“North & South: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 29: Fanny and Baird Courting in London, February 10, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #515)

“North & South:  John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 29:  Fanny and Baird Courting in London,   February 10, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace  (Post #515)

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:  Hannah and Cameron  had not seen each other for two days since he proclaimed his heartfelt and desirous love for heron Wednesday evening.   But John and Margaret’s initial attempts to get the two lovebirds back together at Saturday luncheon when they revealed their baby news, misfired and Hannah gave back Cameron’s engagement ring–because she did not feel that she could be a proper loving wife to him after the emotional damage she felt when her first husband killed himself. Cameron promptly threw the engagement ring into the fireplace in John’s study as he stormed out. Frantic, Hannah retrieved the ring from the fire only to burn her fingertips.  Cameron heard her screams of pain and came to her aid. They made up with each other with Cameron resolving to treat Hannah delicately and not pressure to her love him and devotedly as he loves her–and keep her wished for friendship marriage request if that is the only way that he can be in her life.

John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 29:  Fanny and Baird Courting in London

To say that Fanny Thornton is making up for lost time in her second visit to London is an understatement!  Born and bred in Milton, but with a keen eye for the culture and hum of life of 1851 London, Fanny Thornton decides to take the town by storm.  And Baird Ogilvy can only watch in bemused wonder at her audacious antics–as well as, be charmed by Fanny’s innocence.

Fanny has only just settled into Aunt Shaw’s and Edith & Maxwell Lennox’s London home on the afternoon of Wednesday Feb. 7th, when Baird Ogilvy calls upon her.   Baird is led upstairs by a footman accustomed to seeing the future Earl of Airlie in the Shaw-Lennox home.  Baird finds Fanny not in the parlor, nor even in the conservatory, but in the nursery playing dress up with Edith’s six month old baby girl Tamsin and her two year old son Sholto while the Lennox’s are out shopping.    It is about 4 o’clock in the afternoon.

Fanny and Tamsin are sitting on the floor–Fanny not wearing a hoop skirt today she has more freedom of movement.  While Sholto stands next to them shifting his feet back and forth in his uncomfortable attire.  Tamsin shakes Fanny’s paper fan with all her might–tearing it all to pieces since as a six month old she does not as yet know how to be gentle with delicate items.   And paper fans are not baby proofed.

Tamsin:  “Mmm.  Nng.  Ahh!”

Fanny:  “Like this, Tammy.”  Tammy is the family’s nickname for little Tamsin.   “Wave the fan slowly.”  Fanny illustrates with slow movements using another fan.

Tamsin swats the fan against a nearby table leg.  Happily, Fanny had given Tamsin a fan Sholto-dressed-up-as-Gainsborough-Blue-Boy-painting22-0004Feb0814-1artclubcomto play with that she was not particularly fond of, nor attached to.  However Sholto is faring far worse with Fanny’s attentions–him having been attired in a light  blue velvet suit, with a stiff lace collar, and a feathered hat looking like he stepped out of a fractured Gainsbourough painting of his famous Blue Boy portrait [(2) right].

Sholto:   “Scratchy.”  Sholto pulls at the lace collar trying to get it away from his neck. Actually, it is a wonder that Sholto has kept this outfit on for more than five minutes.

Fanny:   “Sholto, Don’t fuss about the collar, please.  You’ll ruin it!”    Fanny whines.  “You look so handsome.”  She tries to cajole him.

At two years old, Fanny thinks that little Sholto can follow instructions.  He can follow instructions, he just doesn’t want to follow her instructions.

Fanny is completely and happily distracted with the children with her back to the nursery BairdOgilvy-isSimonWoods-asBingley-in2005Pride-and-PrejudiceDec2713myscarlettladyonsugarcom-crop-sized-drkn-crop2door and she does not notice Baird has joined them–watching the scene before him bemusedly [(3) right].  But Sholto upon seeing Baird in the nursery doorway, he senses that his salvation is near and Sholto runs to Baird–which also lets Fanny knows that Baird is here to see her.

Sholto:  “Baid, Baid!”  Little Sholto almost has Baird’s name right.  “Come play.”

Baird smiles in amusement at seeing the little boy all fopped out with his velvet hat and large feather flopping about.

