“N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 17: Meeting Dr. Ogilvy’s Children in London, January 10, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #499)
[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 Pigott-Smith for Mr. Richard Hale, Sinead Cusack for Mrs. Hannah Thornton, Jo Joyner for Fanny Thornton, Brendan Coyle for Nicholas Higgins, and Graham McTavish as Dr. Cameron Ogilvy, Holliday Grainger for Angharad Ogilvy MacIntosh, and Simon Woods for Baird Ogilvy, 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: Hannah Thornton has undertaken the care of a little girl injured in her mill. And in so doing, Hannah has become startlingly aware of the plight of those less fortunate–and has several ideas to help. And her suitor, Dr. Cameron Ogilvy proposes marriage to her and then accepts her terms of a friendship marriage. Meanwhile, Dr. Ogilvy had encouraged his grown children in London to greet and entertain the Thornton’s during their stay with Margaret’s Aunt Shaw. To say that Dr. Ogilvy has an ulterior motive would be too ominous–more like hopeful parenting guidance to a son who needs to settle down.
Ch. 17–John & Margaret Meet Dr. Ogilvy’s Children in London
While in London, John and Margaret and Fanny pay a tea time invited visit on Monday, December 30th to Dr. Cameron Ogilvy’s daughter Angharad Ogilvy MacIntosh and her husband Alistair MacIntosh. Yes, he is related to those MacIntoshes. The MacIntosh family manufactures rubberized raincoats called mackintoshes [(2)] that have become so popular for those constantly in wet conditions. The Thornton’s enjoy playtime with the MacIntosh bairns: 3 year old Andrew and 6 month old Amanda (they have an “A” theme going on their names). Uncharacteristically, Fanny especially enjoys playing with the children.
The Thornton’s visit to the MacIntosh’s is not solely for John’s mother’s sake in meeting her suitor Dr. Cameron Ogilvy’s family. You see, the Day after Christmas, Dr. Cameron Ogilvy had sent letters to his son Baird Ogilvy and daughter Angharad Ogilvy MacIntosh who are living in London, informing them of his growing attachment to the widowed Mrs. Hannah Thornton. He also mentioned that her grown children and their family were visiting London–and that he hoped that they would get a chance to meet each other. And quite characteristically, Dr. Ogilvy’s letter to his son particularly highlighted that the unmarried Thornton daughter Fanny was of marriageable age and good breeding–if a little spoilt–Dr. Ogilvy wanting to encourage his son to start thinking about securing their dynasty through marriage.
But that little push from his father makes Baird Ogilvy determined to ignore his father’s wishes–he will not be forced into a marriage to beget an heir, nor does he want a marriage where the lady is only interested in his title. However Baird’s younger sister Angharad Ogilvy MacIntosh prevails upon her twenty-nine year old older brother to join her family for tea on Monday, December 30th–him not realizing that other guests are to be invited. When Baird arrives at his sister’s London townhouse, his little three year old nephew Andrew careens out of the parlor and into the foyer.
Andrew: “Uncle Bairrrd! You came! Did ye brrring me a prrresent?” For though little three year old Andrew was born in London, his parents have retained their Scottish accents and so Andrew has picked it up.
Baird: Baird lifts his nephew up into his arms and laughs as they walk into his sister’s parlor. “Ha ha ha ha ha! Drrrew! Werrre not me Chrrristmas prrresents to you last week enough, Laddie?” He asks with his natural Scottish accent. Since Baird attended Eton and then Cambridge University in England for many years, he tends to switch back and forth between a Scottish accent and an upper crust British as he sees fit–or the occasion or situation warrants.
Andrew’s mother and Baird’s sister, Angharad, stands upon seeing her brother enter her parlor and she gracefully walks over to greet him, kissing both of his cheeks. Angharad is red haired, just like her brother–but her hair color belies a less firey temper than her brother, and less precociousness than her son. Her countenance is serenely beautiful at her tender age of 24 years [(3) right].
Baird: “Angharad! You look beautiful as always.” Baird kisses his sister’s cheek in loving affection.
Angharad: “Bairrrd! It is good of you to come. Now don’t give in to our wee one. He has rrreceived enough prrresents forrr now.”
Andrew: “But Mama?” He pouts
Angharad smiles graciously at John, Margaret, and Fanny Thornton who smile looking up at Baird. John stands. Baird hands over his nephew to his sister and he stiffens even as his face falls and his posture stiffens [(4) right]. Baird is caught within his father’s trap of meeting the Thornton girl whether he likes it or not.
Baird: But he rouses himself to politeness. “Ach! I was not awarrre that you werrre having guests today, dearrr sisterrr.”
