“N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 8 (PG-13, S): A Compromising Situation, December 9, 2013 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #481)
Based on the Elizabeth Gaskell novel, North & South and its
2004 BBC adaptation; No copyright infringement intended)
[I will illustrate my story using my dream cast from the 2004 BBC production of “North & South”:
Richard Armitage for John Thornton, Daniela Denby-Ashe for Margaret Hale, Lesley Manville for Mrs. Maria Hale, Tim Piggott-Smith for Mr. Richard Hale, Sinead Cusack for Mrs. Hannah Thornton, Jo Joyner for Fanny Thornton, and Brendan Coyle for Nicholas Higgins, etc] [(1) story logo image]
Author’s Mature Content Note: “N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons” is a story with mature themes of love and relationships set within a period drama of the 1850’s and beyond. As such there will be heartfelt moments of love and sensuality (S)–as well as other dramatic emotions, including some violence (V)–and I will rate those chapters accordingly. If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with the ratings that I provide, then please do not read that chapter. This is my disclaimer.
Author’s Recap of the Previous Chapter: John Thornton had decided to raise his workers wages on a graduated scale. But he had not yet had the time to talk to the union reps about it the Monday morning starting his second week of engagement. And he was too late. The mill workers went out on strike over all of Milton’s six mills–even Thornton’s Marlborough Mills which was considered to have the best working conditions and wages among them. John’s mill is close to completing a large cotton fabric order that will bring in much needed funds to help them pay off debts and wait out the strike. John has cobbled together only eight people to work the mill–himself, his mother, Williams the overseer, four housemaids who were former mill workers, and Margaret. It will take the eight of them nine 12 hour days what twenty four mill workers could have accomplished in but three days of weaving and finishing [(2)]–or 864 man hours. Meeting the completion deadline for the order a week from this Friday will be close–very close.
“N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 8 (PG-13, S): A Compromising Situation
Instead of focusing on wedding planning and having picnics with her intended her second week of being engaged to John Thornton, Margaret Hale is learning how to work the steam powered flying shuttle weaving looms like the others [(3) right] so she can be of help to John in his time of need. The first week of working in the Mill is indeed eye opening for Margaret as to the physically demanding nature of the work.
Though the looms are steam powered, the constant pushing and pulling on the looms and jerking the cord to send the flying shuttle bobbin through the weave row [(2) , (4) right, and (5) video] still causes Margaret to develop blisters and callouses on the palms of her hands–and she develops shoulder and back aches and pains. Yet, Margaret will not complain to John–who is bearing the greater burden of trying to keep the mill open. Nor does Margaret want to give any ammunition to Mrs. Thornton about Margaret’s constitution–and by implication, her suitability as John’s future wife.
On Tuesday–Margaret’s second day still learning how to work the looms properly–John can see Margaret’s frustration rising. His mother seems to be determined to be overly critical of Margaret, no matter how uncomplaining and persevering Margaret tries to be.
Mrs. Thornton: Mrs. Thornton’s constant refrain of. “Have a care, Miss Hale.” echoes in the weaving room.
Margaret’s nerves are on edge, and she winces every time she hears Mrs. Thornton criticize her. So John decides to take matters into his own hands toward the end of Tuesday–before Margaret returns to Thornton Manor with his mother to prepare their dinner. As the looms are shutting down, John calls to Margaret.
John: “Oh, Miss Hale!” He always uses formal address when in front of non family members such as the house maids and Williams, the overseer who are also working the looms.
Margaret: “Yes, Mr. Thornton?” Margaret asks hopefully. She has tried to learn how to work the looms and she thinks that she is finally getting the flying shuttle to move cleanly through each row’s weave with no hitches. It is just that Margaret is still only half as fast as Mrs. Thornton and the rest of them who have more experience than Margaret.
John: “A word, if you please–in my office.” John smiles benignly, but gives nothing away in front of his mother, the four maids and the overseer Williams who are all helping with the looms.
