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Edward Maltby p2

The tale of a Mayfair lounger, continued, from Secrets Of a Solicitor, by Edward Maltby, published 1929 by John Long, Ltd, of London.

The young playboy put his Machiavellian plan into action. He thought of one 20 year old heiress of his acquaintance. He knew that her widowed mother was fond of him. But the heiress wasn’t keen on the marriage. He knew that the widowed mother was superstitious and she always hired a clairvoyant to attend her balls, along with a band and other luxuries. The young man paid one world-famous clairvoyant a thousand pounds to persuade the heiress to marry him. The heiress took the clairvoyant’s advice. 

Later the heiress realised she’d been conned and she consulted the solicitor Edward Maltby, seeking an annulment of her marriage. But she said he hadn’t been a bad husband and he hadn’t taken all the money from her that she’d offered him.

The solicitor advised her against seeking an annulment and to make the best of the situation. He told her he knew she loved her husband, and that she had brought out the best in him.

Later her family fortune collapsed.

Mr Maltby writes he was surprised and gratified by the young man’s reaction:  “It certainly had a galvanic effect on the Mayfair lounger and fortune hunter, who immediately took his bride to the North settled down in a small villa in Manchester, and set to work with his father to restore the old prestige and wealth of the family.”

Years later a mutual friend happened to mention the couple. The friend  told the solicitor the couple were still happily married. Maybe the clairvoyant was right. 

Secrets of a Solicitor, published by John Long Ltd, London, 1929, is full of interesting stories. It includes the author’s account of his attendance at the trial of Oscar Wilde. A fascinating book, barely mentioned on the internet.