“The Stranger” new official trailer is suspenseful and riveting! January 17, 2020  Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1277)

In the new Netflix original series “The Stranger”, based on Harlen Coben’s  book of the same name, the talented British actor Richard Armitage  portrays  a man whose marriage, family, and life, quickly  unravel due to his missing wife’s secrets,  lies, and deceit being revealed by a stranger.  And others are also victims of the same malicious stranger’s telling of previously unknown secrets and lies in their lives.

Will these victims  find out what is going on?  Or, are they better off not knowing?  We’ll find out beginning January 30, 2020 for this Netflix limited run series.

 

 

Thanks to TeresaA and the Institute for Armitage Studies  for sharing the poster image and the video link above!

P.S.  I’m so glad that I decided not to read the book before I watch the new Netflix series  “The Stranger” starring Richard Armitage that premieres January 30th, 2020!  The waiting is so much more suspenseful.

Posted in 2020, Drama, Film Noir, Gratiana Lovelace, intrigue, Love and Relationships, Mystery, Psychological Thriller, Richard Armitage, Social Justice, social media, Society, Something About Love, Suspense, Video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Richard Armitage’s new clothing optional Sexy SatuRdAy Selfies,  January 11, 2020  Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1276)

 

***facetious alert*

With the talented British actor Richard Armitage being only three days away from the January 14th, 2020 opening of his new play Uncle Vanya at the Harold Pinter Theatre in London, England (below), we can only appreciate his generosity in taking the time and sharing two new Sexy SatuRdAy Selfies with his fans.

The first new selfie image (below) displays Richard Armitage’s lightly hirsute legs lounging beneath his much marked up Uncle Vanya script (image thanks to TeresaA)–with a tantalizing hint of a brief men’s briefs leg hem showing beneath the script.  The poor man has obviously worked himself to the bone—or to the bare in this case, with his muscular legs on display–in final rehearsals.  And he did not even have the energy to put his own pants back on after a dress rehearsal.  I’m not complaining, mind you—just appreciating.   Sighhh!

And the second new [edited by Mat Khal, Thanks to Mat for clarifying!] not a selfie image (below) goes even more bare with a discreetly towel attired Richard Armitage selfie in a traditional Russian banya sauna (steam bath)—thanks to Mat Khal for the history lesson.  In portraying a randy Dr. Astrov in Uncle Vanya, Richard Armitage has obviously striven to immerse himself in the culture and traditions of the Chekhov play’s setting.  And afterall, one must attend to one’s pores in cleansing away the heavy stage make-up—with a venik to massage and exfoliate his skin.  Sighhh!

Jan1220Grati–Mat Khal has clarified that this is her wallpaper edit, not an RASelfie. Thanks Mat!

Finally, I cannot help but be thankful—given Richard Armitage’s seeming wish to banish his heartthrob image—that he chose to burnish it with these new selfie images.  At least for this fan girl anyway (image thanks to Meryl Butler).  Sighhhh!  THUD!  Ha!

And finally,  wishing Richard Armitage and his castmates in Uncle Vanya a wonderful run!  Break a leg, as the theatre saying goes!

Posted in "Uncle Vanya" play in 2020, Creativity, Dr. Astrov, Drama, Fangurling, Gratiana Lovelace, Love and Relationships, play, RA as Dr. Astrov, RASelfie, Richard Armitage, Romance, Sexy, Sexy SatuRdAy, Social Justice, social media, Society, Something About Love, Theatre | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Will Richard Armitage banish or burnish his heartthrob image in the play “Uncle Vanya”?  The London Sunday Times Interview,  January 05, 2020 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1275)

 

Richard Armitage sitting in chair; portrait via An Le

The January 5, 2020 London Sunday Times has a new interview article with the talented and prolific British actor Richard Armitage –ostensibly as a promo for his new play of Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya”  — that covers old and new territory.  Richard Armitage is currently in rehearsals to portray Dr. Astrov.  The Sunday Times interview gives a retrospective of Richard Armitage’s career over the last sixteen years—from 2004’s North & South to the present day.

And though Richard Armitage mentions that he feels that his peak was with The Hobbit trilogy films (2012, 2013, 2014)—with the international  acclaim, the Hollywood style world premieres, and such—the depth and breadth over Richard Armitage’s long career, and since then, has certainly continued to be on the rise in film, tv, audiobooks, podcasts, and now again the stage, with “Uncle Vanya”.  So at 48 years old, and with over twenty years honing his craft, Richard Armitage is only at the midpoint of what will no doubt continue to be a varied and fulfilling career for him.

 

I felt that this interview took a fresh look at Richard Armitage’s career in total—mostly due to his own introspective reflections conveying nuanced interpretations.  So though some familiar themes weave their threads throughout the interview–of Richard Armitage being a detailed and an explosive dramatic actor, a heartthrob (which he seems to be  perennially embarrassed by), and him finding his roles transformative professionally and personally—his view of his Dr. Astrov character’s perspective in “Uncle Vanya” as being so future oriented that the present and his place in it escapes him gave him another new insight into himself:

It’s interesting that he’s [Dr. Astrov] an outsider in the play. I’ve often felt like that myself in life. I’m quite a solitary person.”

So one question remains yet unanswered with this interview.  Will Richard Armitage’s portrayal of Dr. Mikhail Astrov  (RA’s first Michael role?) in “Uncle Vanya”—with its undercurrent of romantic emotions, times four (Astrov, Yelena, Sonya, and Vanya)—will Richard Armitage’s performance banish or burnish his heartthrob image?  We’ll have to wait and see.

For more about the play, and to visit, see:

“Uncle Vanya, Harold Pinter Theatre, London SW1, January 14–May 2; unclevanyaplay.com

P.S.  And since I’m not likely to be able to fly across the pond to see “Uncle Vanya”, I do hope that Digital Theatre steps up and films it—as they did for Richard Armitage’s 2014 tour de force Olivier nominated performance in “The Crucible”.

 

Image thanks (in order) to:  The Sunday Times interview article; and Mat Khal for Richard Armitage in Uncle Vanya.

Posted in "Uncle Vanya" play 2020, Creativity, Dr. Astrov, Family, Gratiana Lovelace, Harold Pinter Theatre, Love and Relationships, North & South, play, Richard Armitage, Stun Day Sunday, Theatre | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Happy New Year 2020–RichardArmitage style! January 01, 2020 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1274)

Wishing you and yours a very Happy New Year for 2020!

