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Posthumous MOTH: Count Robin de la Lanne-Mirrlees

  • Najib Benouar

We usually don’t make exceptions. But when we stumbled upon The Telegraph’s obituary of Count Robin de la Lanne-Mirrlees, we felt obligated to honor him as Kempt Man of the Hour—even if it is a week past his ability to collect on it.

Mirrlees’s life story is the kind you couldn’t make up if you tried--so fantastically “Ruritanian,” in fact, that Ian Fleming leaned on their friendship for inspiration when writing the Bond novels. The obit is worth a read, and lends some insight into the sort of well-lived life a gentleman should strive for. (You’ll want to start by logging a few hundred more hours in your tuxedo.) In just a sampling of the article, things go from reading like your typical social diary (“he embarked upon a rococo career”), to verging on the absurd monologue of an arch villain who spent summers in Rangoon (he “claimed descent from an ancient Basque family, whose members were said to be born without earlobes”), to near-mythical moments of iconoclasm (as legend has it, he coined the Bond family motto, “The world is not enough”).

It’s how we all should want to be remembered one day.