Saint Germain was the Elvis Presley of his day. The first documented sighting of him was the late 18th century, wherein he claimed to be a four thousand year-old man who had mastered many musical instruments in addition to being able to turn metal into gold. His manservant Roger was equally mysterious.
Neil Gaiman mentioned these men in a short story wherein someone asked Roger, “Is your master really a thousand years old?” To which Roger replied, “I don’t know, I’ve only been with him for three hundred.”
It was the author, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, who really immortalized the fictional character of Saint Germain by re-imagining the historical alchemist and philosopher as a vampire. His manservant, Roger, begins life as Rogarian, a Gaulish servant who was beaten to death in the streets of Rome and resurrected by Saint Germain into the equally immortal life of a ghoul.
It was my old mentor, Dave Durkee, one of the backers for my GoFundMe campaign, who introduced me to the Saint Germain series vicariously with a novel that featured Atta Olivia Clemens as the main character. Olivia is also introduced to readers in the same book wherein we first meet Roger, having been put to death by the machinations of her impotent husband, she is given the ability to walk the earth as a vampire having had six sexual encounters with Saint Germain, and in her own trilogy of novels she became one of my favorite literary heroines.
The Saint Germain series is historical romance. Each book takes us back and forth through the titular character’s long existence, but what amazes me is how we learn something new about the characters in each iteration, even though the first book you read might take place in 1642, while the next one in the series takes place in 2014, followed by a third book which takes us back to 756 BC.
Recently, I picked up the latest book in the series, which was published in 2012. There may be more recent volumes, but I’m such a Johnny Come Lately that I have named a whole series of my reviews as such. Needless to say, I grabbed the book as soon as I learned of its existence. And although I knew that Chelsea Quinn Yarbro is a prolific and dedicated author, I didn’t know that she was also an accomplished musician and composer, having mastered a number of instruments… like the historical Count Saint Germain.
You may be aware, faithful reader that I recently read Orlando by Virigina Woolf. Orlando is an equally fictitious man who lives to be four hundred years and becomes a woman in that time. This story is written in biographical format and while fictitious, is often referred to as Virginia’s mock autobiography.
Chelsea’s brief bio at the end of the Commedia Della Morte got me to thinking; what if Chelsea Quinn Yarbro is really Saint Germain? The count has had many names and identities over four thousand years, and has many eclectic skills and talents that have served him well. Chelsea is a very knowledgeable historian and an accomplished author who chronicles the adventures of her hero so well, that it isn’t such a stretch of the imagination to believe that Saint Germain eventually changed genders during his undead life. Except that it is a stretch. A big stretch.
If Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, or any of her friends, family, or colleagues happen to read this blog, I certainly hope that they read this last paragraph in the spirit in which it was intended: humorous, but respectful and a little bit satirical. However, if I’m correct, and Roger happens to bring this to your attention, know that you have no enemies here dear Count, and that I hope to read more of your adventures in the coming years.