 

 

Posted in Creativity, Graphic, Gratiana Lovelace, happiness, Holiday, Hope, Kindness, Laughter, Peace, Richard Armitage, Social Justice, social media, Society, Something About Love | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

“Expectations” (Book 2)–Ch. 37 Epilogue: Our Loving Expectations,  December 31, 2019  by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1273)

 

“Expectations” (Book 2)–Ch. 37 Epilogue: Our Loving Expectations,
December 31, 2019  by Gratiana Lovelace  (Post #1273)

(an original Regency romance copyrighted by Gratiana Lovelace, 2018 – 2019; all rights reserved);  [(1) story cover art, left]

[As is my custom, from time to time  I will illustrate my story with my ideal cast consisting of (in order of appearance/mention):  Richard Armitage as Lord Christian Blount Earl of Sussex, Kate Winslet as Lady Madeline Sinclair Blount Countess of Sussex, Dame Maggie Smith as Lady Lucretia Beckham Knott, Jessica Brown Findlay  as Lady Elizabeth Blount, Crispin Bonham-Carter as Lord Harold Blount, Dame Judi Dench as Lady Catherine Blount the Dowager Countess of Sussex, Corin Redgrave as Lady Madeline’s father the Squire Sutton Sinclair, Amanda Root as Mrs. Russell her aunt, Rupert Penry Jones as Lord Duncan the Viscount Lindsay and the second son of the Duke of York, David Oakes as Lord Alfred the Marquess of Malten and the first born son and heir to the Duke of York,  Emma Thompson as Lady Gwendolyn “Gwennie” Lindsay of York their sister;  and Margaret Clunie as Lady Constance Knightsbridge daughter to the Duke and Duchess of Lancashire and betrothed of the late Lord Alfred; Hugh Grant as her brother Lord Robert Knightsbridge the Marquess of Wyre and the heir to the Duke of Lancashire, and others as noted.]

Author’s story content and serializing scheduling notes:  For the most part, my ratings for the chapters will be PG-13—for romantic interludes and dramatic moments.  If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with these ratings, then please do not read that chapter.  This is my disclaimer.     I hope that you enjoy this final chapter.

 

Ch. 37 Epilogue: Our Loving Expectations

Lady Madeline Blount the Countess of Sussex’s Diary:  “This is my Diary Entry #55, or #54.  But to be safe, I’m labeling it #55.  As you can tell, I have been  infrequent in my journaling. But living one’s life tends to take up most of our time.

It is the evening of December 31, 1816 and I feel like I should review the wonderful year that our extended family has experienced.  So first my and my Dear husband Lord Christian’s marriage in February 1816 and then in April discovering that we were to welcome our first child had quite engrossed us.  And our Summer 1816 spent at the Sussex Hall country estate was glorious and filled with happy extended  family wedding  news that quite eclipsed my best intentions of diarying our lives.

My best friend and Blount/Sussex sister-in-law Lady Elizabeth was finally able to marry her longtime beloved Lord Duncan Viscount Lindsay of York—because his presumed to be dead brother Lord Alfred was found to be alive and returned to his wife of ten years Lady Constance (nee Knightsbridge of Lancashire) and their daughter Tamsin—which meant that Lord Duncan did not need to marry his sister-in-law as his parents wishes, afterall.  Don’t ask.  The difficulties were quite convoluted.

Then most surprisingly, My dear husband Lord Christian Blount Earl of Sussex’s formerly immature and irresponsible brother Lord Harold  Blount happened again upon his long ago dream of love Lady Penelope who was in a loveless and abusive marriage in Paris—helping her to divorce the fiend, and they fell in love and he married her, also bringing her to Sussex Hall over the Summer, with her being newly enceinte.  And finally, Lord Duncan’s middle sister Lady Gwendolyn Lindsay of York was lately married at the end of Summer to Lord Robert Knightsbridge the Marquess of Wyre of Lancashire—which keeps all of the family relations and connections quite tidy.

And if the extended family marriages were not exhausting enough, what happens usually after marriage, occurred with all of us—with we ladies becoming pregnant and our children having been or will be born within six months of each other.  And we hope that these cousins will remain as close to each other as we their parents are.

First, Lord Christian and my baby daughter Lady Eleanor Madeline Blount was born almost in the middle of the combined family weddings Reception in London in November 1816.  The Ducal families kept putting back the date for the London Reception from September 1816 to accommodate each new pregnancy, thus putting me within a few weeks of my due date.  Indeed, my water broke at the reception and My Dear husband Lord Christian spirited me back to our London home of Sussex House for the birth.  Though I am told that my baby’s birthing was not unusual—it was to me.  Ten hours  I suffered with birthing pains!  But when they placed our little Lady Eleanor into my arms [(2) below]—after they had cleaned up both she and I, of course—I felt like it was all worth it.  She is a darling—a most precious gift to we her parents.  And we will cherish and nurture her throughout her life.

Then, Lady Penelope graced her husband and my brother-in-law Lord Harold Blount with twins just before Christmas!  They welcomed a baby boy whom they named Edward Christian and a baby girl whom they named Caroline Penelope.  They are both charming babies.  And of course, Lord Harold had to tease my husband Lord Christian about Lady Penelope  having a boy before I gave my husband his Earldom’s heir.  But Lord Harold can  rest assured that I am determined to bestow upon my husband Lord Christian a baby boy with our next child, or so—to secure an heir for my Earl of Sussex husband, Lord Christian.  In fact, we would like two boys and two girls.  We’ll see.

And my sister-in-law Lady Elizabeth Viscountess Lindsay of York is due to give birth in the new year—as is Lord Duncan’s brother Lord Alfred’s wife Lady Constance.  Of course, Lord Alfred’s and Lady Constance’s  now ten year old daughter Lady Tamsin is quite please to look forward to having  a sibling.   And finally, Lady Gwendolyn Knightsbridge the Marchioness of Wyre and her heir to the Duke of Lancashire husband Lord Robert Knightsbridge the Marquess of Wyre are now expecting their own baby sometime next Summer of 1817.

 

Happily our grandmothers, great grandmothers and aunts and great aunts are merrily all still with us.  At least we ladies believe their presence in our lives to be merry.  Our husbands?  Well, sometimes, they have a differing opinion—depending upon how officious and high handed these elderly ladies  might be toward our husbands.  I must state how amusing it is to see grown men and peers of the realm chastened by the elderly ladies.  And I wonder if I will ever have that capability for my future grandchildren and their spouses.  La!

But we wives and husbands and our new and impending babies in our extended families have been blessed in 1816 well beyond our loving expectations.  And we are grateful beyond measure.”

Lady Madeline closes her diary and places it upon her bedside table as her husband Lord Christian enters carrying their six weeks  old baby daughter Lady Eleanor, who is fussing and  wanting to be fed.

Lord Christian:  “Our baby Ellie wants her Mama.”  He smiles  at his wife with heartfelt adoration and gently lays their baby in her mother’s arms.

Lady Elizabeth peeks her head into their bed chamber.

Lady Elizabeth: “May I watch you nurse Ellie, Maddie?  I want to do so with my own coming baby.  And I need to learn how it is done.”

Lady Madeline: “Of course, Dear Lizzie.  Come sit with me on the bed and we can chat while I feed her.”  I pat the place next to me on our bed—normally where my dear husband Lord Christian sits rapt with attention in watching me nurse our baby.  But, needs must, as they say.

So Lord Christian kisses his wife Lady Madeline’s forehead in loving farewell and closes the bed chamber hallway door behind him.

Lord Duncan:  “So Madeline is letting Elizabeth watch her feed baby Eleanor?”  Lord Christian nods in assent.  “Elizabeth is so worried that she won’t be able to do it.”  In truth, Lord Duncan is uncertain about his lady wanting to nurse their coming baby.  Usually a wet nurse is found from their home  village.  But with Lady Madeline proclaiming that she will nurse her baby, as her mother did for her, Lord Duncan lost the argument with his wife Lady Elizabeth.

