the eighth earle of asherton

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27 Apr 2008 01:28 #1109384142 by isolde
the eighth earle of asherton was created by isolde
Being a Japanese living in the US, I have a really basic question: What does "The eighth Earle of Asherton" mean? I seem to recall one Jeeves&Wooster episode in which a bunch of Americans are excited to shake hands with this Duke from UK until they find out he is "only" the eighth Duke, not the first. So, obviously, to the UK audience, it's funny that the americans don't understand that "eighth" doesn't signify the rank. So what does it refer to? the eighth generation?? Would someone kindly educate me?
Clueless in San Francisco

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27 Apr 2008 06:33 - 27 Apr 2008 06:35 #1109384143 by webmistress
Replied by webmistress on topic Re:the eighth earle of asherton
Hi Isolde

First here's small something that explains the ranks in the UK . Coming back to your question, yes the "8th Earl of XYZ" is the 8th within the line of actual title bearers. Tommy's father was the 7th Earl . His brother would be number 9 if Tommy died without having a direct heir (= a child). Is that an explanation for you? :dry:

The Jeeves jokes aren't meant to be taken literally. It would be something like greeting Prince Charles as the King of England nowadays because he's the next waiting in line... which actually would be a tad premature and maybe that joke is meant to underline the ignorance of many foreigners regarding the British gentry system (count me in there, too). As far as I know Tommy Lynley has the title rightfully because his father is dead. He actually is the Earl of Asherton. And he's not just waiting in line for the day to come when he's allowed to use this title (in that Jeeves sense he would have seven others that have this particular right before he becomes Earl and besides that they all would have to die before he get's "his" title). :blink:

Hope this helps. But I'm not an expert on British royalty, maybe some fellow British members would be better in explaining that to you. We haven't had royalty and aristocratic titles in Germany for more than 90 years now. :side:

Cheerios!

webmistress

"I don't know. I need help. I'm sorry. And something else. [...] I forgot it."
~ Armand Gamache

"If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck." A simplified version of Occam's razor.
Last edit: 27 Apr 2008 06:35 by webmistress.

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30 Apr 2008 02:51 #1109384160 by isolde
Replied by isolde on topic Re:the eighth earle of asherton
Thank you, HRHwebmistress;) for the link and for the detailed explanation. I always wondered about those things. Not that I'm planning to meet a royalty anytime soon, but you can't separate the class system/rank business from British literature/drama/movie. So the info you gave me will be very usefull.
(I'm still puzzled, though, that Earl is Earl and not Count, when his wife is Countess. I guess it's different from the old Italian system, etc...)

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