Virginia Woolf and Friends Dress Up as “Abyssinian Princes” and Fool the British Royal Navy (1910). The hoax, masterminded by Cole, began when he sent a telegram to the ship telling the crew to expect a visit from some North African dignitaries. Once on board, the group spoke in accented Latin (quoting the Aeneid) and gibberish. Woolf kept quiet so as to disguise her gender. One of the officers on the ship was a cousin of Virginia and Adrian, but he failed to recognize them. It wasn’t a flawless performance on either side: at one point, Buxton sneezed and almost lost his mustache, and the Navy, unable to find an Abyssinian flag, flew the flag of Zanzibar instead.