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Duchy of Grand Fenwick
Duchy of Grand Fenwick
and largest city
The Duchy of Grand Fenwick is a fictional country from the 1955 book, The Mouse that Roared. Kevin Baugh, founder of Molossia stated that one of his inspirations for Molossia is the story of Grand Fenwick.
The Duchy takes its name from its founder, the English knight Sir Roger Fenwick who, while employed by France, settled there with his followers in 1370.
History and topography
The Duchy of Grand Fenwick is described as no more than five miles (8 km) long and three miles (5 km) wide and lies in a fold in the Northern Alps. The imaginary country features three valleys, a river, and a mountain with an elevation of 2,000 feet (610 m). On the northern slopes are 400 acres (160 ha) of vineyards. The hillsides where the ground is less fertile support flocks of sheep that provide meat, dairy products, and wool. Most of the inhabitants live in the City of Fenwick, which is clustered around Fenwick Castle, the seat of government. The city of Fenwick is also home to the only bar/inn/restaurant in the country, the Gray Goose Pub. About 2 miles (3 km) from the City of Fenwick is a 500 acres (200 ha) Forest Preserve that features a 20-foot (6.1 m) waterfall and attracts many birds that the nation claims as its own native birds. There is a tiny monastery on the border of the forest which also houses the school.
The Duchy, ruled by the Duchess Gloriana XII, is described as bordering Switzerland and France in the Alps. Internal evidence points to the Duchy being in the Franche-Comté region in eastern France, near (or on top of) Les Gras. It retains a pre-industrial economy, based almost entirely on making wool and Pinot Grand Fenwick wine. However, in the fourth book of the Mouse series, there are two cars in Grand Fenwick, a 1947 Daimler belonging to the Duchess Gloriana, and the other, a 1927 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, belonging to the Count of Mountjoy. There is only one petrol station, which is also the bicycle shop. Aside from these examples, there is no modern technology in the Duchy. The Duchy has a postal service, although mail going outside the Duchy has to be sent to Monaco.
The Duchy of Grand Fenwick is a monarchy led by the Duchess Gloriana XII. In the novel The Mouse that Roared, she is a young woman of twenty-two, and marries Tully Bascomb. In The Mouse on the Moon and The Mouse on Wall Street, she is in her mid-thirties. In The Mouse that Saved the West, she is forty-two, and Tully has been dead for some time. In the 1959 film version, she is a parody of Queen Victoria who is still wearing mourning for her husband, Prince Louis of Bosnia-Herzegovina, who has been "missing" from a tiger hunt for 27 years. In the film, she thinks the President of the United States is Calvin Coolidge, and she owns the only motorcar in the Duchy–a 1920s' hand-cranked model. This is not so in the original books. It is not known whether she has any children.
The nation has two political parties, the Dilutionists (or Her Grace's Loyal Opposition), led by David Bentner, and the Anti-Dilutionists, led by Count Mountjoy, the Prime Minister. The names of the parties reflect their positions on whether to dilute the wine exports of the Duchy. The positions of leadership are hereditary.