Baird:  “Who is this?” Baird asks kneeling down peeling back the soft brim of the velvet hat to reveal Sholto’s face.  “Show toes, it’s you!”  Baird calls Sholto by his nephew Andrew’s mispronunciation and laughs heartily. “Ha ha ha ha ha!”

Fanny:  Whipping her head around, Fanny cries out in glee. “Baird!”Fanny-isJoJoyner-inNorth&South-epi1-11h06m00s79-Jan1214GratianaLovelaceCap-crop-manip-sized-brt-manip

Fanny quickly stands up smiling broadly [(4) right].  And she rushes toward Baird–not minding her hair that has come undone with baby Tamsin’s tugging at her.  Baird also stands up.  Each of them has a little one tugging at their ankles.

Baird:  Bowing respectfully, he greets her warmly.  “Miss Fiona, I can na think of a morrre beautiful sight than you prrresent to me at this moment.”  He lifts her hand to his lips and kisses it.  Then he tucks an errant loose hair behind Fanny’s ear.

Fanny: “Where have you been!” She asks petulantly.  I arrived this morning–nearly four hours ago.”  She sighs slightly miffed at him shunning her.

Baird:  “My apologies, Miss Fiona.  Captain Lennox sent word of your arrival to my offices.   But my client appointments and court appearrrances did na allow me to steal away until now to see you.  Do ye forrrgive me?”

Fanny: “Well, I suppose so.”  She smiles agreeably.  Then she picks up baby Tamsin in her arms.  “Edith and Maxwell are due home any minute.  I am about to collapse from exhaustion keeping the children entertained all afternoon.”  She sighs.

Baird: “Do they na take a nap?”  Her eyes widen in realizing a missed opportunity.  “Andrew and Amanda are put to bed by 2 o’clock each day until supper time.”

Fanny: Her face falls.  “I didn’t think of that!”  But Fanny recovers.  “Oh well!   I guess it’s not every day that I get to play with little ones.  I can bear it.” But she wonders why neither Edith nor Maxwell mentioned a napping routine.  Hmmm.

Baird: “Let us put them in their beds to nap now.  Then we can chat quietly while they sleep until their parents return home.”

Fanny nods.  In a charmingly domestic way, Baird and Fanny potty Sholto and change Tamsin’s diaper, then they put the children down for their naps in their beds. Surpisingly, as soon as the tuckered out children’s heads hit their pillows, they fall fast asleep.   Fanny is also quite tired as she and Baird sit on a sette across the room from the children in the nursery and chat quietly.

Baird: “Miss Fiona, I wonderrred if you and the Lennox’s would like to accompany me to the operrra tonight.  I have a prrrivate box.”  He smiles pridefully at the distinction that his rank and wealth allows.

Fanny:  “I don’t know if the Lennox’s like opera.” Translation, Fanny is not fond of opera.  Fanny bites her lower lip.  “Is it a good opera?”

Baird: “Ha ha ha ha ha ha!  Well, Bellini’s “Norma” [(5)] has proved verrry popularrr with audiences this season and they have extended the number of perforrrmances.  It is a special favorite of Queen Victoria’s.  And I believe that she is rumored to attend this evening with her husband Prince Albert.”  He smiles with a knowingly raised eye brow.

Fanny: “The Queen!  Ohhhh, Baird!   We must go–even if it is a boring opera.  To meet the Queen in person has always been the fondest wish of mine.”

Baird:  “Kkkhhh!”  He coughs nervously.  “Miss Fiona, The Rrroyals do na generrrally socialize with commonerrrs at the operrra.”

Fanny: “But you are not a commoner, Baird.  You are Lord Ogilvy, in line to be the 9th Earl of Airlie–and I am your future countess.”  She smiles a bit pridefully.

Baird: “Yes, technically, I am Lord Ogilvy.  But me Scottish titles arrre not rrrecognized in England.”

Fanny: “That is silly.”  She waves her hand at him.  “Just because you cross the border into England does not make you any less a Scottish noble and Lord.”

Baird:   “Hmmm.”  He winces, because he agrees with her.  However British legalities are not on his side.  “Even so.”

Fanny: “And the royals have to come out at intermission–to drink champagne or to visit the ladies’ or mens’ lounges.”  She reasons as she plans her strategy to meet the Queen.  Normally one would not discuss such delicate matters such as lounges.  But Fanny is intrepid when it comes to achieving a goal.

