The Honorable Reginald Houseman, Ph.D., was a Manticoran citizen, politician, and renowned economist.
Houseman had a sister named Jacqueline, who was also into politics. (HH10) He was the nephew of Jasper Houseman and a first cousin of Frazier and Arthur Houseman, both of whom served in the Royal Manticoran Navy. (HH3, SI2)
In 1903 PD, he was a part of Admiral of the Green Raoul Courvosier's diplomatic team on Grayson, and was to take over if anything happened to the Admiral. He wanted to bring both Masada and Grayson into an alliance against the People's Republic of Haven by cultivating trade between the two historical enemies. Houseman believed that the animosities between Manticore and Haven were because they could not get a common interest between the two nations, and that finding such a common interest would bring together Masada and Grayson.
Prior to an economic meeting with Grayson delegates, Houseman was warned by Admiral Courvosier not to speak his ideas about the military and his proposal about Masada. He promised not to do so, but then went ahead and spoke to Chancellor Prestwick about his idea of making Masada a trading partner of Grayson. The idea was met with disbelief by the Graysons, and Courvosier interceded to explain that Manticore would continue to support Grayson in building a defense against Masada. Houseman did not take this outcome well and grew extremely upset, later accusing Courvosier of humiliating him in front of the Grayson delegation. The admiral shut him down with a lecture on the reality of the Masadan threat to Grayson.
After the Admiral's death, Houseman became the acting head of the delegation. When Captain Honor Harrington returned from the Casca System, he ordered her to evacuate all Manticoran citizens from Grayson immediately. Harrington ignored him, informing him that only Ambassador Langtry had that authority. Houseman threatened to tell the Foreign Office about Langtry, argued with Captain Harrington and threatened to take away her commission. Harrington replied by slapping him in the face and lecturing him that the Queen's honor was at stake. He promptly complained to the government, and Captain Harrington was reprimanded. (HH2, HH3)
Because of his actions on Grayson, his diplomatic career came to a halt. Klaus Hauptman was contemptuous of him, but still used him to help get a motion through the House of Lords to recall Honor Harrington to active duty. (HH6)
After the death of Prime Minister Allen Summervale in 1915 PD, Houseman became Second Lord of the Admiralty under the High Ridge government, implementing many cut-backs on the Naval budget. He was removed along with the rest of High Ridge's cabinet after the Prime Minister had resigned from his office. (HH10)
After having resigned in disgrace and retired into academia, he was investigated for corruption charges along with the rest of the High Ridge government, but unlike countless others, he was found not guilty of any outright violations of the law. (SI2)
Houseman was an arrogant and self-righteous man. He believed all uniformed service personnel to be stupid, lacking a broad education and prone to resorting to violence to solve problems. He also liked to flaunt his own academic education, especially in military history. (HH10) Houseman portrayed his interest in the military as purely akin to that of a physician in disease, but in truth he indulged in it as a vicarious thrill, believing that had he been in the shoes of historical conquerors such as Napoleon or Gustav Anderman, he would have done it far better than they. (HH6ch.2)
In the face of danger, he also revealed himself to be a coward. (HH2)