My gran was a wily old goat  and I recall her once letting slip to my dad, as she was helped into the front seat of his car, “I don’t think Nick is going to marry again.” That was about seven years ago and I’ve done nothing to prove her words inaccurate. My gran was well into her Mills & Boons novels, a monthly book club for lovers of romance fiction. North American readers should think of Harlequin romances to get an idea of it. Kind of like Mack Bolan for birds. Every lunchtime when I’d walk from school to my gran’s for lunch, she’d have a little stack of Mills & Boons paperbacks on the coffee table.
Years passed. I decided to read one today. I was very quickly reminded of a presentation my old buddy Tony T had given at a 2009 bootcamp. He’d based it on the book Dangerous Men Adventurous Women, a series of essays by writers of women’s romance, explaining how they fashioned the stories. “Get to know what birds pine for, and your seduction game will improve,” he advised.
So it is with this in mind that I picked up a paperback of Georgette Heyer’s Powder And Patch, a 1923 regency romance  first published by Mills & Boons. And, my oh my, isn’t it half red pill! Reading old books does make you realise that what we think is edgy / thoughtcrime in 2019 was in fact simply “common sense” in earlier times. The story is standard stuff: Phillip is the young son of a country squire Maurice, both of them simple honest men desirous of a quiet village life. Phillip has fallen in love with neighbour and recently come-of-age Cleone who appears to share his sentiments, though neither dares voice their feelings. The foppish Henry returns to their village to lie low after a duel in London and cracks on to Cleone to amuse himself. His wordly knowledge and fast patter make Phillip seem dull by contrast, so Cleone goads him to “go become a gentlemen”. Piqued, Phillip sets off and his dad Maurice entrusts him to the formerly-foppish uncle Tom to educate him in the ways of High Society.
Like I said, its for the birds. There are no explosions, car chases, ticking bombs, or strip clubs. There are a few sword fights but strictly until first blood and with no intention to seriously wound. It’s a light-hearted book.
But the red pills! Get a load of this advice as the two older brothers chat about how a man of means should live…..
Isn’t that exactly the life advice Rollo dishes out over at The Rational Male? What could be redder pill than that? It would seem us Euro Jaunters aren’t quite the pioneers we may like to think we are. Later, Phillip turns into a debauched gentleman in Paris and he certainly knows how to go on a bender…..
So far, so interesting but the book really earns its red pill spurs in the character of wise old Aunt, Lady Malmerstoke. Phillip has returned to London and is the talk of Society, the same circles that Cleone has recently been debuted at by the Aunt. As you’d expect from a romance novel, many misunderstandings and awkward events ensue to keep the couple at odds. Eventually, Phillip asks Cleone’s hand in marriage and she rejects him (out of pique, she does love him). Distraught, Phillip seeks advice from Lady Malmerstroke.
Dickheads, I present you with a masterclass in understanding the female psyche. It begins with Phillip having told Lady Malmerstroke that Cleone challenged him on having flirted with too many women already and thus being a man of tainted reputation. Perhaps you’d like to open your copy of Mystery Method to compare it line by line….
Let’s recap what game fundamentals Lady Malmerstroke is advising:
1. Deny, deny, deny!
2. Women want to be mastered.
3. Don’t listen to what they say.
4. Women are irrational.
5. Don’t reason with them.
I dunno, it almost seems like Chateau Heartiste is still writing.
It also got me thinking on another point: the interchanges between men and women in this book are so much deeper and more nuanced than anything a typical PUA is capable of coming up with. These dialogues are verbal sparring, proper banter. The men are impressing the women by their ability to outclass the latter in the art of conversation. It’s a deeper game than simply caressing their hand, pushing logistics, and escalating. These books involve the man winning over uncertain women, not simply filtering for whatever Yes Girls will take them.
If you like nuanced game that pays appropriate respect to game fundamentals while also specifically adapting to the needs of a modern daygamer, get yourself Daygame Overkill and Daygame Mastery. Learn to play the game in Maybe.
 Before senile dementia diminished her faculties, sadly.
 That means set in the 18th century, you clod.