Angharad: “No? It must have slipped my mind.” She smiles impishly at him. “Baird, this is John Thorrrnton, Masterrr of Marrrlborrrough Mills and his wife Marrrgarrret.” Margaret stands next to her husband while Fanny remains seated holding Angharad’s six month old baby Amanda. “And this is me brrrotherrr, Bairrrd Ogilvy.”
Baird: “Mrrr. and Mrrrs. Thorrrnton, it is an honorrr to meet you.” He nods and smiles cordially, then they shake hands.
John: “And we you. Your father says that you are an attorney, Mr. Ogilvy.”
Baird: “That is so.” He nods. “I am in the middle of a verrry complicated case just now. But I always make time to visit me sisterrr and herrr family.” He looks pointedly at his sister with a raised eyebrow–for bringing him here under false pretenses.
Fanny: Still seated and holding his baby niece, Fanny smiles. “That is nice that you make time for family.” She does wonder that if this man is heir to an earldom, why he is working as an attorney. Gentleman of breeding do not work. Though one wonders if Fanny has an inkling where their financial means originate? And of course, her brother works. But logic does not always flow through Fanny’s mind.
John: “Oh forgive me, Fanny. Mr. Ogilvy, this is my sister Miss Fanny Thornton. Fanny, this is Mr. Baird Ogilvy.”
Baird walks the few feet over to the seated Fanny Thornton who is still holding his niece, Amanda.
Baird: Baird bows. “Miss Thornton, it is a pleasure to make your acquaintance.” He says in an impeccable uppercrust British accent–no trace of trilling r’s or elongated vowel sounds anywhere.
Fanny: Fanny furrows her brow at Baird as she lays baby Amanda over her shoulder and gently strokes the baby’s back and stands. “Mr. Ogilvy, Your voice changed just now and you have no Scottish accent at all as you did with your nephew. Are you an actor, too?”
Baird Ogilvy stares at Fanny Thornton for several moments. And her brother John rolls his eyes and thinks that his sister Fanny needs to learn not to say whatever pops into her pretty little head. Margaret merely smiles serenely, long since accustomed to the startling things that come out of her sister-in-law’s mouth.
Baird: “No!” He replies curtly. “I was educated at Eton and Cambridge. So naturally, I adopted their manners of speech for business and certain other occasions.” His brow furrows in annoyance. His sister knows that look and she intercedes.
Angharad: “Fanny, thank ye for calming Amanda forrr me. Ye seem to have quite a way with herrr. But it is time forrr me to lay Amanda down forrr herrr nap.”
Fanny reluctantly gives the baby Amanda back to her mother.
Fanny: “Amanda is such a sweet baby.” She strokes the back of the baby’s head. “I cannot wait until John and Margaret make me an Aunt.” She sighs as Angharad leaves the parlor with her baby.
This is an increasingly softer side to Fanny that John and Margaret are witnessing and they exchange glances. Then they walk over to Alistair MacIntosh and his son Andrew–leaving Baird and Fanny to talk by themselves. Dr. Cameron Ogilvy had privately taken John aside at Christmas to let him know that he considered Fanny a fine prospect for his unmarried son Baird who is his heir apparent to the earldom–though John has not informed Fanny of this. John will wait to see if anything develops between his sister and the good doctor’s son.
Left to their own devices–obviously by design, which irks Baird to no end–he makes what he considers to be polite conversation with Fanny Thornton. However, Fanny still feels herself superior to most people and she does not initially take notice of Baird as an eligible unmarried man perhaps seeking a wife.
Baird: “So, Miss Thornton, are your sights set only upon being an aunt? Do you not want children of your own?” He asks the requisite question of a potential bride with a studied air of disinterestedness. He vows that he will not be the object of a social climbing title hunter–which he presumes Miss Thornton to be.
Baird notices how cute her nose looks when she purses her lips together like that–and the tight coil of her fetching ringlet blond curls at the back of her head.
Baird: Then he probes her further–testing her mettle. “Oh? And why is that, Miss Thornton? Do not most women want to have their bairns around them, as my sister does?”
Fanny: She gives him an impish smile and shakes her head as she wags her finger at him with a sing songy voice. “No Mr. Ogilvy, that won’t do. Your sister, Angharad, already warned me about your saying the opposite of what you believe–just to goad people for fun. Well that won’t work on me. I am not goadable nor gullible.” She sits on a nearby sette and he joins her.
Baird: He bursts out laughing and slaps his thigh. “Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!” Everyone turns to see what amuses Baird so.
Baird: “You! You’re not at all what I expected.” He smiles relievedly at her [(6) right]. And a smiling Baird Ogilvy has such an open and unabashedly cheerful expression that it seems that his burdens are lightened.
Fanny: “What you expected? I would venture to say that I’m glad to disappoint you.” She says blasely.