Baird: “We shall see.”  His eyebrows raise even as his cheeks blush–mostly because Fanny is not blushing.

Fanny:  And the wheels keep turning in Fanny’s head.  “I don’t have anything suitable to wear to the opera.”  Then she perks up.  “I wonder if Edith might loan me one of her evening gowns?  We are about the same size.  And she has some lovely things–though they are a bit plain for my tastes.”

Fanny looks hopefully at Baird.  Of course, Baird has naught to do with evening gowns.  And he thinks that Miss Fiona will look lovely in anything she wears.  Baird is besotted!


When Edith and Maxwell Lennox arrive home within the hour, they are delighted with Baird’s invitation to the opera this night.  Edith finds Fanny a suitably lovely evening gown to wear in pink silk with cascading scallops of fabric and elegant ornamentation.  Though it doesn’t have enough trimmings to suit Fanny’s bold tastes, there is thankfully not enough time for Fanny to find trimmings to her liking to alter the dress.  As a result, Fanny Thornton looks very elegant and otherworldly in her borrowed gown.  Edith wears a blue silk gown that matches her eyes.  And the gentlemen–Baird and Maxwell–don white tie with black tailcoats that are most becoming.

The first act of the opera “Norma” finds the priestess Norma betrayed by her lover and father of her children, Pollione, who falls in love with Adalgisa [(5)].  As the Lennox’s and Baird and Fanny enjoy some champagne at intermission, they discuss the opera.

Baird: “So Miss Fiona, how do you like the opera so far?”

Fanny:  She purses her lips.  “Should I be truthful or polite?”  Fanny winces as she looks at her companions.

Edith: “Fanny dear, polite, always.”  Edith smiles cordially.

Maxwell: “I vote for truthful.”  He blusters with a mischievous smile as he squeezes his wife’s hand on his arm.

Fanny:  “What about you, Baird?”  She asks him coquettishly.

Baird:  Ever the attorney and weighing his response carefully, Baird suggests.  “Perrrhaps you can be both polite and truthful.”  He smiles.

Fanny: Patting Baird’s forearm she is holding, Fanny disengages herself from him with a winsome smile–just this side of impish.  “Well, if I were being truthful, I would say that you are not helpful at all, Baird Ogilvy.” She chastises him playfully.

Baird: “Ha ha ha ha ha!”  He laughs at her honesty.  “And if you werrre being polite, Miss Fiona?”

Fanny:  “I will have to think upon it and tell you at the conclusion of our evening.  Now if you will excuse us, Edith and I will rejoin you in a few moments.”  Fanny smiles prettily–and she does not mention their destination, though it is understood.  For ladies do not leave their male escorts unattended unnecessarily–lest someone else strike their men’s fancy.


Fanny takes Edith’s arm and nearly drags her to the ladies lounge.  Edith would rather walk in a circuitous path to the ladies lounge, in order to dissemble about their intentions.  Whereas, Fanny walks directly toward it–ignoring the glances of society matrons wondering who the young lady is with Lord Ogilvy tonight.  Though Baird’s title is not recognized officially in England, he is still an eligible match for their daughters and granddaughters.  Of course, they do not realize that Baird Ogilvy is already affianced to Fanny Thornton since no formal announcement has been made.

Once refreshed in the ladies lounge, Fanny sits on a velvet cushioned sette whilst Edith arranges her hair.  Fanny appreciates the elegant appointments of this large sitting room and she resolves to also do something like it in her own home one day.  Then to Fanny’s surprise, a rather frantic looking young lady bursts into the ladies lounge.  She darts about the large room looking for something–growing more panicked when she does not find it.  She asks the Maid attendant.

LadyinWaiting: “My mistress lost something, a brooch.  But we don’t know where she lost it.  Have you seen a large oval sapphire surrounded by diamonds brooch tonight?”

Maid Attendant: “No Maam.  No jewelry has been found.”  It seems like ladies are always losing an earring or bracelet or brooch.  And she wonders why these wealthy toffs can’t keep a hold of their jewelry better.  “Are you certain your mistress lost the brooch in here?”

LadyinWaiting:   “No!  I’m just hopeful that she did, since it could be anywhere.”  She shakes her head.     “You see, the diamond and sapphire brooch was a gift from my mistress’ husband and the piece is very precious to her.” [(6)] She frets.

Fanny: Her interest piqued–since jewelry is involved–Fanny suggests.  “Where did your mistress wear it upon her person?”  Fanny inquires sweetly–her not knowing that this lady’s mistress is Queen Victoria.

LadyinWaiting:  “She wore it in the center of her gown bodice.  But the lace edging she had there prevented her from noticing that the brooch had vanished.”

Fanny: “Hmm.  I suppose that she might have lost it at home or in the carriage on the way here.”

LadyinWaiting: “Oh no.  She was wearing it during the first act, because Lady Dorchester remarked how beautiful it was.”

Fanny: “Well, then, you must retrace your mistress’ steps.  I suppose that you have searched the refreshment area?”

LadyinWaiting: “My mistress only left her box to come here and then returned to it.”   She says sheepishly.

Now Edith having finished primping her hair, she tries to get Fanny to return to their box.

Edith:  “Fanny, we must head back to our box.  The second act will be starting any minute.”

Fanny:  “But we haven’t found the brooch yet.  It sounds exquisite and I would like to see it.”  Fanny smiles as Edith shakes her head.  “Edith you and this lady look over by the mirrors, and I will look under the settes and chair in case it was kicked under them.”

The ladies set about their task.  Fanny realizes belatedly that she has given herself the more onerous task since if there is something inadvertently kicked under the sette, she won’t see it standing upright. So Fanny does the unexpected but necessary and she drops to her knees onto the plush rug and carefully looks under the sette where she had been sitting.

MaidAttendant: “Oh Madam, please allow me.  You will wrinkle your lovely gown.”

Fanny: But Fanny ignores her as she looks carefully under the sette.  “A ha!”  FannQueenVictoriaWeddingBroachGiftfromPrinceAlbert1840_200193_Feb0814royalcollectionorguky cries out gleefully holding up the bauble clutched in her hand.  “I found it!”  And Fanny holds in her gloved palm the exquisite brooch [(6) right].

LadyinWaiting: Relief flooding her countenance, she gushes. “Oh thank you!”  She reaches for the brooch.

Fanny: But Fanny is wary of handing over so valuable an item of jewelry.  “Not so fast.  Perhaps we should go to your mistress and ascertain whether this brooch belongs to her?”

LadyinWaiting: “Oh but I don’t think …”

They all hear incidental music playing in the theatre, everyone’s cue to take their seats again.

Edith: “Fanny, we must go.”  Edith pleads.

Fanny: “Let us ask Baird.”  Then Fanny smiles at the Lady.  “My fiancé, Lord Ogilvy is an attorney and he will know how we should handle it.”

LadyinWaiting: “Very well, let us collect your fiancé and then we will return to my mistress’ box.”  She states hurriedly, still not revealing that her mistress is Queen Victoria.

So Edith and Fanny rejoin Baird and Maxwell.  Maxwell escorts Edith to Baird’s box and Baird accompanies Fanny and the Lady to her mistress’ box.

Baird: “Let me see the brooch, Miss Fiona.”

Fanny:  “Its clasp is broken.  That is why it fell off.”  Fanny opens the palm of her hand.

Baird’s eyes widen.  Baird is familiar with the jeweled brooch in Fanny’s hand, him having had occasion to be at court for some ceremonial functions.

Baird: “Kkkhh!”

Baird coughs discreetly as they are ushered into the royal box, him realizing that Fanny is still unaware of whom they are about to meet.  He just hopes Fanny does not blurt something out as her carefree nature is wont to do.

LadyinWaiting: “Please wait here, miss.  Your name?”  She thinks to ask.

Fanny: “I am Miss Fanny Thornton, and this is Lord Baird Ogilvy.”  She smiles.QueenVictoria-in1851byJohnSimpsonFeb0914melanieclegg

As Fanny and Baird step further into the spacious royal box, their presence becomes known to the occupants within who turn to look at them.  Fanny’s eyes go wide, for the drawings and miniatures of Queen Victoria [(7) right] that she has seen are very true to life.

LadyinWaiting:  She performs a deep curtsy.  “Your Majesty, this young lady aided me in finding your brooch.  May I present Miss Fanny Thornton and her fiancé Lord Baird Ogilvy.”

Baird bows respectfully and Fanny–after Baird nudges her shoulder–bows her head and descends into a deep curtsy.

Queen Victoria: “Thank you for your assistance.  Please rise.  And my brooch is where?”  She asks interestedly.

Fanny and Baird rise.  Fanny is still speechless.

LadyinWaiting:  “Miss Thornton has it.”

As if in a trance, Fanny extends her gloved arm and opens the palm of her hand to reveal her Majesty’s brooch.

Fanny:  Finding her voice, she says.  “Your Majesty, the clasp looks loose.  So I suggest that you get it repaired before you attempt to wear it again.”

Prince Albert: “Indeed.”  He gazes upon the forward young lady and removes the brooch from her palm.

Baird:  “Fiona!”  He admonishes her lightly under his breath for her speaking to the sovereign.

Fanny:  Fanny turns and looks at Baird.  “What?”

Queen Victoria: “I thought your name was Fanny?”

Fanny: “Fanny is a family nickname, Maam.  My fiancé, Lord Ogilvy, addresses me only by my given name of Fiona.”

Queen Victoria: “I see.  And Lord Ogilvy, do we know you?”  She asks wondering if he is a pretender.

Baird: He smiles apologetically.  “I am Dr. Cameron Ogilvy’s son and heir to the earldom of Airlie in Scotland.”

Prince Albert: “Oh yes, your family backed the 1715 Jacobite rebellion and had your title vacated in England [(8)].”   Prince Albert rattles off the particulars.

Baird: Baird looks astonished at Prince Albert.  “It was, and we seek redress and full restoration of our title in all of the British isles.”

Queen Victoria:  “We shall see.  But I thank you for the the great service you have rendered me this evening by returning my cherished brooch to me.”

Baird:  Bowing again, he replies. “It was our honor, Majesty.”

Queen Victoria confers with her husband and then her lady in waiting.

LadyinWaiting: “Miss Thornton, her Majesty would like to invite you and your fiancé to the Ambassadors Ball on Saturday evening, if you would be so kind to join them.  Where should we send the invitation?”  For an invitation once given by the sovereign is always accepted.

Fanny: Finding her voice, she replies.  “Thank you, that will be delightful.  I am staying with my cousin Edith and her husband Captain Maxwell Lennox–they have a mansion in Harley Street.”

Queen Victoria nods in recognizing the fashionable section of London mansions that this young lady resides in.  She nods to her Lady in Waiting.

LadyinWaiting: “Her majesty bids me to include your cousin and her husband, Captain and Mrs. Maxwell, in the invitation.

Baird: “Than you, Maam.  I am certain they will be delighted.” He says respectfully.  Fanny smiles.

Then Fanny and Baird are ushered out of the royal box and walk back to Baird’s box.  Then the Queen and Prince take their seats–finally allowing the performance to continue, since it was delayed ten minutes until her Majesty retook her seat.  And everyone in the theatre could care less about the second act of the opera, their wondering who this young blond lady was who just had an audience with their queen.

As Fanny and Baird take their seats in his box, she leans over to him and whispers.

Fanny:  “Edith will be undone that she did not accompany us to return the brooch and meet her Majesty.  But Edith will see her Majesty at the ball.”

Baird: “Yes, well, I suggest that you wait until you rrreceive the rrroyal invitation beforrre you mention it to Edith and Maxwell. These things can sometimes go awrrry with staff who forrrget to send invitations out.” He tries to let Fanny down delicately.

Fanny: “Baird, her Majesty invited us, particularly–you heard her.  I feel certain that we will receive the invitation as she said we would.”  Fanny is resolute.


After having nitecaps back at the Lennox home, Edith and Maxwell discreetly retire to bed around midnight to allow Baird and Fanny to have a private farewell.  Fanny has been waiting all day to see Baird alone–without little ones, their friends, or even her Majesty intruding upon them.

Yet, now Fanny feels shy to be alone with Baird in the Lennox’s large sitting room–a footman stands in the outer hallway as a nod to propriety.  Fanny has her hands clasped demurely in front of her as she stands near the warmth of the fireplace.  Baird is across the room from Fanny–him having just shut the parlor door behind the departing Edith and Maxwell Lennox.  Baird turns around and gazes at the lovely Fanny Thornton and his heart pounds erratically–part nervousness, part eagerness.

Baird:  “Miss Fiona.”  His voice cracks.  “Kkkhhh!”  Then his voice deepens as he strides toward her and takes both of her hands in his.  “Miss Fiona, it is so lovely to see ye again.  I have missed you.”  He says shyly.

Fanny: Demurely lowering her eyes, she responds in kind as she nods her head.  “And I have missed you, Baird.”

They are a bit shy with each other, not having been in each others’ presence for a week.  Baird guides Fanny to sit upon the sette.

Baird:  “Miss Fiona, Though your brotherrr John has not yet allowed me to ask ye forrrmally to be me wife and me futurrre countess, I hope that he will not think it amiss of me to want to give you something to betoken my prrromise to marrry you when I do have that perrrmission.”  Baird reaches into his breast pocket and pulls out a small square worn velvet jewelry box.

Fanny: “Ohh!”  Fanny sighs eagerly and she quickly removes her gloves–her rightly assuming that the jewelry box contains something for her finger.

Baird: “Allow me.”  He opens the jewelry box to reveal that it contains a beautiful cameo CameoRing--VintageRL-309.1L_Feb0914rubylanecomring so popular in the Victorian era [(9) right].

Fanny:  “Baird, it’s lovely.”  She moves her head around to see the ring’s detail.

Baird: Taking the ring out of its plush velvet nesting place, he smiles and takes her right hand in his.  “This rrring belonged to me motherrr.  And now, it will grrrace your delicate hand.”  Baird slides the ring onto the third finger of Fanny’s right hand, and he tenderly but gently kisses her on her lips for a few moments before he gentlemanly pulls back from her.

Fanny: With tears in her eyes, Fanny gazes into Baird’s eyes.  “You really do love me, don’t you, Baird?”   She asks disbelivingly.

Baird:  Lightly putting his arm around Fanny’s shoulders to comfort her, Baird says soothingly.  “I do, Miss Fiona.  Ye arrre a bonnie lass whom I want to spend me life with.”

Fanny: “Even though I sometimes say what I think, when I ought to keep silent?”  She asks him hesitantly.

Baird: “Ha ha ha ha ha!  Especially then.”  He brings her hand now wearing his ring to his lips and kisses it. “Ye arrre a brrreath of frrresh airrr.”

Fanny: “I will remind you of that statement when you become vexed with me in the future.”  She smiles coquettishly.

Baird: “I am forewarned.”  Baird smiles broadly.  “So did you like the opera, Miss Fiona?”  He has been waiting all evening for her reply.

Fanny:  “A bit.”  She says diplomatically.  “However, it was lovely for you to invite us to enjoy your box at the opera.”  She smiles appreciatively at him.

And though Fanny is not fond of opera in general, she further reveals to Baird that she did appreciate the soprano singing the lovely “Norma” aria “Casta Diva” [(10) and video].


And with Fanny and Baird now being viewed by London society as having a royal connection–them being seen in the royal box at the opera and then at the Ambassadors Ball three days later on Saturday–Fanny discovers that the party and dinner invitations begin to flow to her door.  She and Edith have fun picking and choosing the best parties to attend Fanny’s remaining week in London.   In the end, the two couples attend three dinners and two balls.   And Fanny becomes the toast of London as she recounts her exploits in recovering her Majesty’s lost jewelery.  Baird looks on in amusement and delight as Fanny embellishes the story each time she tells it–such that not only a brooch was recovered, but also matching earrings as well.

Baird also discovers that Fanny likes dancing very much at the balls–with a stamina that he has only seen amongst Highland sheepdogs.  So much so that Baird has to let Fanny dance with a few other men–either Maxwell or older gentlemen–at each ball in order for him to have any strength to escort her home.  And of course, Baird’s heirloom cameo ring on Fanny’s finger signifies their special relationship to anyone who might be contemplating how lovely Miss Fanny Thornton is.  She is taken–or soon will be, when John Thornton allows Baird to formally ask Fanny, his Fiona, for her hand in marriage.

And, of course, Fanny’s real purpose in coming to London–apart from seeing Baird–is for her to do battle with the couturier for her Mama’s wedding, by reviewing the completed attendants’ and bride’s gowns being made. Fanny is satisfied with the gowns.  So Baird accompanies Fanny when she returns to Milton with the gowns for final fittings before they all leave for Scotland the following week for the final preparation week before Hannah and Cameron’s wedding.

To be continued with Chapter 30

“N&S:  JT Love Lessons”, Ch. 29 References, February 10, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #515)

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) Gainesborough Blue Boy painting circa 1770 was found at http://www.1artclub.com/uploads/22-0004.jpg ; for more information, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Blue_Boy

3) Baird Ogilvy  image (aspect, sized, crop, drkn) is Simon Woods as Charles Bingley in the 2005 film Pride and Prejudice found at myscarlettlady.onsugar.com http://media.onsugar.com/files/ons1/530/5303518/40_2009/image_0.jpg

4) Fanny Thornton  is Jo Joyner in North & South epi1 (11h06m00s79) Jan1214 Gratiana Lovelace Cap-crop-manip-sized-brt-manip

5) The Bellini opera Norma was initially performed at La Scala in 1831; for more information, visit  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norma_%28opera%29

6) Queen Victoria’s wedding brooch—sometimes referred to as the Prince Albert saphhire—was given to her by her future husband the day before their wedding in 1940;  the image was found at http://www.royalcollection.org.uk/eGallery/object.asp?searchText=victoria+wedding&pagesize=20&object=200193&row=20 ; for more information about the jewel, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Personal_Jewel_Collection_of_Elizabeth_II

7) Queen Victoria miniature painted in 1851 by John Simpson was found at https://p.gr-assets.com/540×540/fit/hostedimages/1381178074/4456254.jpg ; for more information, visit http://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/2164158-miniature-portraits-of-queen-victoria-and-family; for more about Queen victoria, visit  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen_Victoria

8) Information about the Earls of Airlie, of the Scottish Clan Ogilvy of Angus Scotland may be found at  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clan_Ogilvy

9) Cameo carvings on jewelry date back to the Romans, but were popularized in modern times by Queen Victoria in the 19th century;  for more information, visit  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cameo_%28carving%29 ; and a cameo image was found at  http://image0-rubylane.s3.amazonaws.com/shops/877313/RL-309.1L.jpg?41

10) The aria “Casta Diva” from Bellini’s 1831 opera “Norma” is beautifully sung by soprano Renee Fleming “performs in the Palaces of the Czars in Russia” in a video by CMajorEntertainment uploaded Nov. 15, 2010 and  found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rg4L5tcxFcA  and  http://youtu.be/Rg4L5tcxFcA

Link to Previous Ch. 28:


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, John Thornton, Love and Relationships, North & South, Period Drama, Richard Armitage, Romance, Something About Love and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to “North & South: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 29: Fanny and Baird Courting in London, February 10, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #515)

  1. Ms. Mel says:

    I have to tell you, I enjoy fanfic. I’m a late nighter, and when it comes up, I really have to decide if I can wait for the morning to read the latest chapter or read it now. I’m not very good at delaying gratification!


  2. Feb. 10, 2014–For individuals who prefer to read my stories on my Wattpad site, here is the link for Ch. 29:



  3. Feb. 11, 2014–Dear Readers, I realized belatedly this morning that my husband and I have our tax prep appointment tomorrow. So I need to spend tonight pulling together our tax info and not building a story chapter post. I hope you will understand and you will have a new chapter on Friday. Thanks and Cheers! Grati ;->


  4. Kitty says:

    Years ago I was honored to be a part of one of my sweet friend’s wedding when she allowed me to make all her bride’s maids’ dresses and then help her and them dress the day of the wedding. We got her all gussied up in her “meringue” dress and suddenly, she had to pee. After quite a few minutes of panic, trying to decide how to get her some relief, I ran down to the church nursery & fetched a training pottie and put it under her dress; it took quite a few of us to hold up her dress while she “refreshed”. I wonder how the ladies of the era of your story “refreshed” themselves. Might be why they needed a lady’s maid.


    • Giggles, Kitty!
      You a resourceful woman! Similar thing happened to my cousin once the dozens of tiny fabric buttons were done up her back and down her forearms–she had to pee with 10 minutes to go for the ceremony. No time for her to undress and redress. So she went into a middle bathroom stall, and with her bridesmaids standing on the toilets in the surrounding stalls holding up her gown, all was well.
      And you can be darn sure when I got married 24 years ago, my gown was the last thing I put on. Ha!
      And ladies maids are a must! Ha!


  5. Pingback: “North & South: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 30– Traveling to Airlie Castle in Scotland for a Highland Wedding, February 14, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #517) | Something About Love (A)

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