Lord Christian: “Madeline will ease Lizzie’s baby fears.”  He claps his brother-in-law on his back.  “Let us repair to the Billiards Room downstairs while our ladies are convened with my beautiful baby daughter.”  Lord Duncan nods and the two men depart.  And  Lord Christian is delighted to have a daughter, his son and heir will come eventually.

Later after nursing baby Lady Eleanor, Lady Madeline writes a post script to her final diary entry of 1816:  “P.S. And so, as we also continue to support our charities to help those less fortunate and those in need, we hope that they will also come to live more happy lives.  Afterall, for all of us to live a good, kind, and just  life, we are expected to treat others as we ourselves wish to be treated.  And I take that to heart.  So for me, I especially wish for others, every happiness that they wish for themselves.”

Lady Madeline closes her diary and replaces it upon her bedside table.  Then she goes to seek out her baby, her husband, and her extended family to celebrate the coming of the new year of 1817.

The End

 

Dear Readers,
Thank you for your faithful support of my original historical fiction Regency romance “Expectations” (Book 2).   I hope that you enjoyed it!  And I appreciate your voting/starring chapters and your many  kind comments.  Wishing you and yours a wonderful new year of 2020!
Holiday Cheers!  Grati  ;->

Expectations” (Book 2, sequel to “Encouragement):  Chapter 37 Epilogue  images  for  December 31, 2019 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1273)

1) “Expectations” (Book 2, sequel to “Encouragement”) story cover art  image represents Lady Elizabeth Blount, sister  to the Earl of Sussex in black evening gown–is that of actress Jessica Brown Findlay as Lady Sybil in Downton Abby found at http://www.internet-d.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/38/2012/02/JESSICA-BROWN-FINDLAY-as-Lady-Sybil-Crawley.jpg ; the text font  is Vivaldi.

2) Image representing Lady Madeline’s and Lord Christian’s baby girl Lady Eleanor swaddled in a blanket was found Jun1214via-MSOfcClipArt-Grati-sized


“Expectations” (Book 2) Ch. 37  URL for Wattpad story post for  December 30, 2019 (Post#1273):
https://www.wattpad.com/822483885-expectations-book-2-by-gratiana-lovelace-2018

 

Previous “Expectations” (Book 2) Ch. 36 End  URL for Something About Love story post for December 30, 2019 (Post#1272):
https://gratianads90.wordpress.com/2019/12/30/expectations-book-2-ch-36-end-solemn-vows-december-30-2019-by-gratiana-lovelace-post-1272/

 

Posted in "Expectations" (Book 2), Creative Writing, Gratiana Lovelace, Historical Fiction, Love and Relationships, Mothers, Period Drama, Romance, Social Justice, social media, Society, Something About Love, Storytelling | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Expectations” (Book 2)–Ch. 36 End:  Solemn Vows,  December 30, 2019  by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1272)

 

“Expectations” (Book 2)–Ch. 36 End:  Solemn Vows,
December 30, 2019  by Gratiana Lovelace  (Post #1272)

[an original Regency romance copyrighted by Gratiana Lovelace, 2018 – 2019; all rights reserved);  [(1) story cover art, left]

[As is my custom, from time to time  I will illustrate my story with my ideal cast consisting of (in order of appearance/mention):  Richard Armitage as Lord Christian Blount Earl of Sussex, Kate Winslet as Lady Madeline Sinclair Blount Countess of Sussex, Dame Maggie Smith as Lady Lucretia Beckham Knott, Jessica Brown Findlay  as Lady Elizabeth Blount, Crispin Bonham-Carter as Lord Harold Blount, Dame Judi Dench as Lady Catherine Blount the Dowager Countess of Sussex, Corin Redgrave as Lady Madeline’s father the Squire Sutton Sinclair, Amanda Root as Mrs. Russell her aunt, Rupert Penry Jones as Lord Duncan the Viscount Lindsay and the second son of the Duke of York, David Oakes as Lord Alfred the Marquess of Malten and the first born son and heir to the Duke of York,  Emma Thompson as Lady Gwendolyn “Gwennie” Lindsay of York their sister;  and Margaret Clunie as Lady Constance Knightsbridge daughter to the Duke and Duchess of Lancashire and betrothed of the late Lord Alfred; Hugh Grant as her brother Lord Robert Knightsbridge the Marquess of Wyre and the heir to the Duke of Lancashire, and others as noted.]

 

Author’s story content and serializing scheduling notes:  For the most part, my ratings for the chapters will be PG-13—for romantic interludes and dramatic moments.  If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with these ratings, then please do not read that chapter.  This is my disclaimer.     I hope that you enjoy this chapter.

 

Ch. 36 End:  Solemn Vows

With a wedding and two vow renewals occurring over the Summer of 1816, the Sussex, York, and Lancashire families—not to mention the Winston and Knott extended Grandmama and Aunt, respectively—everyone is well versed in wedding rituals, as well as the happy loving new families.  All that remains is to have Lady Gwendolyn Lindsay of York and Lord Robert  Knightsbridge the Marquess of Wyre of Lancashire wed and then a large London Reception for all of the bridal couples.

 

If only it were that simple.  Lord Robert and Lady Gwendolyn both wish for an intimate family wedding gathering with only their closest friends and family attending—with a smallish wedding breakfast.  Then they would consent to be part of the massive London Reception to be held in the honor of all of the recent bridal couples.  And Lord Robert and Lady Gwendolyn threatening to bolt to Gretna Green for their wedding if their wishes were not acceded to, was the final persuasive argument that won the day with their parents for a smaller wedding.

 

So in early August of 1816, a caravan of carriages the Sussex, York, and Lancashire families and their personal attendants, as well as,  wagon carts filled with trunks of clothing, and personal items travel North from Sussex to the York family seat for the lovely intimate wedding of Lord Robert and Lady Gwendolyn.  Journeying with three pregnant ladies—because by then Lady Constance also thinks that she might be breeding—and three elderly grandmothers and aunts, is a bit daunting.  So the families elect to make the trek over a sennight of easy stages—with longer hours of travel on the first three days staying overnight at  excellent hostelries and a brief overnight sojourn in London at their townhouses, before the elderly ladies and the pregnant ladies begin complaining more strenuously about the  uneven road conditions due to recent rains causing for bumpy rides, necessitating more breaks in traveling.

But in the end, they all arrive in York—with the York and Lancashire ducal parents swiftly attending to the York Cathedral wedding and York Castle wedding breakfast details over the following week.  This following week also allows the elderly ladies to nap near continuously whilst the other ladies flutter around Lady Gwendolyn and  creating a bridal gown for her.  The men do what men do—shoot birds and game, shoot  pool, and play cards.

 

A now very pregnant Lady Madeline Blount, Countess of Sussex has the inspired suggestion of exploring the castle attics for suitable wedding gowns that could be altered for Lady Gwendolyn.  She had made a similar happy suggestion for Lady Elizabeth’s earlier wedding gown selection for her marriage to Lord Duncan the Viscount Lindsay of York.