Margaret nods her head and begins to following John–wondering if he is going to suggest that she go home since she isn’t helping much.
Mrs. Thornton: “John! Miss Hale should return to the house with me!” She says stridently, worried about appearances of the two unmarried fiancés alone in a room together.
John: “Mother, I will only detain Miss Hale for a few minutes, then she will join you at home. I don’t think she will get lost on the way.” He shows a bland expression to his mother, then he turns back to Margaret and smiles mischievously at her. Margaret stifles a smile, but flashes John a look of curiosity.
Mrs. Thornton: “Very well.” She acquiesces uneasily. “But, mind you, keep it to five minutes.”
John: “Thank you, Mother. Thank you everyone for your work today.” John nods to his motley crew of workers. Then he turns to his overseer. “Williams, I will be back to help you in a few minutes with the finishing and bundling for shipping today’s fabric.” Then John gestures for Margaret to follow him. “Miss Hale, if you will please follow me.”
Margaret walks quietly behind John to his office at the mill. No one is in the hallway to it since the mill is practically deserted, with not even the two office clerks around–since they have mill hands in their families and they feared repercussions were they to cross the strike to attend to their duties. John shuts his office door behind Margaret. She stands in the middle of the room facing his desk, her head down, hands lightly clasped in front of her, worried about what John will say. John walks around Margaret and sits on the edge of his desk–most informally–facing her. Then he takes her hands in his and lifts them to his lips for a kiss–first one and then her other hand.
Margaret: Her face flies up to look at him in surprise. “So you’re not mad at me for being so slow with my loom?”
John: He smiles at her referring to it as her loom. “Not at all, Margaret Darling. I am grateful that you are here helping me.” He squeezes her hands encouragingly. Then he fibs a little. “Usually workers take a month to learn how to seamlessly work the loom as you are doing now. In fact, you are picking up loom work so quickly, I might just keep you on as a regular hand after the strike is over.” He smiles impishly.
Margaret: “No thank you!” She states without thinking.
John: “Ha ha ha ha ha!” He throws his his back and laughs at her vehemence.
Margaret: She bites her lips and looks at him apologetically for being so outspoken. “What I mean to say, John, is that I would not wish to take a livelihood away from a person who needs the job. And I will have other duties to tend to in our home.” She states primly.
John stands up and gently pulls Margaret to him and sweetly kisses her forehead, then gazes down at her lovingly.
John: “I will ensure that you have other duties in our home.” He leans down and tenderly kisses her cheek. “Perhaps a year from now, there will be someone to keep you company all day when I am at work.” Then he kisses her other cheek.
Margaret: “Perhaps.” She sighs as she strains upwards to reach him. “A baby!” She sighs with the joyous thought being on both of their minds.
Then John kisses Margaret so thoroughly that she does not leave his office until six minutes after she entered it. A scandal!
Though ever mindful of the proprieties of their situation, John finally relents in his pursuit of her lips and he ushers Margaret out his office door and down to the courtyard. Then he states impassively in case anyone were to over hear them.
John: “Miss Hale, I will take your suggestion under advisement. Perhaps we can discuss it tomorrow again. Same time?” He queries with a mischievous smile at his subterfuge in stealing some private moments alone together with her.
Margaret nods shyly before she turns and dreamily walks to Thornton Manor twenty feet away. Then John returns to the Mill.
After their 12 hour shifts ends each day, John and the overseer Williams spend another three hours finishing and bundling the completed fabric for shipping at the end of the week on Friday. So John is exhausted when he arrives home to Thornton Manor each night around 9 o’clock at night for his dinner with his family and Margaret. Of course Fanny pouts at the lateness of the hour, her having spent all day on her sewing, music, and reading–oblivious to her hard working brother being the one who has afforded her such leisure.
