“N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 49 (PG): Fanny’s Birthday Surprises, April 21, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #551)

“N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 49 (PG):  Fanny’s Birthday Surprises, April 21, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace  (Post #551)

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, 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, Gillian Anderson at Carlotta Quint Watson, and Jeremy Northam as Dr. Miles Houghton, etc]   [(1) story logo]

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:  With Baird’s firm losing their capital murder court case–and needing to mount and immediate stay of execution, pending appeal–Baird and Fanny decided to delay their wedding by one week.  So they will not be married on Fanny’s twenty-first birthday of April 19th, 1851.  But they plan to wed the following Saturday, April 26th in Milton.  However, Baird will be hanged if he will stay away from his beloved Fiona on her birthday.


“N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 49 (PG):  Fanny’s Birthday Surprises 

Saturday, April 19th, 1851–Fanny Thornton’s birthday–was also to have been her and Baird Ogilvy’s wedding day.  But his law firm’s capital murder case–and Fanny’s desire for more time to creaet a lovely wedding gown–necessitated a week’s delay.   Fanny had also written to Baird’s sister in London, Angharad Ogilvy MacIntosh, about possibly borrowing one of her ball gowns for her wedding gown–since Angharad has more formal evening gowns that she wears to various balls and dinners as befitting her social standing in London.

Instead of a servant traveling by train to Milton with a gown from Angharad for Fanny to borrow, Baird acts as the courier to surprise Fanny upon the occasion of her twenty-first birthday.  Fanny had also cheekily asked Angharad if she might have a tiara that she can let her wear for her wedding.  And this point was a further reminder to Baird that Fanny quite likes the idea of his Scottish titles–and her being the Countess of Airlie one day. Baird does not know why Fanny’s interest in titles irks him so still–it just does.  And after proposing to her twice now, Baird will try to keep engaged long enough to Fanny so as not to require a third proposal of marriage.   Hmmm.

Though Baird should be an old hand at proposing by now, he does think that not any man on Earth has had to endure such tribulations before his wedding day as he has with his Fiona.  Poor Baird, if he only knew. A wedding is not an ending of tribulations.  But rather, a marriage is the beginning of a lifelong commitment to holding fast together in the bad times, in between the good times.

So when Baird surprises Fiona at his Father Cameron’s and Stepmother Hannah’s Milton home with Angharad’s gown at her Saturday Birthday Family Luncheon, the happy surprise of Baird’s presence does not necessarily go as planned.

After family greets each other–except Baird who has secreted himself in his Father’s bed chamber–John, Margaret, Hannah, and Cameron begin to give Fanny her birthday presents in the salon drawing room before luncheon. Baird has crept to the hallway door, carefully carrying Angharad’s gown with him and watches through a crack in the half open doorway frame. Fanny thanks each of them for their thoughtfulness–ribbons from John and Margaret, monogram embroidered linen handkerchiefs from Hannah and Cameron, and a set of pearl earrings and necklace from all four of them.

They are lovely gifts and Fanny knows that she should be happy.  But it was to have been her wedding day today, but it isn’t.   Then she receives her surprise as Baird strides confidently into the room.

Baird: “Might my bride be wondering where her wedding gown is?”  He smiles broadly and lays the exquisite  ivory satin gown, encrusted with seed pearls along the edge of its sweetheart neckline and also dappling the full but unhooped skirt.

Fanny: Fanny jumps to her feet and rushes over to him gleefully. “Baird!  You came!  And you brought Angharad’s gown for me to wear!”

Baird: “Ha ha ha ha ha!” He laughs as she gives him a quick hug then she instantly pulls away to examine the ball gown as the rest of her family gather around her.

Fanny:  “It is soooo beautiful!”   Fanny sighs.

Then, Baird also greets John and Margaret, since his Father and Stepmother had greeted him earlier.

John: “Baird!  You were almost late.”  He joshes him.

Baird: “Me?  Late? Never!  Ha ha ha!”

Fanny: “Baird, do you think Angharad would mind if I added some of these lovely ribbons John and Margaret gave me to the bodice of this gown?”

Both Angharad’s father Cameron and brother Baird blanche.  For though they know that Angharad is being generous in loaning Fanny her gown, Angharad expects the gown to stay unaltered.

Hannah:  Hannah intervenes diplomatically–she is getting good at this.  “Fanny Dear.  You should save the ribbons for another gown.  Angharad’s ball gown is lovely all on its own.  And you will be the most beautiful bride we have ever seen.”  Hannah caresses her smiling daughter’s cheek.