 

Well, at now almost six months pregnant, Lady Madeline, nor the other less pregnant ladies in Lady Penelope and Lady Constance are doing the attic searching.  Rather, Lady Gwendolyn and Little Lady Tamsin lead the servants up to the attics to identify trunks of clothing to be brought down to the family bed chambers wing parlor for dress fittings.

 

Lady Tamsin:  “Oh, Mama Lady Constance!”  She exclaims excitedly, lapsing back to her previously more formal mode of address for her Mama when her parentage was a secret.  There are so many old clothes in the York Castle Attics that we could clothe the poor of London!”

 

Lady Constance:  “That is a sweet thought, Tammy Dear.  But  silks and satins are not proof against the cold in Winter.”

 

Lady Tamsin:  “But the velvet gowns would be warm, Mama.”  She raises her little eyebrow as an indication that she feels that her argument is sound.

 

Lady Constance: “Indeed, Tammy Dear.  But let us table your largesse—of using someone else’s possessions—and focus upon Dear Lady Gwen’s wedding gown needs.”

 

Lady Gwendolyn: “Thank you, My Lady Constance.”  Lady Gwendolyn cannot help but smile for the enthusiasm of little Lady Tamsin.

 

Lady Penelope:  Patting her now almost four months pregnant tummy, she requests.  “If our ladies maids could please open each trunk and then lay the heirloom wedding gowns out upon the settee over there, we might take a look at them.”  For Lady Penelope is forbidden from doing anything strenuous by her husband—even lifting a wedding gown out of trunk.

 

Lady Elizabeth: “Oh, Lady Gwen!  These are so beautiful!  A wonderful suggestion again, Lady Maddie.”  She smiles at her dearest friend and sister-in-law Lady Madeline, who nods her head in thanks for the recognition.

 

And with Lady Elizabeth Viscountess Lindsay of York not being with child—as far as she knows after being only married for one month—she easily picks up a pale blue wedding gown embellished with darker blue embroidery of vines and flowers along the edge of the bodice and at the bottom of the skirting and holds it in front of Lady Gwendolyn for everyone’s inspection.

 

All the ladies sigh at the beauty of the light blue gown.  However, as Lady Elizabeth picks up each gown and holds it in front of Lady Gwendolyn—from a selection of satins, silks, and velvets—much sighing is also in evidence.

 

Lady Gwendolyn:  “They are all beautiful gowns.”  She sighs.  “I cannot choose between them.”

 

Lady Madeline: “Gwen, you should try on each of these gowns before you make a decision.  We will likely have to have one of our maids alter whichever gown you choose, but it will give you an idea about the fit and style of each gown on you to begin with.”

 

Everyone nods their agreement.   So Lady Gwendolyn  goes behind a standing screen they had brought  into the family bed chambers wing parlor for just this purpose.  And in addition to her Ladies Maid, little Lady Tamsin eagerly waits by the standing screen to help hand each gown to the ladies maid.

 

Unfortunately, it is soon discovered that many of these ancient wedding gowns—dating to from fifty to one hundred years ago—were for much more petite and tinier waisted ladies, since ladies of today are a few inches taller and more generously bosomed.  A dress height can be easily altered with an extra fabric flounce at the bottom of the gown, but tiny bodices would have to be completely redone, and there is not time for that. So the light blue satin gown that everyone had oohed and ahhed over first is discarded as an option.

However, little Lady Tamsin latches onto it and asks  her and her Mama’s ladies maid to help her change into it.  Since Lady Gwendolyn does not object, Lady Constance acquiesces and waves her daughter to try on the gown.  Naturally, Lady Tamsin sashays up and down the large parlor indicating her love for the gown.  And in the spirit of family togetherness, Lady Gwendolyn promptly gives the gown to her niece Lady Tamson—pending her Mama Duchess of York’s approval.  Of course much squealing of joy on Lady Tamsin’s part ensues—until her Mama Lady Constance gently beckons her daughter to her and whispers her wish for Tammy to help everyone focus upon Lady Gwendolyn’s wedding gown selection.

 

And after seeing much insect infestation on the inside panels of several of the other outwardly  lovely wedding gowns, Lady Gwendolyn is loathe to try them on without their having a good cleaning.  So her immediate choice of wedding gowns is reduced to  a dark blue velvet—rather hot to wear for August—and a medium blue damask patterned silk with a wide lace color.  And in putting on this silk gown, Lady Gwendolyn finds it pleasing , despite the gown being quite roomy.

 

Lady Gwendolyn:  “I like this gown.  Though its bodice and waist will have to be taken in to fit my smaller frame.  I wonder why this gown is so much larger than the others?”  She asks innocently.  Lady Elizabeth also looks confused.

 

The married ladies glance at each other knowingly and smile. Both Lady Madeline at nearly six months along and Lady Penelope at near four months along absentmindedly stroke their pregnant bellies.

 

Lady Constance:  Lady Constance whispers  to Lady Gwendolyn, , but   loudly enough for all to hear.  “Enceinte?”

 

But neither Lady Gwendolyn nor Lady Elizabeth have not heard that term before, and the already married  ladies titter with laughter before explaining.

 

Lady Madeline:  “Lady Constance refers to an early baby.”  She blushes in explanation.  Then Lady Gwen and Lady Elizabeth nod.  Though Lady Tamsin is still left unenlightened.

 

Lady Gwendolyn: “Ohhh!”  She smiles in blushing surprise.  “Who would have thought that any of our York ancestors were so passionate  as to anticipate their wedding vows?”

 

And then,  Lady Gwendolyn’s  Mama walks in and sees Lady Gwendolyn in the roomier blue silk  wedding gown option.

 

Duchess of York: “Oh my dear!  You look beautiful in that wedding gown!”  Then she rushes to embrace her daughter and gives her a kiss.  Yet, she is holding something back.

 

Lady Gwendolyn: “I do love it!  But it will have to be altered to fit my smaller form.”

 

Duchess of York:  She smiles blushingly.  “Yes, well.  All gowns need to be altered now and again.  And you know this was your grandmother York’s wedding gown.”  The air buzzes with anticipation of her next remark.  “And it was so lovely that I also wore it as my wedding gown.  I cannot think how my gown ended up amidst these older gowns. And we will have to find a lovely white veil for your to wear with either a York or Lancashire tiara.”

 

But the Duchess’ admission of the plumper wedding gown being hers—when now as a mature lady she is quite slim, as usual—the married ladies minds are all agog.  But they refrain from asking or stating the obvious out of respect and decorum.  However decorum is yet to be firmly situated in the mind and the behaviors of their youngest family member who is present.

 

Lady Tamsin: Tugging her grandmother’s gown, Lady Tamsin asks.  “Grandmama Duchess, what is an early baby?”

 

Duchess of York:  Realizing that her extended family must have guessed the reason for the wedding gown’s fullness, the Duchess of York blushes crimson.  “Ohh!”  And she is too embarrassed to reply.

 

Lady Tamsin: “But you did not answer me, Grandmama.”

