The Earl of Denholme
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Name: Édouard Gabriel Loring d'Alincourt
Nickname (if applicable): Alincourt and Édouard to close friends and family.
Date of Birth: August 18, 1782
Title: Earl of Denholme
Father: Frédéric Loring, Marquis d'Alincourt, 8th Marquess of Stratford (b. 1752)
Mother: Clémence Loring née d'Alincourt, Marquise d'Alincourt, Marchioness of Stratford (b. 1760)
Brother: Alexandre Loring d'Alincourt (b. 1791)
Sister: Madeleine Loring d'Alincourt (b. 1793)
Uncle: Julian Loring, 7th Marquess of Stratford (b. 1745, d. 1811)
Aunt: Henrietta Loring née Dalton, Marchioness of Stratford (b. 1757, d. 1804)
Cousins: Elizabeth Hadley née Loring, Viscountess Weymouth (b. 1780); Emily Lambert née Loring, Countess of Merseyside (b. 1784)
Édouard Gabriel Loring d'Alincourt was born on the 18th of August 1782 to Clémence, Marquise d'Alincourt and Frédéric Loring, who was himself the youngest son of the Marquess of Stratford and the daughter of a French nobleman. Édouard's childhood was one of considerable wealth and comfort, his early days passed in the company of his mother and the careful observation of his father. Though both Frédéric and Clémence doted on their son, it was Frédéric who took great care to teach Édouard and shape his mind. From an early date, he recognized his son's sharp intellect and natural aptitude for persuasion, and he ambitiously groomed him for a life of political exploits and noble extravagance.
The beginnings of the Revolution saw many changes, and though no members of the noblesse escaped entirely unscathed, the d'Alincourt line was protected by Frédéric's ruthless ambition. Following the events of 1789, Frédéric secured his family's safety through various bribes and questionable political maneuvers, all of which resulted in a substantial loss of wealth for the family. The family's circumstances, however, were never made known to Édouard, who continued to live a fairly carefree existence. Even the reasons for the family's visit to England were concealed from him, and in his boyish innocence, he saw it only as a periodic visit to family and a wonderful new adventure. The events of the Revolution, however, cemented his father's determination to raise a powerful son, and in that respect, the uprising had a profound, albeit unbeknownst, influence on Édouard.
The births of Alexandre and Madeleine saw a change in Édouard's relationship with his father, with Édouard neglecting his studies in favor of spending time with his siblings. Though Frédéric approved, his bond with Édouard was much stronger than that he shared with Alexandre, and it was still Édouard to whom he devoted the great majority of his efforts, raising him in his own likeness.
It was by his father's efforts that, at the age of eighteen, Édouard returned to England to continue his studies at Oxford. Though already fluent in English (owing to his father's insistence that his children speak both French and his native English) and able to speak it with only the faintest remnants of an accent, it was at Oxford that Édouard perfected his understanding of both the language and British customs. The result was a profound, though remarkably well concealed, dislike and an ardent belief that England could never approach the regal beauty that was his beloved France. At the conclusion of his studies, Édouard returned to a drastically changed France. It was, by then, 1805, and it was no longer the France of Louis and Marie Antoinette, but of the Emperor Napoleon and the people.
With such a conflict raging in the Continent, an allegiance was required and Édouard's was to France. Almost immediately upon his return, he delved into the world of politics, and with his father's assistance and encouragement, soon found himself in a position of minimal, though nonetheless great, significance. It was in the early days of 1811 that fate presented him with an even greater opportunity to serve his beloved France. Through a series of unfortunate and rather suspicious events, Édouard's uncle, the 7th Marquess of Stratford, ardent patriot and opponent of Napoleon's campaign, was dead. Édouard thus found himself in possession of both a courtesy title and the estate that passed to his father. Other obligations and a firmly established life in France kept his father from assuming the duties of the Marquess of Stratford, making Édouard, now the Earl of Denholme, the Marquess of Stratford in all but name.
On April 2, 1811, Édouard arrived in London amidst a flurry of rumors pertaining to the circumstances surrounding his uncle's death. Having taken up residence in Stratford House, he must now begin the process of fully assimilating himself into the London life, while always bearing in mind his undying love of France.
Standing at 5'10", Édouard is a tall man with an athletic build, which might be attributed to none other than his love of riding and fencing. Dark chocolate locks frame his face, and hazel eyes are the only feature to ever betray a hint of emotion. Édouard carries himself with a confident ease that is at once aloof and welcoming, and though warm smiles may often curve his lips, in his eyes there always lurks a lingering detachment that very little can perturb.
Most facets of Édouard's personality were shaped, at least in part, by his father's influence, but none more so than his guarded detachment. Édouard is of the firm belief that never should he allow another to know his mind. Whatever appearance he might give to the contrary – and Édouard is quite skilled in the art of acting and deception – his true thoughts and motives are known to only him. Yet despite this natural propensity to deceive, Édouard remains a fairly honest individual and where a lie can be avoided, he is always sure to do so. The truth, however, is a relative concept to him, and his fascination with and mastery of words makes it fairly easy for him to maneuver his way through even the most difficult of situations. Though he is of the opinion that the English language lacks a certain vivacity and poetic cadence, he nonetheless appreciates the many opportunities it provides for vague and nuanced remarks; and in the games that he plays, its complexities prove an exceptional weapon.
Édouard approaches every situation as if it were a game or an opportunity to learn something of the internal forces that drive humankind. Every word, every glance, every action is calculated, and where careful consideration fails him, improvisation suits him just as well. One would be hard pressed to find a conversation or encounter that did not, at least in some small way, suit his purposes, whatever they might be at a given moment. In a similar vein, he is fairly adept where subtle persuasion is concerned, and his keen intellect and propensity towards the analytical both afford him a unique perspective that allows him to grasp the complexities of a situation and turn those to his advantage to yield a desired result.
Yet though Édouard is a highly perceptive and calculating individual, both of which almost demand aloof nonchalance, he is not entirely opposed to forming emotional attachments. Those are, however, limited to very close acquaintances and family. Similarly, his loyalty, once secured, is unwavering. It is, however, a momentous task and only his family and a select number of friends have accomplished it. Love, in his opinion, is a debilitating emotion, and while he might give a convincing appearance of a man desperately in love, he rarely allows himself to feel it except for those aforementioned friends and family members. Similarly, he strives to live without fear and anger or resentment, for all of them have the potential to blind an individual to the true nature of a situation. That is not to say, however, that he will not provoke those same sentiments in others, if only for the amusement it might provide him.
In other issues concerning morality, he is liable to hold drastically differing, often opposing, opinions, and he is entirely comfortable with contradicting himself if a situation calls for it. His confidence and ego are quite resilient, though neither is so large as to be insufferable. In fact, were it not for his determination to always remain stoic, there would be no trace of arrogance about him. He believes excessive pride to be a dangerous quality, but he is nonetheless guilty of it on occasion. It is, however, rarely expressed and only appears in situations where he is unable to maintain his indifferent demeanor.
Beyond the exploration of the human mind and the exploitation of man's failings, Édouard enjoys music and the arts. When anxious or in need of relief or solace, he invariably takes to riding through empty roads, wandering through open fields, or exerting himself through fencing.