Cool. Pull up a seat.
Let me tell you about Jeffrey Hudson - a real #dwarf person whose incredible life featured Kings and Queens, pirates and prisoners, soldiers and slaves.
He once shot a man dead for mocking him.
Not long after, the Duke of Buckingham moved nearby.
When he was 7, the Duchess of Buckingham asked his father to permit Jeffery to live with her.
If that sounds disgusting and barbaric it's because it is (sadly, this is not the only time this humiliating practice occurred in history).
He lived at her London palace, Denmark House.
He was not the only #dwarf person there: there were three others - Sara Holton, Anne Shepherd, and (King Charles I's dwarf) Richard Gibson, a talented artist.
He'd pictures of him painted, and books were written.
He learned to ride a horse, shoot a pistol, play cards, fence, and dance.
Queen Henrietta Maria seemed to have doted on him...
Like so many others throughout history, his #dwarf body was made into a spectacle to entertain.
He was at Court to "provide curiosity value and to make people laugh"
Pirates intercepted his ship back to England.
They kept him and others captive for a few days, before releasing them across the border into France - minus their valuables.
He was "the Queen's Dwarf, the permanent child, the jester"
Remember: he was still a child.
It was alleged he made "married men Cuckolds" and "Mothers of the maids".
This was "salacious nonsense". Very little was known about Jeffrey's sex life.
After a failed first attempt they arrived in a small village.
Parliamentarian ships attacked it the following morning. Jeffrey took cover from bombardment until dawn arrived and escaped.
It's not clear whether he did fight...
...but, if he did, it's likely this was limited to night time skirmishes and lightning raids.
He let it be known he'd challenge to a duel the next man who mocked him...
...a challenge risen to immediately.
"When you are only two feet high, it is not enough that you do things as well as the next person; you have to do things better."
Jeffrey - a small target, decent horseman, and good marksman - shot him through the head.
Everything he had in life he'd gained from being ridiculed.
The one time he asserted his self-respect, pride, and dignity had cost him everything.
He sailed for Britain but was again captured by pirates and sold into slavery - probably in Algiers.
Jeffrey Hudson disappears for 25 years.
He was 50 and had spent half his life in captivity (well, arguably all his life but a captivity of a different sort).
The Queen died in France a year later.
Jeffrey, a Catholic and easily identifiable, was dragged out of his lodgings and thrown in prison.
He was tired, old, defeated.
It is thought he died in 1681 - probably alone, in poverty.
There are the usual clichés of Jeffrey "overcoming" his "physical limitations" to "live life to the full", survived more than "men twice his size", etc.
Worst is when he describes Jeffrey as a "prodigy of nature" and a "little creature".
He often writes from the Queen's point of view - not Jeffrey's. But he gets better at this as the book goes on.
But I feel like this is an incredibly glamourous example of Stockholm Syndrome - and Page never addresses this.
Did he want to leave? Probably not.
But the question whether he *could* have left is not really addressed.
Jeffrey didn't live in France for 25 years (because he was soon sold into slavery); he didn't see *England* for 25 years.