But by Friday of the first week of the strike, John has managed to ship off three quarters of the Thompson order that had earlier been completed and now only ten percent remains to be done. John is beginning to think that they might be able to ship the rest of the order by next Friday and make their original deadline. That is, if they don’t all collapse from exhaustion. They are working punishing 12 hour shifts of hard physical labor–none more so than John, who works 15 hours a day.
When John finally arrives home at Thornton Manor around 11 o’clock on the Friday evening that first week of working through the strike–after seeing the cotton fabric shipment secured on the train for the midnight run–he is bone tired and can barely get himself up the exterior steps to Thornton Manor. But the interior stairs that lead to the second floor bedrooms are just too daunting for him in his current state of exhaustion and he detours into the parlor and lies down on the long sette and he falls instantly asleep. Having something to eat is nowhere in John’s thoughts–or dreams. John had surmised earlier that he would be late tonight and he suggested his Mother, Margaret, and Fanny to eat without him–he would eat something when he came home. But sleep takes precedence for John now.
Having awakened upon hearing the front door to Thornton Manor click open, Margaret wakens and climbs out of her bed in a guest bed room at the front of the house near the stairs. She wraps a shawl around her borrowed nightdress from Fanny and heads downstairs to see if John has returned. Fanny thought that outfitting Margaret with some clothing necessities that would not fit into Margaret’s satchel was the least Fanny could do–and she was correct–since Margaret’s stay at Thornton’s as become longer than she originally anticipated.
But Margaret is pleased to be a helpmate for John in this crisis. And though Margaret does not realize it yet–because Hannah Thornton refuses to drop her stern exterior–nonetheless, after several days of close observation, Mrs. Thornton is warming to Margaret’s faithfulness toward her son John.
Margaret tip toes downstairs and peeks into the parlor. She sees John lying fast asleep on the sette, his arms tightly crossed over his broad chest to try to keep the room’s chill at bay since the fire has died down. Margaret quickly enters the room and not seeing anything to cover John with for warmth, she removes her shawl and lays it across his chest. Then she caringly brushes his hair out of his eyes. John’s eyes sleepily flutter half open with her tender touch.
John: “Margaret, my love.” He sighs still half asleep.
And then he pulls her toward him to lie on top of him on the sette–as if she were his wife already. John likes these kind of dreams–which he seems to be having more and more often with his fiancé Margaret staying under his roof.
Margaret: “Oh!” Margaret startles at being pulled to John and almost onto him as they lie together on their sides on the large sette–their bodies pressing against each other with only cotton and wool separating them, such that not even a whisper could pass between them. “John Dearest, you must let me go.” She says breathlessly, though it does not waken him.
Margaret leans in and kisses her fiancé John sweetly on his lips, before she pulls away. But it has the opposite result than what she intended as John crushes her more firmly to him and deepens their kisses. And Margaret, for all of her ladylike upbringing, does not protest and she kisses him back.
John is dreaming of their wedding night and he begins to act out his loving feelings for his wife Margaret as his strokes her back and then caresses the top of her womanly curvy backside. She is not wearing any undergarments under her night dress, which only serves to heighten John’s ardor as he adjusts their position from lying side by side to one of him being on top of her–albeit holding himself up slightly so that she does not feel the full weight of his muscular tall physique.
Of course, this more intimate arrangement of their bodies quite startles Margaret. She has not yet had the talk with her Mother, and so while John’s eagerness for closeness is unknown to her, it is not entirely unwelcome to Margaret. However Margaret knows that John is still asleep and that she must waken him gently–and quickly if they are not to plunge themselves into another predicament, however lovely she feels that predicament might be.
John: “You are so beautiful, my Love.” His deeply resonant voice conveys the smouldering depths of his heart trembling with desire.