Baird: “Nay! Ha ha ha! But you’re not trying to flirt with me like most eligible women do when they find out I am heir to an earldom.”
Fanny: “Well, It is only a Scottish earldom at that.” She rolls her eyes. “Does it even count in England?” She wrinkles up her pretty little nose as she whines a bit.
But Fanny has touched a nerve. His bubble deflated, Baird states soberly.
Baird: “Not at this time. Our family put forth a bill to Parliament asking for our earldom to be reinstated officially throughout the British isles. But they have yet to respond.”
Fanny: “How long will it take them to respond?” She asks benignly.
Baird: “Despite repeated requests for a response, it has thus far been over fifty years.” He shrugs his shoulders.
Fanny: Her eyes go wide. “Fifty years! I have never heard of the like.” She looks at him incredulously. Then she leans in and whispers conspiratorially. “Are you certain that they haven’t lost your request? Though if they had, that wouldn’t recommend English government to anyone, I suppose.” She shrugs her shoulders sheepishly.
Baird: “We Ogilvy’s are determined to be recognized by England again.” He replies firmly through gritted teeth. The earldom being vacated by the English crown is a very sore subject for Clan Ogilvy.
Fanny: Seeing Baird’s resolve, Fanny takes note and replies accordingly–adjusting her mood to fit his mood. “Then I’m certain you shall achieve your objective.” She smiles politely. Then her still girlish enthusiasm takes hold again. “But while you wait, are you titled as anything in the mean time?” She asks impishly curiously.
Baird: “I am Lord Baird Ogilvy. Or, in Scottish/ Gaelic, Laird Baird Ogilvy.” Baird replies proudly.
Fanny: Giggling at the rhyme, she pokes him in the shoulder and uses a sing songy voice again. “Laird Baird? Ha ha ha ha ha! I would think that I would sooner go without a title, than rhyme it.” She bats her eyes at him coquettishly. He is alright, she thinks–for a red headed Scotsman.
Baird: “Well it’s not likely that you’re going to be called Lady Fanny some day. You have an unusual name yourself.” He narrows his eyes pointedly.
Fanny: “Oh! I know. And if I had to choose, Fanny would not be my name. You see, Fanny is a childhood nickname. My brother John gave it to me because when I danced with him when I was a toddler, I would always wiggle my … well my … “
Baird: Grinning broadly now, he leans in and asks amusingly. “Yourrr fanny, Fanny? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!” Baird bursts into laughter again–and reverts to his natural Scottish accent–just as his sister Angharad reenters the parlor.
Angharad: “Well now. It’s good to hearrrr you laugh, Bairrrd. What set you to feeling mirrrthful?”
Baird: “The derrrivation of Miss Thorrrnton’s firrrst name, Fanny.”
Fanny: She leans in to Angharad and whispers. “It is a childhood nickname that my brother gave me.” Seeing Anghard’s questioning look, Fanny adds shaking her head as she wrinkles up her nose. “Don’t ask.”
Baird grins broadly. Angharad nods at her brother and Miss Thornton seeming to share a secret of a personal nature. Then walks to her husband’s side across the room as he chats with John and Margaret.
Baird: Resuming his upper crust British accent, he asks with a curiously raised eyebrow and a twinkle in his eyes. “Then what is your real name. If I may ask, Miss Thornton?”
Fanny: “I am named Fiona, for my Scottish grandmother.” [(7)]
Baird: He looks at her with astonishment and reverts to his Scottish accent. “So ye arrre Scottish, Lassie?”
Fanny: “Hhhh! Yes, I suppose so. But only barely. I’ve never even been to Scotland. And I can’t trill my r’s like you lot do.” Then she tries to trill her r’s “Rrrrr. I sound like someone snoring when I do that.” She sheepishly shrugs her shoulders.
Baird: Baird bursts into laughter again. “That you do! Ha ha ha ha ha ha!”
Angharad walks back over to Baird and Fanny.
Angharad: “Bairrrd! Ye have laughed thrrree times since you arrrived. Arrre ye cerrrtain that ye arrre me brrrotherrr?” For Baird is usually so taciturn.
Baird: “Angharad, It is Miss Fanny who has made me laugh. Or should I call you Miss Fiona?” He leans in to Fanny and asks huskily.
Fanny: She rolls her eyes and purses her lips in amusement. “Do as you please, Mr. Ogilvy.”
Baird: “Please call me Bairrrd.”
Fanny: “Well, … Baird. But I might not answer you the first few times you use my real name since I am so used to Fanny now.”
John and Margaret and Alistair holding a now sleepy Andrew all walk over to Baird and Angharad and Fanny.
