The Diary of a Scullery Maid...... Synopsis
Although the story opens and closes in present-day Spain, the real beginnings
are set in the early 1900s when:
In England, Lord and Lady Blanchford-Carter, at a time when England's wealth was passing from the nobility in the countryside to the professional classes in the towns, decided to augment their dwindling finances by transforming part of their stately mansion into a high class brothel for the upper echelons of society.Their action would not only inaugurate profound changes for their lordships but would also have far- reaching consequences for the young servant girls tricked into becoming painted and powdered playthings, specially trained to adorn the leisures hours of men.
Into this debauched household came the young and innocent Helen Sarsfield, to work as a scullerymaid, completely unaware that her heretofore humdrum life was about to be catapulted into a bizarre existence that at times would border on the fanciful, the exotic, the grotesque - influenced not only by wierd happenings within the manor but by the tragic events occurring in both Africa and Ireland.
In Africa, the well equipped army of the British Empire was being humbled by a few Boer farmers whose only uniform was a slouch hat and a bandolier over everyday work clothes.
In Ireland, James Connolly was reminding people of Daniel O'Connell's maxim that England's difficulty was Ireland's opportunity.The masthead of the Workers Republic newspaper,written by Connolly,declared in Irish;
IS DOIGH LINN GUR MOR IAD NA DAOINE MORA MAR ATAIMID FÉIN AR ÁR NGLÚINE. EIRIMIS! (The great appear great to us because we are on our knees - Let Us Rise!).
Simultaneously, the ladies of the Transvaal Committee demonstrated against Queen Victoria's visit to Dublin, referring to her as Evictoria, because of the numerous evictions in Ireland during her reign.The committee also condemned the sending of Irish Regiments to fight the Boers, called upon Irishmen not to enlist in the British Army, and welcomed the formation of an Irish Brigade to fight alongside the Boers.
In Athlone, where the First Battalion, The Connaught Rangers was assembling, under mobilization orders following the declaration of war against Great Britain by the South African Republic and the Orange Free State, Herbert Hume, a kingpin in Connolly's Irish Socialist Republican Party, had failed in his attempt to persuade battalion members not to go to South Africa.Ordered back to Dublin, he implored his new girlfriend, Dolores, to accompany him.'We've places to go,' he told her, 'and people to see - important places and important people - we'll witness history being made at first hand.'And as she hesitated, he kissed her passionately, 'My own sweet doll,' he whispered, 'I can promise you sun-soaked days of tender romance and moonlit nights of rapturous love.'