John’s kisses trail down from Margaret’s mouth to her neck, and thence lower as he unbuttons first one and then two buttons at the top of her nightgown bodice, letting him glimpse only a mere hint of her lush womanly curves beneath. Even asleep–or perhaps because of it–John’s ardent need for his Margaret is all consuming, as his body aches to be one with her body. Such overwhelming desire is an unknown feeling for John as his body aches for fulfillment for the first time. Then John fumbles with his trousers to remove them–the buttons slowing him down. And in the process, he starts to awaken more fully.
Margaret: “John, you must wake up.” Margaret whispers gently again as she attempts to pull John’s face up to look at hers.
Blinking his eyes several times, John finally startles awake. He looks down at Margaret–underneath him–and he realizes their compromising situation that the astonished expression on her face reveals.
John: “Oh my god!” John exclaims and he quickly moves off of Margaret and stands up from the sette. He covers his face with his hands–as a small boy might in shame and humiliation. John’s arousal is still very apparent through the bulge in his trousers, so he turns slightly away from her. “Margaret, I am so sorry. I did not realize. Truly, I was asleep, or I would never have taken such liberties.” John is abjectly mortified at his lustful behavior and he goes very pale. John feels that he has just confirmed to Margaret his worst fear–of being found less than a gentleman in her eyes.
Margaret: “I know–that you were asleep.” She says meekly as she adjusts her nightgown and rebuttons a few of her nightgown’s buttons. Then she covers the front of her nightgown with her arms–as much as due to the chill of the room, as to her embarrassment in discovering that she likes John’s loving attentions and his continuing loving gaze. Such thoughts are scandalous for an unmarried woman–or even a married women in their society–even though her thoughts pertain to her fiancé whom she is to wed in three weeks time. “May I have my shawl back, please John.” Margaret’s face blushes pinkly as she sits up and quickly pulls her nightgown down to cover her exposed ankles.
John: John looks around him and sees the shawl clinging to his shoulders. “Of course.” He hands the shawl to her, blushing crimson himself. Then he looks at her quizzically, wondering how she came to be in the parlor–and underneath him on the sette.
Margaret: “Thank you.” Seeing his questioning expression, she enlightens him. “I heard the front door open and came to see if you had arrived home. Then I covered you with my shawl for your warmth before I intended to stoke the fire.” Then Margaret croaks out breathily. “But … but you pulled me to you, and you … you…” You almost ravished me, she thinks. “… kissed me.” She finishes and breathes deeply, her bosoms rising and falling in her borrowed nightgown.
John: “Margaret, I am so sorry. What must you think of me?” He sits down in the nearest chair–opposite Margaret to put distance from him and temptation. He feels as if he has let his basest instincts take hold of his reason in his ungentlemanly actions.
Margaret: Rising from the sette, Margaret walks over to John’s sitting form and ruffles his hair, causing him to look up at her. “John, though we must temper our loving each other until we are wed …” He quickly nods his head up and down several times to assure her of his compliance. “… please do not deny me your kisses.” She smiles impishly, then leans down and gives him a sweetly quick peck on his lips [(6) right].
John’s face is suffused with joy to know that he is forgiven his lapse in decorum and respectful behavior toward Margaret.
John: “I don’t deserve you.” He smiles warmly at her.
Margaret: Giggling softly now, she asks him. “Does any husband ever deserve his wife?” Then she steps away as John tries to snake his arm around her waist. “No no no! Only kisses.” Margaret says in a musical voice. John pouts cutely. Then his stomach growls. “Have you eaten at all tonight, John?” She asks in concern.
John: “No. Williams and I were too busy getting the order ready for shipment and seeing it safely off on the train.” He sighs wearily.
Margaret: Taking John’s hand and tugging at him to stand up, she smiles pleased with herself. “Then one of my first almost wifely duties will be to make you some eggs and toast with jam before bed.”
He starts to half-heartedly protest, but she shakes her head no, gifting him with a glorious smile that he cannot refuse–and she guides him to the Thornton Manor kitchen.