 

Lady Constance:  Hoping to smooth over the obvious embarrassment on the part of the Duchess of York, Lady Constance redirects our daughter’s thoughts.  “Not now, Tammy Dear.  Do you not want to ask your Grandmama Duchess if you may keep this gown you are wearing?” Lady Tamsin nods her head up and down so vigorously that  her Mama fears that she might hurt herself.

 

Lady Gwendolyn:  “Mama Duchess?  Since the gown Tammy is wearing already fits her, I thought that she might keep it—and wear it in my wedding as my flower girl.”  Lady Gwendolyn adds with flourish—finding yet another way to distract her niece from her wondering about what they meant regarding an early baby.

 

Lady Tamsin:  “Oh Yes, please, Grandmama Duchess! May I keep this gown and be my Aunt Lady Gwendolyn’s flower girl?”  Tammy hugs her Grandmama around her waist.

 

Duchess of York: “Of course you may, Tammy Dear!”  She sighs in relief.

 

The ladies all smile sweetly at each other, and no one is going to bring up the revelation that Lord Alfred of York was an early baby.

***

Eschewing hunting sports, the men still take a bracing ride out with their horses and dogs to a large pond on the York Castle estate and proceed to fish.  Fishing is a more sedate occupation, but one well suited to Lord Robert’s reserved temperament.  And Lord Duncan the Viscount Lindsay of York can’t help but needle his soon to be brother-in-law.

 

Lord Duncan: “Need any insights into marriage or the wedding night, old boy?”  Lord Duncan  jests jovially as his brother Lord Alfred, brother-in-law Lord Christian, and the ducal fathers smile.

 

Lord Robert:  “Certainly not!”  Lord Robert  puffs huffily in  indignance—for his dignity has been injured.

 

Lord Alfred: “Oh come now, Lord Robert.  Even though I was purported to already be a married man—though my amnesia was a hindrance, I’ll acknowledge—I welcomed suggestions as to how to insure the long term happiness of my wife and family.”

 

Lord Robert: “It is just that gentlemen do not discuss such personal matters.”  Lord Robert’s face pinches in embarrassment.

 

Lord Christian: “But they should.  No matter what your experience of women might be, I have found that a wife is so much more … more than I could have imagined or expected.  I speak in general terms, obviously.”  For Lord Christian Blount, Earl of Sussex is a young husband still learning what is required of him.

 

Lord Harold:  “I agree.  My Lady Penelope is endlessly fascinating.  And I will cherish her and seek her happiness above my own as long as we both shall live. Hhhhh!”  Lord Harold Blount of Sussex is young and only newly married man, but a besotted one.

 

Lord Robert: “Well, of course!  I esteem Lady Gwendolyn, my betrothed, above all others.  She has a grace and poise that other ladies can only aspire to attain.”  Lord Robert’s face assumes an admiringly gaze as he reflects upon his soon to be wife.

 

Lord Harold: “You say that now.  But wait until you see her upset and feisty.  My advice is to stand back and agree with anything she says.”   Then all the men laugh loudly at that remark, save Lord Robert.

 

Lord Robert:  “You cannot speak from knowledge of her.  Lady Gwendolyn is very even tempered.  That is why we are so well suited to one another.”

Lord Harold: “Well, just make sure your carriage does not break down in the future, Old Boy, or you will be treated to her most strong opinions and displeasure.” Lord Harold is recalling when he rescued Lady Gwen and her servants from just such a calamity as she traveled to Sussex earlier in the Summer.

 

Duke of York:  Silent up until now, the Duke of York weighs in.  “Lord Robert, I thank you for your very kind praise for my daughter and your betrothed  Lady Gwendolyn.”  He pauses, not wanting to steer Lord Robert away from his daughter, but also not wanting him to be astonished by her true nature.  “But …ah… However, she is a woman of both a strong character and a strong mind.  And she does not suffer fools gladly, though her charity and compassion toward those in need is exemplary.”

 

Lord Robert: “Indeed.”  Then he is momentarily distracted by a fish tugging on his fishing line.  “Oh my!  I think that I have actually caught a fish!”

 

Duke of Lancashire:  “That’s it, My Boy!  Reel it in!  Perhaps we can have our catches added to tonight’s menu?”  Although some of the men will be without a fish course if their fishing today does not improve.

 

Lord Robert: “Must we kill it?  Could we not release the fish back into the pond to live a long and happy fish life?”  He asks forlornly.  For though Lord Robert is a hearty eater of meat, he does not like to reflect upon that it was once a living thing.

 

Lord Harold:  “Well, a happy life as an injured fish until one of the rest of us catches it.  It is best to put the fish out of its misery with a swift kill.”  Lord Harold’s inveterate sarcasm is not appreciated, least of all by his brother.

 

Lord Christian: “Harold?  There is no need to speak to Lord Robert in that manner.  He has a right to his opinions about sport—no matter how different they might be from our opinions.”  Well, Lord Christian was trying to bolster Lord Robert.  But he does so while also indicating that he agrees with his brother Lord Harold’s assessment of humanely killing animals .

 

Lord Alfred: “All we ask, Lord Robert is that you love and cherish my sister Lady Gwendolyn.  You and she might have some differences, but you will work through them.  And I can attest that having my wife back, and our family including our daughter Lady Tamsin is a blessing that I will thank the deity for all of my days.  I wish you equal felicity with Lady Gwendolyn.”

 

Lord Robert: “Thank you , Lord Alfred.  You are most gracious.  And I will consider all that everyone here to day has said.”  He pauses.  “But will someone please help me with this poor fish?”  Lord Robert asks has he holds his fishing rod out for someone to take and to do the deed of ending the poor fish’s life.

 

***

As desired, the wedding of Lady Gwendolyn Lindsay of York and Lord Robert Knightsbridge the Marquess of Wyre of Lancashire is a lovely affair held at her family’s York Cathedral.  Although the attendance was not as small as the bride and groom  would have liked—with several peers living nearby and having to be asked to join them or risk offending them, and possibly losing their support  on important bills in the House of Lords.

 

Of course their niece Lady Tamsin delighted in her flower girl role in her new old gown of light blue satin.  She tossed flower petals down the long York Cathedral aisle as the Duke of York led his daughter Lady Gwendolyn to her groom Lord Robert waiting for her at the altar railing.  Lord Robert was enchanted by his bride Lady Gwendolyn’s beauty and grace as she seemed to float toward him in her blue satin wedding gown.  And Lady Gwendolyn admired her groom Lord Robert’s sparing and elegant wedding clothes of a navy blue super fine jacket over a snowy white cravat and embroidered silver waistcoat  over buff pantaloons.  Their vows were heartfelt—with Lady Gwendolyn’s usually strong voice quivering at the till death do us part bit—because each of them had lost their first loves to untimely deaths, and their marriage is each of them finding love and life anew [(2) below].