John: “Mr. and Mrs. MacIntosh, we have so enjoyed our lovely tea time with your family today. But I fear that we must return to my wife’s aunt’s home now. But I hope that we might persuade you and your family–including your brother–to join us for luncheon at Mrs. Shaw’s home soon.”
Margaret: “Yes, I’m sure my cousin Edith’s son Sholto would love to play with Andrew.” She smiles.
Angharad: Smiling graciously, she replies. “We would be delighted.”
Margaret: “Lovely! I will ask Edith to send you a note inviting you.”
John smiles broadly to be in such agreeable company, and as a family man with his new wife Margaret.
The Thornton’s take their leave as the ladies move first to the foyer to be bundled up against the Winter chill. And Baird Ogilvy entreats John Thornton.
Baird: “Mr. Thornton, might I beg a quick word with you?” He asks seriously.
John: “Of course, Mr. Ogilvy.” John nods politely.
Baird: “I fear that my current court case’s responsibilities will forfeit my ability to join you for luncheon in the near future. It is rather a protracted case.”
John: He nods his head understandingly. As a man of business, it is rare for John to be able to socialize much–his delayed honeymoon trip to London they are enjoying being a rare treat. “That is a pity. Perhaps when your case is concluded you might choose to visit your father in Milton. We would welcome having you to our home for dinner some evening.”
Baird: “That will be delightful.” Then he coughs nervously. “Kkkkhh! And I wonder if I might write to Miss Thornton if we are unable to meet again in London.” A titled man such as Baird, is ever so more eager to pursue something–or someone in Fanny’s case–who is not chasing him first.
John’s eyebrows perk up in recognition that Fanny has somehow managed to charm the young laird. For John feels that anyone laughing enjoyably with his sister Fanny must inexplicably be smitten with her. Of course John suffers from growing up with Fanny and having to listen to her endlessly drone on about fashion and decorating and such. And John somewhat pigeon holes his view of her to narrow parameters of annoyingly spoilt behavior. Whereas someone outside the family–such as Baird Ogilvy–has a fresh perspective on Fanny Thornton’s personality–and perhaps allows for Fanny to expand her repertoire beyond her girlishness.
John: “I have no objection. Of course, Fanny may decide for herself whom she wishes to correspond with.” John intones in a stiff and protective brotherly way. Yet, John admits to himself that he is secretly pleased that someone seems interested in his sister Fanny–and who is within ten years of her age, for Baird is twenty-nine years.
Baird: “Of course. Thank you, Sir” He bows to John. John nods his head.
Then Baird follows John to the foyer as they all say their goodbyes. Taking Fanny’s hand and bringing it to his lips, Baird smiles warmly at her.
Baird: “It has been delightful meeting you, Miss Thorrrnton. Until we meet again.”
Fanny: “Yes, Mr. Ogilvy.” She smiles politely. “It was lovely to meet you.” He is not bad, she thinks–and Baird is certainly not grey like the other Milton mill owner Watson who has been paying his addresses to her.
After the Thornton’s leave, Baird’s sister corners him.
Angharad: “See, Barrrd? Fatherrr was rrright about Miss Thorrrton. You like herrr.”
Baird: “Possibly.” He tries to say blasely, but a small smile curls at the corner of his lips.
To be continued with Chapter 18
“N&S: JT Love Lessons”, Ch. 17 References, January 10, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #499)
1) “N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons” story logo: Richard Armitageas John Thornton and Daniela Denby-Ashe in the 2004 BBC period drama North & South, was found at richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/nands/album/episode3/ns3-110.jpg ; For more information about this wonderful 2004 BBC miniseries adaptation of Elizabeth’s Gaskell’s story North & South, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_&_South_%28TV_serial%29
2) “Mackintosh rubberized raincoats were first sold in 1824”; for more information, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mackintosh
3) Image representing Angharad Ogilvy MacIntosh is Holliday Grainger found at http://www.polyvore.com/cgi/img-thing?.out=jpg&size=l&tid=56164387
4) Baird Ogilvy image (masked background, sized) is Simon Woods as Charles Bingley in the 2005 film Pride and Prejudice found at http://image.hotdog.hu/user/Angelinna/magazin/Pride-and-Prejudice-2005-pride-and-prejudice-2005-32212524-264-400.jpg
5) Fanny Thornton image is portrayed by Jo Joyner in the BBC’s 2004 drama North & South found at http://northandsouth2004.com/images/cast/FannyThornton.jpg
6) Baird Ogilvy image (aspect, drken,sized) is Simon Woods as Charles Bingley in the 2005 film Pride and Prejudice found at madambaggio.blogspot.com at http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-dJFEabizaEI/UKAkFwXlJtI/AAAAAAAAANI/G5pZUxqcZGY/s320/Hugo+Weasley+02.jpg
7) Fiona is a Scottish name found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiona
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