My good friend Kitty Morris Wall shared this photo of Richard Armitage portraying John Thornton in the 2004 BBC miniseries, North & South on Monday. And I was inspired to “reimagine” this scene after John spoke his oft quoted words of hopeful yearning: “Look back, look back at me!” The passage I wrote appears below.
Cheers! Gratiana Lovelace
“Look Back, Look Back at Me” reimagined by Gratiana Lovelace
John watches Margaret’s carriage drive out of the Marlborough Mills gate. He knows that he will never see her again.
The cold winter air is crisp and stings his face. Yet he cannot move from the spot, hoping against all hope that she could know the depths of his love for her. But how? With her leaving, his hope ebbs in final resignation of his loss.
Margaret had taught him that he could love–even if John could not be loved by her. To say goodbye to her now is sweet torture. She was his for the briefest of moments as they exchanged words of farewell in his parlor. He welcomed her kind gift of her father’s book–it will be a remembrance of her to him as much as it is a remembrance of her father to him.
Why could he not tell her how he felt? This longing for her that she has made in him, he fears, will consume him and consign him to hell without her in his life.
John closes his eyes to calm himself, to steel himself to return to his life of ordinariness without his Margaret. Even now, he hears light footsteps behind him. No doubt his mother wants to urge him to come indoors before he catches cold.
Then Margaret’s arms come around from behind John and she wraps him in her love. She embraces him as she has wanted to do for so long, but not dared. “I came back to tell you that I love you.” She says simply with her cheek pressed against the broad expanse of his wool covered back. “I could not leave you without telling you.” He does not move–too stunned to speak or react.
She pulls back from her embrace, to turn and leave in silent sadness with his lack of response. John spins around quickly, wondering if Margaret is a vision, an illusion–or his only chance for happiness within his grasp. He pulls her to him and searches her face that reveals the honesty of her declaration as she gazes up at him adoringly.
“Margaret, I love you. I cannot bear for you to ever leave me. Will you marry me?” John gazes at her with love and hopefulness. Then Margaret answers his heart with her own. “Yes.”
P.S. Here is the lovely North & South video, “This I Promise You” by Illlna:
P.S. And here is a John Thornton North & South wallpaper that I created Sunday night–the day before I wrote the passage above–titled “John’s Love for His Margaret”. I tweaked it a bit today (May 19, 2012) and put that revised version for you here:
“Look back, look back at me!” as spoken by Richard Armitage portraying John Thornton is quoted is from the 2004 BBC miniseries North & South, episode 4. For more information about North & South, visit http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/career/97.html
Image of Richard Armitage portraying John Thornton after he says that famous line is from the 2004 BBC miniseries North & South, episode 4 and was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/nands/album/episode4/slides/ns4-212.html
Image of Richard Armitage portraying John Thornton watching Margaret’s carriage drive away is from the 2004 BBC miniseries North & South, episode 4 and was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/nands/album/episode4/slides/ns4-207.html
Image of Richard Armitage portraying John Thornton resigning himself to life without his Margaret is from the 2004 BBC miniseries North & South, episode 4 and was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/nands/album/episode4/slides/ns4-208.html
Image of Richard Armitage portraying John Thornton kissing Daniela Denby-Ashe portraying Margaret Hale is from the 2004 BBC miniseries North & South, episode 4 and was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/nands/album/episode4/slides/ns4-340.html
“This I Promise You” a North & South video by Illlna was found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s37YhzTdgfU&feature=related
“John’s Love for His Margaret” North & South wallpaper (that I revised 5/19/12 and inserted above) contains images of Richard Armitage portraying John Thornton in the 2004 BBC’s North & South episode 4 (pix 291) final scene and the background image from episode 1 (pix 14); North & South images are courtesy of RANet: www.RichardArmitageNet.com. The additional image of Margaret Hale (as portrayed by Daniela Denby-Ashe) was found at http://www.richardarmitageonline.com/north-and-south/north-south-pictures-episode4.html