Perfect Gentlemen

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Title: Perfect Gentlemen
Publisher: The Nut Hatch
Author(s): Jane
Cover Artist(s): JJ
Illustrator(s): JJ
Date(s): November 1991
Medium: print
Fandom: The Professionals
Language: English
External Links:
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cover by JJ

Perfect Gentlemen is a slash historical AU 230-page Professionals novel by Jane. It contains extensive art by JJ.

flyer, printed in Encore! #1

It was later published as original fiction. [1]

See List of Professionals Fanworks by Jane of Australia.

The Zine Had No Editor

From Kathy Keegan in the zine's editorial:

...all hell-and-high-water overcome, here it is! And I know you're going to enjoy this. I did not put one sticky finger on the manuscript: I'm wearing a publisher's hat, not an editor's hat, as I write this. Here, you have The Unadulterated Jane.

Excerpt from the Zine

""I owe you that debt," Raymond whispered.

"Rubbish." Bodie picked up a towel and began to rub his hair. "If I'm permitted to spend five hundred guineas on a bloody bauble to decorate a woman's neck, then I can spend that sum on freedom for my lover! Liberty is like a diamond, Ray. Wear it like a cloak and treasure it as the gift I give you."

Summary of the Zine

From the flyer:

"This massive and richly illustrated book has been called "a novel of unbelievable depth, intricacy and complexity."

Enter the world of Georgian England, which has been exhaustively researched and brought to live in lush detail; meet, fate to face, the friends and enemies of Nicholas Raymond Doyle and William Bodie Trevellion...

James Rosewarne has one concern: the security and position of his bastard son; but his plans and schemes come to disaster for all concerned.

Paul, Rosewarne's legitimate son and heir has no intention of letting the family fortunes, the park, the stud and the jewellery business slide though his fingers.

The lawyer, Basil Sheppard, is the key to an old man's plan; but had he known the furor it would cause he would have forbidden to sign his name.

Captain Kit Hammond and Patrice Gavroche, the swordmaster, can do nothing to help as a son's fury weaves a deadly web.

Henry Widcombe is a toad, but he knows what he wants, and how to get it. Business is never easy when a man's lusts for youth and beauty lure him to the pits beneath the notorious and dangerous Hellfire Club.

Nicholas Raymond Doyle is a bastard, but a loyal one who has worked his whole adult life in a dangerous profession: a jeweller's courier in the midnight world of highwaymen ...

William Bodie Trevellion should have been a lawyer, but fate and fortune combined to scuttle his chances and assign him to the trade of rogues and scoundrels. He's a highwayman, and a good one! But if he had known what he was getting himself into, perhaps he would have let that particular coach go by.

Andre Brevet holds the secret of a rogue's safety: lover, friend, smuggler, provider of sanctuary.

Bodie's friend, Mick Penhale, is a roughneck, but there is a place for roughnecks when the scene gets ugly; yet who could foresee how ugly it would become --- or the tragedy in store for Penhale?

The year is 1727. The story is timeless: brother against brother, a struggle for love, liberty and wealth, ranging from the heights and depths of London society to the wilds of Dorset and Newmarket Heath. Sudden danger, unexpected intrigue, romance and high adventure make for a wonderful novel from a favorite writer.

First published in December 1991. 270pp, illustrated with around a dozen glorious full-plate monochrome works by Jade (in the pre-digital days when the artist was working on illustratio board, with pencil, ink and an actual, physical airbrush. Curently, this "thick" volume is being done in heavy stock covers, and braid-bound like the omnibus editions. [2]

Summary of Original Fiction Version

From Amazon: "In the spirit of FORTUNES OF WAR comes a rollicking romantic adventure in the world of highwaymen and smugglers. Harry Trevellion would have been gentry if his father's estate had not crumbled; Nick Gray is the favorite but illegitimate son of a rich man, fated to work. His brother, Paul, is a scoundrel waiting only to inherit, and Paul scorns Nick, while Nick performs dangerous work. He's a jewelry courier; it's inevitable that he meet the irresistible rogue, Trevellion. A midnight world opens to Nick: he's drawn into a realm of chanceries, bawdy houses, glittering mansions, and a stormy affair with powerful consequences. The day Paul has awaited arrives: the old master of Rosewarne Park is gone, and his will plunges Nick into jeopardy. It's an age of swords, duels, deceit and sizzling sensuality. Readers who loved FORTUNES and DECEIVERS will relish this novel. "Mel Keegan's name is a byword for thrilling gay adventure in the past, present and future"

Art Troubles

From the zine's editorial:
On the morning the art portfolio was being taken out to be copied, disaster. Seven out of the fourteen pieces were very badly damaged and as a result the artist, after spending about 120 hours producing the art, bad to spend a further 30 repairing it to get it into good-enough condition to fool' a photocopier. These pieces are in fact ruined, but the copier is near-enough 'blind* to the repairs to make it possible to copy and use the work. Doubtlessly, when you go through the zinc you will see where it was mended, was this or nothing. There was no time to re-do it all, and even if there had been, the artist did not have the steam or the 'heart' left to do it again. Try to picture the scene when we saw the damage! Imagine: pencil work is sealed with an alcohol based fixative, hosed on out of a can. This was fine. To protect the work on its way to the copy shop, we were using discarded litho catalogues. We made the mistake of putting the catalogues down on the sealed art about a minute before the varnish was 100% dry. You guessed. The varnish stripped the litho printing off the 'protecting* sheets and bonded it to the art. It was as if a lunatic had taken the original art, put it into a typewriter and typed on it, backwards.

As a consequence, the only way to save the work was to literally paint over large areas. The integrity you can get with a brush does not approach that available with pencils, but overpainting in Designer's Gouache was the final option. Please: find something nice to say about the art, and whatever you do, don't just make the obvious remark, 'I can see where it was mended.' Every one of us can see where it was mended, and the artist was, and is, devastated. She can't even blame someone else, since it was her own mistake, but that makes it no easier, 'sigh*

Hence, the zine is a week late and some of the art is..iixed. We keep telling her, it's still beautiful. Maybe she'll believe that when she sees some nice LoCs from you (hint, hint).

Sample Interior Gallery

Reactions and Reviews


Perfect Gentlemen I read but simply do not remember. It is perhaps the only novel by Jane that I didn't enjoy and I sold it. There are, however, lot's of people who are very fond of it so don't take my response too much to heart. [3]
It's a highwayman novel. ... not my favourite but worth a read. It does have some lovely moments and one or two spots where there's real tension - there's a description of the inside of an 18th.C prison which sent shivers down my spine - but if I had to choose between this and, say, "Flesh and Steel" there's be no contest. [4]


  1. Dangerous Moonlight by Mel Keegan; from a post at Seeking Pros list makers and readers of Mel Keegan's books; WebCite
  2. flyer
  3. comment on the CI5 List (January 29, 1997) quoted anonymously
  4. comment on the CI5 List (January 30, 1997) quoted anonymously