by Moriarty out of Messalina


Senior Member
Hello, I need your help, again.
It is from "the Exploits of Engelbrecht", a British surrealist text written by Maurice Richardson in the 40s/50s.
The scene takes place at the Dogs' Opera :
"Fido, our hero, wrongfully certified through the machinations of his enemy, the wolfhound, Masterman (by Moriarty out of Messalina, and a stupendous basso profundo), has fetched up in the refractory mental ward of the Royal Veterinary College."

I just don't get what the references here. Can anyone help me, please.
  • lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    Presumably the one wolfhound is named Masterman. His father is the wolfhound Moriarty, and his mother is the wolfhound Messalina. (The "by X out of Y" phrase is describing his breeding.)

    Moriarty is the "Napoleon of Crime" in the Sherlock Holmes stories; Messalina is one of the world's most famous prostitutes.


    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    You're right (although some say she did work as a prostitute on the side...). What I should have said was: Messalina is one of history's most slut-shamed women.