After his nearly midnight breakfast, courtesy of Margaret, John escorts her upstairs so that they both may sleep before rising at 5:00am for a half day’s work at the mill. If John could get away with working on Sunday, he would. But he can’t. The long and mostly dark bed chamber hallway on the third floor of Thornton Manor has but one wall sconce in the middle of it, with its lone candle serving as meager illumination in the dark of night. John politely bows to Margaret at her bed chamber door and she slips inside–pausing to give him a brilliant smile before she closes her door.
Then John goes to his own bed chamber door. They must be vigilant in their actions and behaviors at all times in the public areas of Thornton Manor and the Mill, lest his tattle tale of a sister, Fanny, were to glimpse something that she would extrapolate into an impropriety and spread gossip about them. John might be a manufacturer of cotton fabric, but Fanny creates fantastical stories about people with her spinning conjecture and weaving speculation into whole cloth of insidious gossip. John does not think ill of his sister’s malice out of censure–he has spoilt her as his baby sister and feels that he is partly to blame for her selfish behavior. Yet, John is also reserved around his sister, simply out of wise caution.
And since Mrs. Thornton had her household staff readying Margaret’s bed chamber for her for the upcoming wedding–Margaret is staying in that bed chamber now. It is just that the connecting door between Margaret’s bed chamber and John’s bedchamber is locked on her side.
And John has a simple and masculine four legged writing desk–with one central drawer and a slightly raised back with some cubby holes and drawers [(7) right]–placed against the connecting door on his side. It is John’s mother’s idea to reinforce the forbidden nature of John’s and Margaret’s current non married state. But isn’t what is forbidden more enticing?
John walks into his bed chamber, removing his cravat, coat and vest. He is weary, so very weary–as his falling asleep downstairs earlier was testament to. Though, Margaret’s kisses and preparing him a midnight breakfast perked him up quite a bit. John does his nightly getting ready for bed preparations–including donning his long legged bed pants, but no bed shirt. He can hear Margaret moving about her bed chamber when he leans against the wall that they share and closes his eyes, thinking of her.
Margaret returns to her bed chamber this night more in love with John than ever –and feeling very wifely, for having made him a meal with her own two hands. Of course, his tender caresses and kisses also weigh on her mind as she goes about getting ready to sleep for the night and then climbs into her bed. It is not a large bed, and certainly not long–so Margaret does not think that her tall John will find it comfortable. Margaret pinkens at the thought–John and she sharing a bed. Husbands and wives do share their beds–and she and John will share a bed together when they are married.
And Margaret feels … agitated, in a very foreign way to her. However, Margaret finds that this agitation is not an altogether unpleasant feeling. She just feels … a longing for greater closeness with John–similar to what they shared tonight, but more, though she knows not what that more might entail. Margaret is uninformed as of yet regarding the intimacies that husbands and wives share. But that does not stop her from dreaming about it in a vague way, the mystery of becoming a wife betokening curiosity and desire in her, more than engendering fear of the unknown. Margaret shakes her head and thinks that she will have to spend significant time in prayer this weekend to atone for her unladylike thoughts.
Then Margaret looks to the connecting door to John’s bedroom, wondering what John is doing at this very moment–conjuring images in her mind of such intimacy as him removing his cravat and draping it across a chair back so it does not wrinkle. She can hear him walking around his room–and other imaginings spring to her mind. Margaret slips out of her bed again. Mrs. Thornton had told her that the door leads to John’s bed chamber so that Margaret would not accidently open it, thinking that it was a closet. Mrs. Thornton also vaguely told Margaret that there was a piece of furniture blocking the door on John’s side. Though Margaret does not know how substantial a piece of furniture that might be.
Margaret places her light weight shawl around her cotton nightgown covered shoulders and pads over to the connecting door in her bare feet, her chubby childlike toes griping the soft wool rug as she pads across it. Margaret leans her ear against the door, but she neither knocks nor speaks–for fear that Mrs. Thornton or Fanny might hear her. Margaret bites her lower lip. She found her and John’s parting at her bed chamber door … unsatisfying. They are engaged after all, and due to be married in three weeks. And Margaret would like a good night kiss–her first.
