A Place Called Gloria
An Essay by Cassie Ingaben and Diana Williams
With many thanks to all the other fans who contributed to this discussion.
Historical and Cultural Background on Dorian’s Title
As a consequence of the Anglican schism in the 16th century, Henry VIII confiscated ecclesiastical properties, and redistributed them to ex
When someone is made an Earl, their hereditary title can either be tied to a piece of land, or not. In the former case, which is obviously a better situation for the family to be, their title takes the form of:
Given Name Family Name, Earl OF XXX
Otherwise it is just Earl XXX, XXX being the family name. As an aside, regarding Earldoms tied to family names, there is only one English Earldom that way – Earl Spencer – and three Welsh (Talbot, Cawdor, and Lloyd George). From Wikipedia:
For peers, the various titles are in the form of (Rank) (Name of Title) or (Rank) of (Name of Title). The name of the title can either be a place name or a surname […] Earls whose titles are based on place names normally use of, while those whose titles are based on surnames normally do not. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peerage#Hereditary_peers
Opinions diverge in the fandom as to what exact name and title should be assigned to Dorian when translating from the Japanese—if we want to stick with a realist (mostly slash-slanted) take on the manga, rather than to go for a (mostly yaoi-slanted) literal translation and privilege the way Aoike represents the European setting through a Japanese filter.
One of the foremost examples is the way Dorian is addressed. In the Japanese original, Dorian is “Hakushaku Gloria”, and in direct address “Hakushaku.” The CMX and the fan translations render this literally as “Earl Gloria”, addressed as “Earl.” Which is fine if you want to stick as close to the original as possible. However, if we go for a cultural translation, Earls are not addressed as such—according to British nobility rules, the direct form of address should be “Lord Gloria” or “Milord.” The translations actually use that as well, which is confusing. For a more detailed explanation of forms of address, you can refer to Cassie Ingaben’s essay “Addressing the Earl of Gloria and His Family” http://belladonna.org/addressing.html.
We personally subscribe to the slash/realist take, and we try to explain canonical evidence as internal to the text (‘this is what an English Earl thinks/does’), rather than external (‘this is what Japanese people think/do’).
We also like to believe that Dorian is Dorian Red, the Earl OF Gloria:
Gloria=title, taken from a place name
The problem here is: how do we get from Luminous Red Benedict/Luminous Benedict Red to XXX Red, the Earl of Gloria? In Seven Skies, Seven Seas, Luminous is addressed as “Captain Red”—and sometimes he is called “Luminous Benedict Red, the son of a hanged Benedict.” (http://belladonna.org/sevenskies.html)
A possible way out would be:
Luminous= nickname or alias
This could be a reference to his “luminous” golden hair. It was not unknown for pirates to adopt another name (e.g. Calico Jack, Long John Silver), to avoid bringing shame on their family name or because they were running from the law to begin with—which he would, after his father was hanged
Benedict=given name (same as his father)
So we could postulate a Benedict Red, Junior, taking on the battle name of Luminous Red, but known privately to close friends as Benedict. There is a neat ancestor/descendant analogy: Dorian Red, aka Eroica, and Benedict Red, aka Luminous. After Benedict offs Tyrian, the Queen makes him the Earl of Gloria, so he becomes Benedict Red, the Earl of Gloria—also known as Luminous.
A second explanation (less convincing) might be:
Benedict=nickname or alias: “the blessed”
Benedict could thus also be a middle name, as a homage to his father Benedict Red (cfr. John Bob Smith, son of Bob Smith). In the case of Benedict being a nickname, albeit derived from his father’s name, there is a neat analogy: Dorian Red, aka Eroica, and Luminous Red, aka Benedict. After all, you need a blessing to be able to go against Tyrian Persimmon and win ;-)
A Place Called Gloria
Our chosen setup of course requires the existence of a place called Gloria, from which Dorian’s title derives. It’s easy to postulate a Church holding near what later became Redhill, possibly even Jesuit since their motto - Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam - could have been bastardized to a post-Dissolution earldom called Gloria.
So, let’s say that Gloria is a small town, named for a local priory whose motto was “Ad majorem dei gloriam” (yes, pun on “major” intended). When Gloria Priory was expropriated by the crown, it became the residence of the Earls, and it is now called Castle Gloria, probably because Dorian fancied himself a chatelain (!)
We have been trying to find a likely location for Gloria in the North Downs—you can see the results here. This is of course pure speculation, but it’s been fun!
The North Downs
The word “down” derives from Old English “dun” meaning hill. So, the name means the North Hills,” and it is a plural. Note that the correct usage is THE North Downs, as it is a largish area not a specific place. The North Downs are a picturesque and affluent area in the South of England http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:S_East_Geology.jpg . They include the counties of Surrey and Kent, and they are relatively near London (about one hour by car). Natural beauties include the White Cliffs of Dover, and the The North Downs Way National Trail. (Take a look for example at the Kissing Gate: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1301413 with a name like that, the possibilities for fan fiction are endless)
Runner Up: Reigate, Surrey
Reigate is a good candidate for the following reasons:
Winner: Redhill, Surrey
This by far the best candidate we could find. It is next to Reigate: they can really considered one urban agglomeration. So Reigate’s good points also apply. Moreover:
17 April, 2010
Feedback or suggestions: cassieingaben at yahoo dot co dot uk