 

The wedding breakfast at York Castle consisted of light refreshments and no alcohol—at both the bride’s and groom’s request, to be family friendly for their and their friends children who were also invited, with punch, lemonade, and tea as beverages to the high tea fare prepared by the York Castle chef.  So needless to say, peripheral guests put in an appearance at the wedding and wedding breakfast, then headed home to raid their own wine cellars.  And the Yorks had also arranged a smaller wedding refreshment repast in the servants’ hall below as a thank you for their help.  And the newlyweds snuck down to the servants’ hall to thank them for their well wishes.

Eventually, Lord Robert and Lady Gwendolyn are able to sneak away from their wedding breakfast family and guests.  They had decided to stay home for their wedding night and leave the traveling for their wedding trip to begin on the morrow.  However, in staying home for their wedding night, Lady Gwendolyn has a bit of a surprise for her new husband Lord Robert.  After changing into a casual carriage gown and carrying a small valise, Lady Gwendolyn knocks on Lord Robert’s guest bedchamber door.  As he opens his bedroom door, she sees that Lord  Robert has changed into country sporting attire as she requested through her ladies maid to his valet.  He also has a valise with him.

 

Lady Gwendolyn:  “Oh, good!  I see that you are ready.  Then let us be off.”

 

Lord Robert: Feeling a bit off balance with Lady Gwendolyn taking charge of their wedding night, Lord Robert queries as he walks out of his bedchamber and follows her down the back servants’ stairs.  “But I thought that we are staying tonight in your home, rather than beginning our wedding trip?”  He is puzzled by this change in plans.

 

Lady Gwendolyn:  “Well, we are not traveling far.”  Then she leans up to his ear and whispers, so no random servant can hear her.  “We are going to my home on the York estate, where we can be private with each other—no interruptions.”  She knows that her brother Lord Duncan the Viscount Lindsay of York and probably his brother-in-law Lord Harold Blount might try to pull a prank on them.

 

Lord Robert:  “Interruptions?”

 

Lord Robert  blanches.  He can not think what she is referring to.  But he follows her out of York Castle to the stables where a waiting small gig and single horse are being tended to by a groom. And he lifts her up onto the seat.

 

Lady Gwendolyn:  Holding the reins, she asks sweetly.  “Would you mind if I drive?  My horse Mabel is used to me driving.  And I want to get us speedily away.

 

Lord Robert: “Naturally, most sensible.  Proceed.” He waves his hand in a lets get to it circular motion.

 

After a short quarter hour ride that is most pleasant due to the weather, the scenery, and his bride’s excellent handling of the gig and her horse, they arrive at a small cottage with smoke coming out of the chimney.

 

Lady Gwendolyn: “Oh Robert, if you could please unhitch Mabel from the carriage, wipe her down, and then stable her for the night, there  should already be hay and water waiting for her. And then bring in our valises for us.”  She has had their cottage stay  well planned as she walks toward the front door of the cottage.

 

Lord Robert:  “Very well.  But if you drove because you are worried that Mabel would be skittish were I to have driven, do you want to risk me getting kicked by her as I settle her into the stable here?”

 

Lady Gwendolyn: Rolling her eyes, she walks back to her new husband, in the spirit of compromise. “Of course.”  He pouts.  “Not that I want you to be kicked by Mabel, but that I need to introduce you to her.”  She takes his hand and walks him around to the front of her horse and puts his hand on her nose, the horse’s nose.  “Just gently rub her nose, Robert.  Mabel?  This is my new husband Robert.”  She says as she strokes the mare’s neck.  “You will be seeing a lot of us when we are visiting Mama and Papa.  But for now, it is time for you to rest.  So Robert will unhitch you and put you into your stable.  Sleep well, Mabel.”

 

Then Lady Gwendolyn hugs the horse around its neck.  Mabel snorts in reply and slightly moves her head up and down, which startles Robert.

Lord Robert:  Returning to rubbing the horse’s nose, he greets her, the horse Mabel, as Lady Gwendolyn waves and  walks to the cottage.  “Well Mabel, it’s just you and I for a bit now.”  He unhitches the horse from the gig and walks her to the small horse barn and her stable.  “Ah and here we see your stall—with nice fresh hay and water as my wife indicated.”  Then he ponders while he rubs down Mabel, the horse, using a brush that was hanging from the stall wall.  “Any insights on how I keep your mistress happy, old girl?”

 

Mabel, the horse, turns her head to look back at him, with a knowing eye.  Lord Robert makes the best interpretation of that gesture that he can before returning the brush to the hook on the wall and closing and latching Mabel into her horse stall.

 

After Lord Robert takes the short walk to the cottage and enters it, placing their valises inside the cottage, he sees his new wife Lady Gwendolyn waiting for him.  The air crackles with anticipation of their wedding night to come, and they each shyly blush and look away from each other.

 

Lady Gwendolyn:  “Shall I show you around my cottage, such as it is.”  She motions to the large open room with a small kitchen and dining area tucked into the side.  The fireplace has a small fire going since though still Summer, the August nights can become chilly—especially in the North, where they are.  “Oh and the bed chamber is that door there.”  She points to the door on one side of the fireplace which shares a wall with the room.  “there is a bathing chamber attached for convenience.”  She offers helpfully.  “Is there anything you need?”

Lord Robert is a bit flummoxed, because his wife has so far set the scene of their wedding night seduction.  And for some reason, he wants to be her dashing swain.

 

Lord Robert: “I do have a request.”  He smiles warmly at her.  Then he takes two strides to reach her, and he lifts her up into his arms.

 

Lady Gwendolyn: “Oh!” She laughs.

 

Lord Robert:  “Since you prevented me from carrying you across the threshold, Madam, it behooves you to allow me to tender you my services for our bed chamber.”  His voice smoulders with desire.  Lord Robert had vowed to himself to treat Lady Gwendolyn patiently and gently on their wedding night.  But with her boldly changing their wedding night location, he views her as more a participant in his seduction—rather than merely as a recipient of it.

Lord Robert stalks over to the bed chamber door that is slightly ajar and turns sideways as he sweeps his new wife Lady Gwendolyn into it.

 

Lady Gwendolyn:  Then she points to their valises.  “Oh but what about …”

 

Lady Gwendolyn’s  question is stilled by Lord Robert kissing her firmly on her rosebud mouth.  He continues his incursion as he moves them near to the large bed that nearly engulfs the whole room.  Then he gently lays her down upon the bed and he starts to remove his outer clothing.

 

Lord Robert: “You were saying, My Love?”  He unties his cravat after removing his tweed jacket.

 

Lady Gwendolyn: “What?”  She is transfixed to see her husband so eagerly removing his clothes, in front of her.  He stills and raises an eyebrow.  “Oh yes!  Our valises that you set down by the front door.  Shall I get them and you may undress privately?”  She asks nervously.

 

Lord Robert: “No need.  I will get them for us.”  And he does so, the cottage is so small that with his long legs he is only a few strides away from anywhere in it.  He returns with their valises and hands Lady Gwendolyn her valise.

 

Lady Gwendolyn: “Thank you.  I will just go into the bathing chamber and …”  She stops, finding herself a tad flustered for nearly explaining to her new husband about the personal matter that she will be attending to—changing clothes.

