oftentimes Audrey, dubbed the Baroness after inheriting the title from her mother in 1957, was a bit more clinical in her cruelty. She wasn't interested in gratuitous cruelty most of the time, but instead used physical and psychological violence with startling precision to coerce the laborers on the plantation into total obedience. It was effective enough that she wrote a book entitled "The Art of Native Management: A Scientific Guide" that became a huge success among the settlers not just of Carolina, but also Mittelafrika, South Africa, and even Lincolnia.
When not managing the natives for her husband, the Baroness taught her children Dutch, German, and Danish, as well as the art of horseback riding. She also participated in safaris with her husband and their friends, and consistently bagged some of the biggest trophies of the whole group. In order to offset the effects of hunting, the Baroness and Billy began the Yonderland Wildlife Preservation Fund, and purchased 15,000 acres with donated money to breed lions, tigers, and other assorted game animals. She also fully embraced the role of Southern Belle, dressing in extravagant outfits designed to make her look every bit the perfect Steel Magnolia of the New Camelot. She succeeded in both looking and playing the part.
The Baroness at her family's plantation in Yonderland (1958)
Chancellor Gamble and his second daughter Grace on safari with the Newports
A special room on the plantation grounds dedicated to the Baroness' most impressive big game kills.
Seeing the positive reaction from people, I definitely plan on more! I'm not super great at dialogue which is why it was lacking, but I'm thinking about an interview for a woman's magazine in Carolina.Hmmn, to be honest, I miss more dialogue, quotes or thoughts from madness!Audrey. That way the story could underline more how different she is internally from the Audrey we know. A quote at the start of the story would have been interesting.
Otherwise, I chuckled evily with the "Pinnacle Gap" scandal. In my country, Spain, we have a "culture" of gossip magazines and sensationalist tv programs, but more focused on the TV programs part, so I imagined a TV gossip show with the participants screaming and debating savagely over who are the most Pinnacle celebrities and talking shit about the couples with less posibilities of having good Pinnacle Fluids.
And yes, that Billy guy is probably one of the luckiest men alive.
Furthermore, Audrey being the pinnacle (pun intended) of Great White Hunters/Egomaniac hunters was a totally unexpected but welcomed surprise! Now I want to see her boasting about her hunting feats in an elegant way.
And one last thing, I share with Spangler the hope to see more.
The words Fluidation Gap have stunned me. That and the term Baroness made me think of G.I. Joe.
The Fluidation Gap was based on the Manifest Destiny Gap Churchill ranted about in the BU chapter. I'm honestly thinking of writing some news reports and stuff about it because it's such a demented conceptKnowing is half the battle, fluidation is the rest
Not to mention Patton's warning to Uncle Joe about a drug gap with the nation's enemies.The Fluidation Gap was based on the Manifest Destiny Gap Churchill ranted about in the BU chapter. I'm honestly thinking of writing some news reports and stuff about it because it's such a demented concept