“North & South: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 26: Wedding Planning Dresses and Such, February 3, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #511)

“North & South:  John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 26:  Wedding Planning Dresses and Such,   February 3, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace  (Post #511)

aaaN&SJohnThorntonLoveLessonsFanFicCoverDec2913GratianaLovelace-256x401(An original fan fiction copyrighted by Gratiana Lovelace;   All rights reserved; 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” and other actors for additional characters:   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, Simon Woods for Baird Ogilvy, and Emma Ashton as Mrs. Dillard, John Light as Henry Lennox, Tim Faraday as Watson, and Gillian Anderson at Carlotta Quint Watson, 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 from the previous chapter:  Thwarted in trying to find his banker to close the Thornton loan transfer to his control–in hopes of forcing Fanny Thornton to marry him–mill owner Watson visits his much neglected mistress and mother of his child the widowed Carlotta Quint.  Seizing this opportunity of seeing him again after a two month absence–and her creditors hounding her door–Carlotta Quint plaintively puts her case for marrage to Watson again.  She has born him a now 9 month old daughter and is pregnant with his second child, which she hopes will be a boy.  Smarting from Fanny Thornton’s rejection and buoyed by Carlotta Quint’s adoration of him, Watson marries Carlotta and moves her to his mansion in Milton.  Whereupon, it turns out that Margaret Hale Thornton realizes she was acquainted with  the new Mrs. Watson when she lived in London with her cousin Edith.  So Margaret resolves to help Carlotta assimilate back into society–though the husbands, John and Watson, remain frosty toward one another.  And John and Margaret turn their attention to his mother’s upcoming nuptials to Dr. Cameron Ogilvy and John’s sister Fanny courting the good doctor’s son Baird Ogilvy.

Ch. 26: Wedding Planning Dresses and Such

The Thornton Manor household no sooner resolves its financial difficulties–with the the Marlborough Mill’s Loan now safely within Dr. Ogilvy’s charge–then wedding planning fervor takes hold of all the ladies of the  house.  Hannah the bride, Fanny her daughter and maid of honor, and Margaret her daughter-in-law and matron of honor are all involved in the planning.  With this Monday, the third in February devoted to dresses.

And sitting in a quiet corner of the Thornton manor parlor with the Thornton ladies, Carlotta Quint Watson looks through dress maker patterns–here to use her knowledge of fine gown couture dressmaking and assist in estimating the feasibility for the length of time it will take to have Hannah’s and her attendants’ gowns made once Hannah settles on the designs. Though Carlotta’s own second wedding to Mr. Watson was a rushed affair with only the parson and the verger and no wedding finery, Carlotta  is not averse to assisting other people having traditional festive weddings.

Carlotta just needs to stay out of Fanny’s way on that score.  In the intervening weeks since her marriage to Watson, Carlotta and Margaret have struck up a friendship with weekly activities together.  And whereas Margaret warmly welcomes Carlotta’s presence, Hannah is initially reserved and Fanny is unsettled given her history with Carlotta’s husband.

For this is Fanny’s moment–helping her mother plan her wedding.  Fanny will not be left d-Clan Ogilvy dress tartans circ 1845 Jan0514wiki-croptoTartanout of helping her mother to decide on every little detail.  One would think that Fanny is planning her own wedding.   Holding up two satin swatches–one swatch of red and one swatch of emerald green of the Clan Ogilvy Tartan [(2) right]–Fanny scrunches up her nose in distaste.

Fanny:  “Mama, why must Margaret and Angharad as Matrons of Honor, and I as a bridesmaid wear green or red, or even yellow for our wedding attendant dresses?”  She pouts.

Hannah: “Because, Fanny Dear, …”  Hannah grits her teeth in explaining it for the umpteenth time.  “… those are the colors of the Clan Ogilvy tartan.  It is a small tradition that we must bow to.”Fanny-isJoJoyner-in2004North&South-22h45m55s133-Jan1214_Feb0314GratianaLovelaceCap-crop-sized-clr

Fanny: “But yellow looks horrid with my blond hair, and red and green are not much better.”  Fanny whines [(3) right].  “Why can’t the tartan have some blue in it?  I like blue.”  Fanny looks hopefully at her mother Hannah.  But Hannah shakes her head no.

Margaret: “Oh Fanny, I think emerald green will look lovely on you!”  Margaret [(4) right] Margaret-isDanielaDenby-Ashe-in2004North&South-11h01m48s110_Febr0314GratianaLovelaceCap-crop-sizedsays sincerely and diplomatically as she tries to keep the peace for Hannah.

Hannah smiles her thanks to Margaret.  Hannah appreciates her new daughter-in-law more each day.

Hannah: “I do as well.  And emerald green will be a lovely color for Margaret and for Cameron’s daughter Angharad with her red hair.”