 

Lord Robert: “Excellent!  Might I peek inside the bathing chamber before you visit it?”  She nods her head and he does so.  “Very nice.  After you, My Love.”  He holds out his arm and she walks into the bathing chamber.  “I’ll will just check to make sure that the cottage door is bolted.”  He says through the closed bathing chamber door, to give  his new wife  her privacy.

 

Lady Gwendolyn: “Thank you.” She calls back to her new husband.

 

Of course, Lord Robert had bolted the door when in entered their cottage—let alone checked that it was bolted when he collected their valises.  But Robert wants to set Lady Gwendolyn at her ease—since she is a maiden about to enter into marital intimacies for the first time.  He is consumed with her soon to be exiting the bathing chamber in her nightgown—hoping not to overwhelm her with his loving ardor.

 

And when Lord Robert returns to their cottage bed chamber, he finds Lady Gwendolyn reentering it from the bathing chamber—her wearing  a sweet looking Summer day dress, rather than her nightgown.   He tries not to let his disappointment show, but his face must have given him away.

 

Lady Gwendolyn:  “Oh!”  She looks down at her cream day dress with embroidered flowers on it.  Then Lady Gwendolyn sheepishly smiles up at him.  “Robert, I hope you do not mind if we are informal as we heat up and eat dinner.”

 

Lord Robert:  He takes her hand in his and kisses it.  “Not at all, My Love.  You look charming.”  He smiles warmly down at her as he continues to hold her hand in his.  “It is just that …  I am not hungry yet—after our wedding breakfast foods.”

 

Lady Gwendolyn:  “Of course.  We can wait to heat up the meals that cook has already prepared for us.  Shall we sit by the fire in the parlor and talk about our day?” She asks a tad nervously.

 

Lord Robert:  Realizing that patience is the virtue that  he will indeed need this night, he guides her out of their cottage bed chamber and into the parlor.  Then he remembers.  “Ah!  Let me visit the bathing chamber to  refresh myself.”

 

He intends to shave again so as not to irritate her lovely face when he kisses her.  She nods and goes to sit upon the settee.  Lord Robert is only detained for not more than a quarter hour, since he had had his valet give him a very close shave before the wedding.  And he emerges from their cottage  bed chamber wearing neither his jacket, nor his cravat, and with a different blousy shirt unbuttoned.   And he has doffed his boots.

 

Lady Gwendolyn:  “Oh!”  Lady Gwendolyn’s eyes go wide and her lips stay in a frozen ‘O’ shape as she gazes upon his bare neck and his chest peeking out of his open blousy shirt, as well as, his socks covered feet.  She has never seen a gentleman’s unshod feet before.

 

Lord Robert:  Lord Robert sits down next to Lady Gwendolyn upon the parlor settee.  “Well wife, would you like to become more comfortable and remove … your slippers?”  And before she can respond to his scandalous suggestion, he drops to his knees and performs that office for her.  “You have such small feet and ankles.”  He marvels in wonder as his hands linger there, just under the hem of her Summer day dress.

 

Lady Gwendolyn:  “Yes, I always have had small feet.”  She sighs with the tingles she is feeling from his tender touch.

 

Lord Robert:  He looks up at her with tenderness.  “There now, is there another way we can make you more comfortable, My Love?”

 

Lady Gwendolyn: “No, no!  I am fine.  The fireplace emits a pleasing warmth.” Lady Gwendolyn rushes to assure him.

 

Lord Robert:  Lord Robert returns to sitting next to Lady Gwendolyn upon the settee.  “I am glad to that you feel … warm.”  His voice smoulders.  However, I would imagine that your corset is rather confining, and uncomfortable.”

 

Lady Gwendolyn: “How would you know?”  She looks at him dubiously.

 

Lord Robert:  “Ha ha ha ha ha!  I am a brother to a sister.  And of anything, Connie is often complaining about her corset—when amongst family only, of course.”

 

Lady Gwendolyn: “Oh!  Well, of course, they can be.”  She is loathe to mention her undergarments by name.

 

Lord Robert:  “But?  You seem to be refraining from revealing something to me.  Come, come, we are husband and wife now.  You can tell me anything.”

Lady Gwendolyn: “Well …”  He nods encouragingly at his wife, and he does not quite expect her reply.  “It is just that.  I need help to remove .. that is to say that … my lacings …”  She whispers unintentionally evocatively. “… must be undone.  And I can not do it by myself.”

 

Lord Robert: “Well, I can help you unlace your lacings.” He smiles benignly to set her at her ease, but his heart is racing at the prospect of him unlacing her lacings.

 

Lady Gwendolyn: “But I thought that I would wait to ask you to unlace me, until later–when I wanted to change into my night gown  … before we go to sleep for the night.”

 

Lord Robert:  “That is one option certainly.”  He nods in agreement.  “But I would like to have you feeling more comfortable now, rather than make you … wait, confined in your corset.”  And he is also thinking of him not wanting to wait for their love making.  He stands up from the settee.  “Come, My Love.  I will assist you in the unlacing.”  He smiles warmly, very warmly.

 

Lady Gwendolyn nods shyly and is led by her new husband Lord Robert back into their cottage bed chamber. She walks into the bathing chamber, shuts the door and removes her dress which unbuttons in the front.  Then she tremblingly holds her robe in front of her corset covered chemise and petticoats and walks back into their bed chamber.  She finds her husband Robert sitting on the side of the bed—not missing any further clothing items, which relieves her greatly.  Then he beckons to her.

 

Lord Robert:  “Let me to your lacings, Gwen, My Love.  Stand with your back to me.” Lady Gwen slowly walks to her husband and does as he bids her.  “Ah!  What a pretty garment you have under your corset.”  He admires as he fingers the lace edging upon the collared back, before settling his hands upon her hips.  She startles as his intimate touch.

 

Lady Gwendolyn:  “Oh!  Your hands are so warm.  When mine are so cold.”  She turns to face him and holds one hand out to him as he smiles at her.

 

Lord Robert: “Well!  Let me see if I can warm you up.  Sit down across my legs sideways.  Then I can unlace you with my right hand whilst my left hand is keeping your right hand warm.”

And as Lord Robert  unlaces his wife Lady Gwendolyn’s  corset with one hand, he kisses and warmingly  blows upon her right hand with his left hand also warming it up.  This kissing distracts her such that  he has her unlaced and rests his right hand upon her right hip, underneath the now open corset back before she is aware that he is done unlacing her.  Then he leans her back into his right arm and he tenderly  kisses her on her lips for several long moments, as they delight in the feel of their lips opening and closing upon each other.  Then he pulls back and smiles adoringly at her and she smiles adoringly back at him.

 

Lady Gwendolyn:  “That was most pleasant, Robert Dear.  But I must put on my nightgown.”  Because her nightgown will provide her bosoms with much needed support, now that she is lacking a corset.

 

Lord Robert:  “Of course, My Love.  And while you are in the bathing chamber changing, I will change into my bed time attire in here.” Which for Lord Robert consists of the blousy shirt that he had been wearing and drawers, since his valise was not large enough to also contain his robe.