Margaret: Picking up the gown’s veil, Margaret fingers its delicate lace. “Oh Fanny, the veil is also  lovely.”  Margaret smiles.

Fanny: “It is lovely.”  Fanny says meekly.

Baird: “Do ye na like the veil?  You do na have to wearrr it.”

Fanny: “No, it is fine.  It is just that …”   Fanny purses her lips and wrinkles her nose.

Baird:  “It is just what?”   Baird prompts.

Fanny: “Well.”  Fanny whines and pouts.  “I thought that I might get to wear a tiara for my wedding, like Mama did.”

Hannah: “Fanny Dear.  I told you that my tiara is locked away in the Airlie Castle Tower Vault.”

Baird: “Will ye na marrry me without a tiarrra upon your lovely head?”  Baird teases his Fiona.

Fanny: “I know, Mama.”  She whines.  Then Fanny turns back to Baird.  “But if Mama got to wear a tiara because she will be–and is now–a countess, then I should also have a tiara to wear.”  Fanny pouts some more.  Fanny has given in on many points with regard to her and Baird’s wedding.  But she wants to wear a tiara.

Baird becomes quiet, observing his Fiona’s petulance about their Scottish titles–again.   He thought that they had gotten past this.

Baird: “Well, ye shall be happy with a veil, or nothing at all.”  Baird states more brusquely than he intended.

Both Hannah and Cameron look at Baird quizzically–because they know that he also arrived with a tiara for Fanny to wear for their wedding as a surprise.  Trying to smooth things over, Cameron says in a jocular manner.

Cameron:  “Come now, Bairrrd. A lady should have whateverrr she wants to wearrr for herrr wedding day.”

Fanny: “Thank you, Cameron.”  She smiles politely. Then Fanny turns to Baird and needles him triumphantly. “See?”

Baird: Becoming agitated at his Fiona’s silliness about tiara’s, Baird intones pompously. “Well! Ye shall have to endure the wedding without a tiara.  Besides, a wedding is just a borrring cerrremony of unnecessarrry pomp and show.  It does not signify anything.”  Baird is focusing more on being married–rather than how he gets there.

Oh dear!  Baird has gone a bit too far–again.   Cameron shakes his head at his son’s pigheadedness. John’s eyebrows raise in astonishment at Baird’s callous stupidity.  Hannah’s and Margaret gasp audibly at Baird’s insensitivity.

Hannah and Margaret: “Hhhhh!”

Fanny:  Fanny looks sorrowfully at Baird for his seemingly cold statement about their upcoming wedding.  “But our wedding signifies our love for each other–to stand before our family and friends and promise to love each other always.”  Fanny is on the verge of tears–again, at something that Baird has said.

Fanny’s birthday luncheon goes on to be rather a stilted affair as everyone tries to smooth over the distress that Fanny is obviously feeling.  But they can not draw her out, no matter what topic they turn to.  Everyone shoots chastising looks at Baird–who wonders what their problem is.   Indigestion is felt all around. After luncheon is concluded, Fanny begs off to Margaret, who tells John that she would like to go home and rest.  John agrees, thanks his Mother and Cameron for their hospitality–as does Fanny.   Baird kisses Fanny’s hand, but she retracts it as quickly as his grip loosens.  Fanny and Baird are at odds with each other again.


After John, Margaret and Fanny leave for Thornton Manor–and Hannah retires to her bed chamber to also nap–Baird’s father Cameron has a frank discussion with him.

Cameron: “If I did na know incontrrroverrrtibly that ye came frrrom me loins, I would sayDrOgilvy-isGrahamMcTavishJan1914wearyslothcom-sized-crop-flip that Huberrt Galway sirrred ye!”  Cameron spews in disgust as he throws up his arms and glares at his son [(2) right].  Hubert Galway had been a most inept Mayor of Angus, Scotland who had almost invited riots when he had backed the English Crown–against the Ogilvy’s–in the Jacobite Rebellion a hundred years ago or more.

Baird: “Father!”  Baird is taken aback by this insult.

Cameron:  “How many chances do ye think ye get with a sweet and tender young lady like Fanny?  She could have any beau that she wants.  And she chose you!?!”  Cameron says incredulously.

Baird: “Ye arrre supposed to be on my side, Papa.”  Baird whines.

Cameron: “This is na about sides.  If ye want Fanny to be yourrr wife, then ye have ta wooo herrr.  Be considerrrate–and not an oafish clod.  Stop being selfish!”

Baird:  “How am I being selfish?”   Baird challenges.

