The Marquise of O--
a photo essay


The Marquise of O-- is the story of Guilietta, an aristocratic widow who, during wartime, is accosted by a gang of soldiers but is rescued by one of their officers. Overwhelmed by her ordeal, the Marquise faints and the officer takes advantage of her.
Welcomed as her savior by Guilietta's family, the officer, a Russian count, proposes to the Marquise soon after. But she refuses him. "Count F-- recalled an occasion in which he had once thrown some mud at a swan. She always seemed to be swimming about on a fiery surface. He called out to her...Tinka!"
Several weeks later, the Marquise suspects that she is pregnant. Mystified, Guilietta sends for her father's doctor, who carefully examines her. "The Marquise has judged corrected how things are. You need no doctor!"
The unbelieving Marquise asks for a second opinion. A midwife investigates the matter. "The gay corsair who has come ashore in the dark will come to light in due course!"
In dispair, Marquise confides in her mother, who exclaims, "The confinement will not take place in my house!" A bewildered Marquise contemplates her predicament.
Guilietta is disowned by her father. "Here I send you the papers concerning your estate. I, Colonel G, request you to leave. My daughter, you must leave my house...
The Marquise vows that she is innocent of any wrongdoing. But her father, mother and brother stand against her. "Get out! Get out! Get out!"
The Marquise prepares to leave the family house. Confronted by her brother, Guilietta stands her ground. "Tell your inhuman father he can shoot me dead but he will not take my children from me!"
The Marquise moves to her country estate at V-- to await the birth of the child. In an effort to "repair her very soul" Guilietta redecorates the house even as she worries about the future. "The little creature I conceived in utmost purity must be divine. But why should this child be made to bear the stigma of disgrace?"
The Marquise reflects on the character of the unknown father of her unborn child. "He must irredemably belong to the scum of mankind."
The Marquise decides to puts an advertisement in the newspaper promising to marry the man who is father to her baby if he will come to her parents house in M-- "on the morning of the 3rd at 11:00"
"A certain lady requests the presence of the father of the child. For in consideration of her dear family she was resolved that she would marry the father of the child."
"So would he please reveal his identity for the sake of the unborn child?"
But who will show up on the morning of the 3rd at 11:00?
Galloping out to V--, Count F-- enters the Marquise's garden. The love sick Count renews his proposal to the furious Marquise. "Go away!!"
At V--, the Colonel's wife, judging her daughter to be innocent, reconciles with Guilietta. "Dearest Mother, it is I who should forgive you."
The Marquise returns to her father's house in M--. Colonel G-- and his daughter are reunited in a tearful scene. At dinner, it is decided that for the sake of public opinion, Guilietta will marry whomever shows up at their door.
The Colonel's wife decides on proper ediquette for receiving the mystery man. "Guilietta, I agree to be present!"
Finally repentant, Count F-- responds to Guilietta's advertisement and confesses his crime. The Marquise's family persuades their now outraged daughter to marry him. However, the Marquise is smart enough to play her own game.