 

Usually a person inside the bed chamber knocks politely at the bathing room door to be admitted.  However Lady Gwendolyn who is in the bathing room and now changed into her empire waisted sleeveless silk nightgown, does the knocking—to insure that she does not enter their shared bed chamber too soon, before her new husband his changed into his bedtime attire.  She lightly knocks three times on the bathing room door to the bed chamber.

 

Lady Gwendolyn:  “Might I come in to the bed chamber, Robert Dear?” She asks tremulously.

 

Lord Robert: “Naturally, Gwen, My Love.”  He smoulders as he stands up from the bed after removing his stockings.

 

Lady Gwendolyn has retained her stockings, since she does not have bed time slippers with her in her small valise.  And the first thing she sees is her new husband’s bare feet—then she quickly closes her eyes, to spare their embarrassment.

 

Lady Gwendolyn:  “I’m sorry that I came in before you had time to put on your slippers.”

 

Lord Robert: “No worry, My Love.  As you are not wearing slippers, neither am I.”

 

Lady Gwendolyn: “Yes, but I have retained my stockings.”

 

Lord Robert: “Ah!  So you have.  Shall I help you remove them for you?”

 

Lady Gwendolyn: “No, no!  I do not have my slippers with me.”

 

Lord Robert: “But we do not need slippers if we choose to rest in bed before dinner.”  He suggests smoulderingly.

 

Lady Gwendolyn: “True.  …  But I had thought that we might sit and talk more in front of the fire place in the parlor.”

 

Lord Robert: Guiding her to one side of the bed and holding up the sheet and blanket for her to slip in, he remarks.  “Perhaps after dinner we might do that.  I cannot sleep nor rest in bed on a full stomach.”  He walks around to his side of the bed and slides into bed next to her.

 

Lady Gwendolyn: “And that is why you want to rest in bed now?  Because your stomach is not full?”

 

Lord Robert: “One of the reasons.  And we have not kissed yet near enough today, and I would like to resume our practicing kissing.  Would that please you, Gwen My Love?”

 

Lady Gwendolyn:  Lady Gwendolyn’s shy maidenly mind wars with her heart as she thinks about his request.  “Kissing practice would be very nice, Robert Dear.”  She nods her head for emphasis.

 

Lord Robert:   “Thank you!”  And he also gives an inner cheer to the deity for finally getting his wife into bed on their wedding night.  Then caressing her with his eyes even as he embraces her with his arms, he says lovingly.  “Gwen My Love, I give you my solemn  vow that every day of our lives together will be filled with love and happiness.  I love you so!”

 

Lady Gwendolyn:  “Oh Robert, I wish that for us as well.  I love you so!”

 

Then Lord Robert and Lady Gwendolyn practice their kissing–and then some, as their marriage well and truly begins.

 

To be continued with Chapter 37 Epilogue

 

Expectations” (Book 2, sequel to “Encouragement):  Chapter 36 End images  for  December 30, 2019 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1272)

1) “Expectations” (Book 2, sequel to “Encouragement”) story cover art  image represents Lady Elizabeth Blount, sister  to the Earl of Sussex in black evening gown–is that of actress Jessica Brown Findlay as Lady Sybil in Downton Abby found at http://www.internet-d.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/38/2012/02/JESSICA-BROWN-FINDLAY-as-Lady-Sybil-Crawley.jpg ; the text font  is Vivaldi.

2) Image representing Lord Robert’s and Lady Gwendolyn’s clasping hands during their wedding was found at http://moerosokuhou.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/which-hand-for-wedding-ring-elegant-wedding-rings-on-hands-background-wallpaper-i-hd-images-of-which-hand-for-wedding-ring.jpg

“Expectations” (Book 2) Ch. 36  URL for Wattpad story post for  December 30, 2019 (Post#1272):
https://www.wattpad.com/822090777-expectations-book-2-by-gratiana-lovelace-2018


Previous “Expectations” (Book 2) Ch. 35  URL for Something About Love story post for September 23, 2019 (Post#1263):
https://gratianads90.wordpress.com/2019/09/23/expectations-book-2-ch-35-weddings-vows-renewals-and-such-september-23-2019-by-gratiana-lovelace-post-1263

P.S.  And I am particularly happy to share this almost final chapter with you on this, my 30th wedding anniversary.  Holiday Cheers!  Grati  ;->

Posted in "Expectations" (Book 2), Gratiana Lovelace, Historical Fiction, Love and Relationships, Period Drama, Romance, smoulder, Social Justice, social media, Society, Something About Love, Storytelling, Weddings | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Richard Armitage’s 2019 Holiday Message to his Fans,  December 25, 2019  Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1271)

The talented  British actor  Richard Armitage has shared his 2019 Holiday Message to his fans via his Twitter feed:



From Grati:  Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas!

 

P.S.  For easier reading, below is the text of Richard Armitage’s 2019 Holiday Message (transcribed by Grati):
“Dear Friends,  Well another year passes and we hurtle towards the end of the decade….where did all that time go?  Who remembers being horrified at how old they will be at the ‘millennium’?  Well that was 20 years ago, but here we are another decade older and wiser?  I’m not sure about that any more.
I’ve been very lucky this year, not just because of the projects I’ve been lucky enough to be part of, but because of the amazing people who I’ve met whilst working on them.
Some gifts for you next year:  The Stranger (Netflix) on Jan 30th, was an absolute dream to work on not just cast but a wonderful crew up in Manchester….I miss everyone.
And right now Uncle Vanya:
Astrov is someone who has reached a certain age and is, to an extent, forced to look back and say ‘have I done enough, what was the point of all this?’  I often feel the same and often the answer is ‘not nearly enough’.
Again we are living in turbulent times, and ‘there may be trouble ahead’…..yep the rest of the song lyrics kind of work there….but ‘doing enough’, is at the top of my personal agenda….what is to be done?  What can one person do?  I have an idea but won’t preach to the converted as I know ‘love and support’ is in abundance in this little bubble.
I want to encourage you into our theatre next year, if you enjoy experiencing you[r] heart being opened, if you feel that suffocating scream of inactivity or inertia to be able to act on something or make a difference, then Chekhov will release you.  It is slowly but surely working its magic on me, I hope to see you all there and hear your thoughts.
As in other years, I have some ‘Just Giving’ pages available to help some charities which I believe serve those in difficulty, but again, I know from experience how generous and kind you’ve all been on here so your gifts have probably already been given.
I’ve been getting involved with The Woodland Trust this year.  I had a wonderful experience planting trees and learning about the work they do.  It’s a great community devoted to enhancing and restoring ou[r] diminishing habitat.  As Astrov says at some point in the play; ‘because of some small thing we do someone a hundred years from now will be happier because of it’…these words have made an impact on me.  Passing on our knowledge, our benevolence, our kindness, our charity, to people in need and our planet in need.
Finally I just want to wish everyone a Happy Christmas and a joyful hopeful New Year.
See you in 2020.
XRA”

Posted in "The Stranger" filming in 2019, Charities, Chekhov, Christmas, Dr. Astrov, Gratiana Lovelace, Holiday, Hope, Just Giving, Kindness, Period Drama, play, Portraits, Richard Armitage, Richard Armitage Message to his Fans, Social Justice, social media, Society, Something About Love | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment