ROBERT STEWART, 2nd VISCOUNT CASTLEREAGH, born, (d: 1822); Why did Britain’s nominal head of state slit his throat with a penknife on the night of August 12, 1822? Was it, in fact, because he had suffered a nervous breakdown after numerous political defeats, as was the official explanation for his death? Or was it the threat of public exposure as a homosexual?

If the latter, as many continue to believe, was Castlereagh actually same-sex oriented? Or was he the victim of an extraordinary scam by a gang of blackmailers who, knowing Castlereach’s weakness for whores, tricked him in to a rendezvous with a wench who was actually a boy in female attire? For the answers to these and other questions, don’t tune in tomorrow, but turn instead to J. Montgomery Hyde’s The Strange Death of Lord Castlereagh, a non-fiction mystery as absorbing as any detective novel.