PARIS—At the center of a momentous mystery from the middle of the 19th century—one that involves British explorers and spies, the trans-Atlantic slave trade, and the secession of the South—there lies a tale of cocktails. But to savor the nuances, one must have a broad sense of the times and of the specific eccentric personalities of those involved. So we will begin our rather epic story, which is based on original documents in the British National Archives and other collections, in northern England in 1859: At Fryston Hall, a windblown estate in the rude, rolling countryside of Yorkshire, Richard Monckton Milnes kept one of the most extraordinary personal libraries, and wine cellars, to be found anywhere in England. About the wines, unfortunately, we have no records. But we know the books reflected his love of freedom in almost every form: artistic, poetic, social, political, and, yes, sexual. Three collections in particular stood out: those about the French Revolution; those about the American Republic; and a vast and eventually infamous library of pornography. “ Milnes had many of the books about France and the United States covered in special bindings: the French in the tricolor blue, white, and red; the American… Read full this story
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How a British Spy Drank His Way Across the Americas—and Missed the Civil War have 322 words, post on www.thedailybeast.com at October 15, 2017. This is cached page on Gatofuns. If you want remove this page, please contact us.