Margaret looks at the lock upon the connecting door–and she impulsively unlatches it and turns the knob, then she removes her hand and steps back, looking at the slightly ajar door and waiting. Upon hear the tumblers of the connecting door’s lock mechanism operate, John opens his eyes and turns his head to the now slightly ajar door, riveting his eyes to a thin crack of light peeking through. He moves away from the wall and stands behind the desk, facing the connecting door. Did John hear, what he think he just heard? He cannot reach the door knob since it is behind the deep desk. So he places his hand upon the six panel walnut door–feeling the polished hard wood surface. And then impulsively, he pushes upon the door–and it opens wide.
What John sees through the door is both expected and unexpected–since it was Margaret who unlocked the division between them, in more ways than one. Standing before the bare chested John is Margaret in her nightgown and shawl that he saw her in just a few minutes ago. But somehow, John feels different. And John notices Margaret’s slightly mesmerized face. She has never seen a man’s bare chest, let alone, so handsome and muscular a man as her John is. And John now self consciously realizes his feeling of strangeness in that he was fully clothed earlier with Margaret downstairs–unlike now.
Margaret shyly looks away from him at first when she glimpses his bare flesh standing before her on the other side of the writing desk. She is not altogether certain if he is clothed at all below since his lower half is concealed. Her heart beats faster and her breathing quickens. John’s own heart and breathing matches her rhythm in answering accord for the tantalizing atmosphere between them. But Margaret finds that she cannot look away from John for long. And they gaze upon one another longingly for several moments–not speaking, except for the language of love with their eyes’ loving gazes.
Feeling chilly and exposed after a few moments, John raises his finger, then steps backward into his bed chamber and retrieves his dressing gown. Margaret panics at first–thinking that John might be completely unclothed. But John’s movements allow Margaret to see that he is wearing night pants.
Margaret: “Hhhhh!’ She sighs in relief and smiles at him sheepishly.
John puts his dressing gown on and ties its sash. Not wanting to risk talking, lest they be overheard, John pantomimes his question– about her unlocking the connecting door–with a shrug of his shoulders, raising his eyebrows and his hands uplifted. Margaret smiles and nods, understanding his question. Then Margaret blushes a charming shade of pinkish peach. For how does she indicate her request without asking it? Then an idea comes to her and Margaret gently touches her finger to her lips and smiles. Then John smiles broadly, knowingly–his Margaret wants a goodnight kiss. Though when John attempts to lean across the desk, he is unable to reach her comfortably–even with his tall height–since the desk is quite deep. Moving the large desk would be cumbersome and likely to cause a noise that would alert others of their actions. They both furrow their brows in frustration.
Then Margaret has another idea. She pushes her hands away from herself, but toward John–shooing him away from the desk. John complies and takes one step back–looking at Margaret with a smile as he folds his arms across his chest. Then suddenly, Margaret drops to the floor from his sight. John wonders what happened? Did she faint? He has heard of women who are so delicate that the sight of the unclothed male form causes them to swoon. He takes a step forward to peer over the desk, but he does not see her.
However Margaret is not out of sight for long, because the resourceful Margaret Hale, parson’s daughter, crawls toward John underneath the desk. She taps on his legs and he looks down in astonishment and he take several steps back. Then Margaret comes fully out from underneath the desk and she stands up pixieishly–to John’s gaping open mouthed shock. John has a woman in his bed chamber–his fiancé, his Margaret.
Margaret saunters toward a frozen John–him certainly thinking that he is dreaming now. Then she jumps up into his arms and kisses him sweetly on the mouth–to which he responds wholeheartedly, with not so sweet, but very tender and quite passionate kisses. They both smile when they come up for air. But then John gently–albeit reluctantly–guides Margaret back to the desk. He kisses her hand with the utmost courtesy and restraint–though John trembles a bit as he keeps himself in check at having his Margaret in his bedroom in her nightgown.