Margaret stands up quickly, reaching to pick up the collection of emerald green fabric pattern swatches.  But the change in her attitude makes her feel quite dizzy.

Margaret: “Oh!”  Margaret’s  body sways and she abruptly sits down again.

Sitting a few feet to Margaret’s left, Carlotta comes to her aid.

Carlotta:  Taking Margaret’s hand and using one of the gown patterns as a fan to Margaret’s face, Carlotta asks. “Are you feeling unwell, Margaret?  Should we call for Dr. Ogilvy?”

Hannah and Fanny also crowd around a rather pale looking Margaret in concern.

Hannah: “I can send a footman to fetch Cameron.”  She refers to her fiancé informally.

Margaret: “No, no. Please don’t go to any trouble for me.   He will be here in an hour to join us for lunch anyway.  I think that I was sitting for too long in one position.  My  … leg fell asleep.”  She fibs.  For Margaret has begun to feel rather queasy in the mornings. And she thinks that she knows why–though she has not had it confirmed as of yet.

Looking at Margaret knowingly–for Carlotta is now three months pregnant with Watson’s second child, though omitting the first two months before she married Watson for discretion–Carlotta smiles encouragingly to her new friend.

Carlotta:   “Perhaps if you lie down in your room for an hour without your corset on, you will feel better, Margaret.”

Fanny: “What does Margaret’s corset have to do with her leg?”  Fanny asks obtusely–her being the only non-mother in the room.Hannah-isSineadCusack-in2004North&South-11h26m36s156-Jan1214_Feb0314GratianaLovelaceCap-crop-Sized

Hannah’s eyebrow rises in curiosity.  Then Hannah smiles slightly [(5) right] in recognition of Margaret feeling faint.

Hannah: “I think a lie down is an excellent idea for Margaret, Carlotta.  And getting out of your corset will make you more comfortable, Margaret.  I will have Cameron see you when in comes for luncheon today in an hour.”  For Cameron Ogilvy never misses lunch or dinner with his betrothed, Hannah.

Margaret: “Please don’t worry about me.  I’m fine.”  She smiles weakly, nausea already hitting her as she stands up again to head to her bedroom and feeling a bit dizzy.

Fanny:  “I will help you upstairs, Margaret.”  Fanny smiles helpfully.  Baird Ogilvy’s loving influence is having its effect upon Fanny’s temperament–despite the fact that she doesn’t want to wear the Ogilvy tartan colors for her wedding attendant dress.

Once alone, Hannah consults with Carlotta about her own wedding gown and the three wedding attendant dress stylings and completion time frames by the London Designer whom Carlotta had suggested earlier.  Cameron wants to be married in a little over three weeks.  So, they must move quickly.  Satisfied that it can be done, Hannah cordially thanks Carlotta for her assistance with Margaret as Carlotta leaves for her own home.


Then when Dr. Cameron Ogilvy [(6) right] arrives, Hannah ushers him up to Margaret’s bed chamber.  At Margaret’s bed chamber door, they knock.

Hannah: “Margaret Dear.  I have Cameron, Dr. Ogilvy to see you.”  Hannah checks herself, and switches to referring to her betrothed by his professional title–since he is visiting her daughter-in-law Margaret in his official medical capacity.

Margaret:  Margaret quickly pulls the coverlet up to her neck over her cotton slip for modest–her not wearing her corset. “You may come in.”

Hannah starts to walk into the bed chamber that John and Margaret share.  But Cameron stays her forward movement by grabbing her hand and pulling her back to him.  She looks at him quizzically.

Cameron:   “Though ye must be in the rrroom for proprrriety’s sake, please stand off to the side to give Marrrgarrret some prrrivacy in discussing herrr health with me.”

Hannah: “Are you concerned that she may be gravely ill?”  Hannah worries.

Cameron:  “Ach no!  She is a healthy young woman in the prrrime of herrr life.  But as me patient, Marrrgarrret deserrrves to be accorrrded confidentiality–even though she will become me step-daughter-in-law when you and I wed.” Cameron smiles and kisses Hannah’s cheek, then he caresses her cheek as they gaze at each other lovingly.  She nods.

Hannah sits near the open connecting door to Margaret’s sitting room bed chamber as Dr. Cameron Ogilvy goes to Margaret’s bedside and sets his medical bag on a table.

Margaret: “Thank you for seeing me, Cameron.  It’s really so silly.  I just felt … weak earlier–from sitting too long in one position.” She fibs a bit again.

Cameron: “We will see.” He intones knowingly.  “I will just step into yourrr bathing chamber to wash me hands firrrst.”  He smiles at her and quickly does that and returns to her.

Margaret: As Dr. Ogilvy takes her pulse, she asks him.  “You won’t tell John, will you? He worries so about me.”

