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How To Rate Your Cousins.

As a child I read a book. I read lots of books in fact, but this one has stuck in my mind even though I can’t remember the title, the author, or the plot. Or any of the characters apart from a rather grand small girl who came to stay, for some reason, with the narrator – a far less posh little girl. The grand young lady was said to be related to royalty; she claimed that she was the Tsar’s (or was it the King’s) cousin five times removed. Her less grand acquaintance assumed from this that she had tried to visit five times and been forcibly removed from the palace before gaining access to the royal presence. I was sure this was wrong, but couldn’t think of a better suggestion. I had no idea how the cousin / first cousin / cousin once removed etc. sequence worked.

I have remained in ignorance until today when I came across this chart on Facebook. Now I am busy putting cousinly labels on a range of distant relatives, and I’m sure the knowledge will come in useful for a story one day. Surely intrigues among distant relatives is the stuff of an historical romance? Or, what my old English teacher would have called, a good old bodice ripper?

The cousin explainer
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Kristoffer Gair – Falling Awake III: Requiem
 

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