Margaret slowly curtsies gracefully as she smiles lovingly at John. Then Margaret’s decorum vanishes as she turns, drops to the floor, and crawls back the way she came–underneath the desk and into her bed chamber–with Margaret unintentionally presenting John with an unhindered view of her thin cotton nightgown clad silhouette of her womanly curvy derriere. Once through their clandestine passageway, Margaret stands up in her bed chamber and she and John gaze upon each other once more–and each mouth the words, I love you to the other. Then Margaret slowly and quietly shuts the connecting door and locks it, keeping her loving gaze upon John until the last second. John smiles lovingly at her the whole time.
Then as John lies down in his bed–alone–he closes his eyes and thinks with a slightly smirking smile [(8) right], before drifting off to grateful sleep. We definitely have to obtain a special license and move up our marriage date by at least a week–or even, move our marriage up to this coming week.
But events will once again transpire to thwart our young lovebirds, John and Margaret. Marlborough Mills’ success in completing the Thompson order is not assured, because the strikers know what Thornton is doing by trying to complete the order himself with a few helpers. And the strikers are gathering–to do something about it.
To be continued with Chapter 9
JT Love Lessons, Ch. 8 References
1) “N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons” story logo: Richard Armitage as John Thornton and Daniela Denby-Ashe in North & South, 2004 was found at richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/nands/album/episode3/ns3-110.jpg ; For more information about the wonderful 2004 BBC miniseries North & South, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_&_South_%28TV_serial%29
2) English Cotton Mill Resources:
a) “A great part of the 2004 BBC television drama North and South was shot on Keighley, with Dalton Mill being one of the serial’s main locations.” For more information, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keighley
b) Making Cotton Fabric: “There are five stages–Cultivating and Harvesting, Preparatory Processes, Spinning, Weaving, Finishing.” For more information, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Textile_manufacture_during_the_Industrial_Revolution
c) Flying Shuttle Loom mechanization : “The ends of the shuttle are bullet-shaped and metal-capped, and the shuttle generally has rollers to reduce friction. The weft thread is made to exit from the end rather than the side, and the thread is stored on a pirn (a long, conical, one-ended, non-turning bobbin) to allow it to feed more easily. Finally, the flying shuttle is generally somewhat heavier, so as to have sufficient momentum to carry it all the way through the shed.
In manual operation, a cord runs to each box from a handle held by the operator. To start the pick, the shed is opened as before; however, instead of throwing the shuttle, the operator jerks the cord for the box containing the shuttle. This causes the mechanism in the box to shoot the shuttle along the race to the other box; then the shed is closed and the beater is used to complete the pick as before. The operator does not need to touch the shuttle until it needs to be reloaded, so fabrics of great width can be woven; but more importantly, the movements needed are greatly reduced….” For for more information, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_shuttle
3) Thornton’s Mill Weaving Looms North & South, BBC 2004 epi2 -10h50m45s81 Nov3013 Gratiana Lovelace Cap crp-hi-res
4) Image of flying shuttle with bobbin was found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Shuttle_with_bobin.jpg
5) For a brief video showing how this flying shuttle loom weaving technique works on a very small scale, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khiEAEqdkZY
6) John is Richard Armitage and Margaret is Daniela Denby-Ashe kissing in North & South- Epi4 _17h54m34s7_Nov1013 Gratiana Lovelace Cap -hi-res-brt-crop
7) The image of a lovely period inspired writing desk that serves as a barrier at the connecting door between John’s and Margaret’s bed chambers was found http://files.schnadig.com/photos/large/77B9EDCA2BDF5AA1/8501-620-writing-desk.jpg
8) John sleeping image is Richard Armitage as Lee Preston in 2003’s Cold Feet Series found at richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/ColdFeet/ColdFeet5/album/slides/coldfeet_061.jpg