Cameron: Pulling out his listening tube, he motions for Margaret to lower the coverlet and then he listens to her heart. “No, I will let you tell John.  Your heart rate is a little fast, but that could be due to the excitement of being fussed over.”  Then with his back to Hannah, Cameron moves his listening tube to her tummy.  Hearing what he suspected, he smiles.

Margaret: Margaret startles at this unusual placement of the listening tube.  “Oh!”

Cameron:  “We must eliminate some possibilities forrr yourrr faintness, Marrrgarrret.”  Margaret nods silently.  “Have you eaten something that disagrrreed with you?”  Margaret slowly shakes her head no–though she couldn’t bear to eat anything this morning due to nausea. “Was yourrr corrrset too tight and not let you brrreathe prrroperrrly?”

If Cameron had his way, no woman would wear such a restricting health hazard as a corset.  He feels that women’s undergarments could still be form fitting, but not restrictive.  But then, he is not a woman’s underclothes designer.

Margaret: “No, my corset was not too tight.”  She looks up at him sheepishly.

Cameron:  “Have you slept well this past week?  At least seven hourrrs a night?”  Margaret nods yes, wondering if she should count her time in bed versus the time she is asleep in bed. But she doesnot elaborate for Dr. Ogilvy.  “Final question.  When did yourrr bleeding stop?”  He asks sotto voce.

Margaret: Margaret’s eyes widen in realization with Dr. Ogilvy’s tacit acknowledgement of what she has suspected for a few weeks.  “I have not bled for two months.” She whispers so that Hannah does not hear her.

Cameron:  Continuing to examine Margaret by touching the back of his hand to Maraget’s forehead and not finding her overwarm, he confirms.  “Ye should have only one month morrre of feeling faint and nauseous, and in seven months time yourrr bairrrn will be borrrn.”

Margaret: “A baby!”  She sighs in a hushed whisper.   “Am I alright?  May I tell John?”  She asks hopefully.

Cameron: “The baby’s hearrrt beat is good and strrrong.  But I want you to rrrest more frrrom now until the birrrth.  I will check on yourrr prrrogrrress monthly.”

Margaret: “Thank you!”

Margaret gushes and that gets Hannah’s attention and she walks over to Margaret’s bedside.  Margaret looks pleadingly at Dr. Cameron to keep her surprise until she can tell John.

Hannah: “Is Margaret well, Cameron?”

Cameron: “She is.  But I want herrr to rrrest more–no exerrrtions of any kind, no lifting, no walking to town, someone should be with her when she uses the stairs, and she should get morrre sleep.  And Margaret, please eat a varrried menu with frrruits and vegetables with morrre chicken than beef in yourrr diet.”

Hannah: “Cameron, how long must these restrictions last?   Will she be able to travel to our wedding next month?”

Cameron: “I think that Marrrgarrret will be able to trrravel by then.”  He smiles at Margaret and she nods with a smile back to him.

To be continued with Chapter 27


“N&S:  JT Love Lessons”, Ch. 26 References, February 3, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #511)

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) Image of Clan Ogilvy dress tartans circa 1845 was found at  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clan_Ogilvy

3) Fanny is Jo Joyner  in the 2004 BBC drama North & South (22h45m55s133) Jan1214_Feb0314 Gratiana Lovelace  Cap-crop-sized-clr

4) Margaret  is  Daniela Denby-Ashe in the 2004 BBC drama North & South (11h01m48s110) Jan1214_Febr0314 Gratiana Lovelace Cap-crop-sized

5) Hannah is Sinead Cusack in the  2004 BBC drama North & South (11h26m36s156) Jan1214_Feb0314 Gratiana Lovelace Cap-crop-Sized

6) Dr. Cameron Ogilvy image is Graham McTavish  in the role of Dougal MacKenzie in the Starz tv series “Outlander “ found at

Link to Previous Ch. 25


About Gratiana Lovelace

Gratiana Lovelace is my nom de plume for my creative writing and blogging. I write romantic stories in different sub genres. The stories just tumble out of me. My resurgence in creative writing occurred when I viewed the BBC miniseries of Elizabeth Gaskell's novel North & South in February 2010. The exquisitely talented British actor portraying the male lead John Thornton in North & South--Richard Crispin Armitage--became my unofficial muse. I have written over 50 script stories about love--some are fan fiction, but most are original stories--that I am just beginning to share with others on private writer sites, and here on my blog. And as you know, my blog here is also relatively new--since August 2011. But, I'm having fun and I hope you enjoy reading my blog essays and my stories. Cheers! Grati ;-> upd 12/18/11
This entry was posted in "N&S: John Thornton Love Lessons", Creative Writing, Fan Fiction, Love and Relationships, North & South, Period Drama, Richard Armitage, Romance, Something About Love and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to “North & South: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 26: Wedding Planning Dresses and Such, February 3, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #511)

  1. Pingback: “North & South: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 27 (R-rated, S): John’s and Margaret’s Loving Evening and Such, February 5, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #512) | Something About Love (A)

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