Cameron: “Fanny wanted a simple little thing–a tiarrra to wearr for your wedding.”  Cameron shakes his head.  “And ye have it with you!”  Cameron squawks as he flails his arms about.  “But did ye give it to herrr?  Nayyyy!  Ye did na give herrrr the tiarrra out of pique–and pigheadedness!  Ye arrre daft!”

Baird:   “What do you know about it?”  Baird fumes and crosses his arms firmly.

Cameron: “I am marrried, happily, for a second time.  Ye arrre not.  And if ye do na apologize to Fanny today, I prrredict that ye will  na be wed next weekend–and ye cerrrtainly won’t have a marrriage.”

Baird: “But Fiona wants to be me countess.”

Cameron: “Aye!  But arrre paying attention, Baird?  Fanny wants to be your countess–not a countess, but your countess.  There is a verrry grrreat differrrence.  And as yourrr wife, she will be your countess someday.”  Cameron slaps Baird on his shoulder to jostle him out of his pout.  “Now get yourrrself overrr to Thorrrnton Manorrr with that tiarrra–and prrray that ye have na rrruined all yourrr hopes of marrrrying Fanny.”

Baird: “Yes, Papa.” Baird’s shoulders droop in defeat, again.  Baird feels that he is right–but he also understands and values the points that his father makes.


Margaret coaxes Fanny downstairs at Thornton Manor for tea and they find John and Baird sitting in the parlor talking. Baird has a stern look on his face that crushes Fanny and she runs away crying to her room before they even exchange hellos.  Margaret goes to calm her.  Fanny will not come out for tea–as long as Baird is there.  So John, Margaret, and Baird have tea alone. But Fanny gets hungry and makes herself ready for dinner.

When Fanny arrives in the Thornton Manor dining room at 6 o’clock in the evening she is a little disappointed not to see Baird Ogilvy.  But what did she expect with his scowl and her running away from him crying?  She presumes that he has gone to a hotel, or even caught the next train back to London. And she will not see him again, and they will not be married in seven days as she hoped.Fanny-is-JoJoyner-in2004N&S_22h45m45s28_Dec2813GratianaLovelaceCap-crop-sized-plain-mask

Fanny stands at her chair on the other side of John, her back to the dining room entrance.  Choosing not to dress in an evening gown for dinner, Fanny is wearing one of her more conservative day dresses [(3) right]–the gown’s lack of femininity does not make her feel better, as evidenced by the pout on her face.

John: “Ah! Fanny! It is good to have you join us for dinner.  Are you feeling better, my dear?” He asks in a caringly brotherly tone as he kisses her cheek.

Fanny: “Yes, thank you Johnny.”  She answers haltingly. Fanny looks around the room, noticing the fourth place setting and has a small hope. Then that hope is dashed.

Margaret: “He’s not here, Fanny.”  Margaret is speaking in half truths.  He is not here, in the dining room–at this moment.

Fanny:  “No, I don’t expect that he would be.  Baird will find someone more suitable than I to be his wife. Hhhh!”  She sighs in frustration and looks at John and Margaret pleadingly.  “I’ve ruined my chances for happiness.  I let the only man I truly like more than anyone else think that I was only interested in a tiara and in his title.  But I love him!”  She stamps her foot even as her tears fall.  “I’ve been such a ninny!”

Baird: Baird Ogilvy had been standing in the dining room entry way and overheard BairdOgilvy-isSimonWoods-asBingly-in2005Pride-and-Prejudice-2005-Dec2713hotdog.hu-maskbkgrnd-sizedFanny’s speech.  His face is impassive, not betraying his thoughts and he remarks [(4) right].  “Yes you have been a ninny, Miss Fiona!”

Fanny: Fanny whirls around and stares at Baird in astonishment. “Baird!  I thought that you would have left again.”

Baird walks toward Fanny, and stands two feet in front of her.

Baird: “I decided that we should prrrobably at least have a talk beforrre eitherrr of us decides to leave the rrroom again–without the otherrr well in hand.”  He holds out his arm to her.  “My lady, might I beg a private audience with you in the drrrawing room?”

Fanny startles and looks to John and Margaret.  John nods his head at her.

John: “We will delay dinner for ten minutes.”  John says soberly.

Margaret:  “But take your time.”  Margaret chirps hopefully with an encouraging smile.


So Baird escorts Fanny out of the Thornton dining room and down the hall to the drawing room.  Fanny moves into the middle of the room, fidgeting with her fine linen handkerchief embroidered for her by her Mother, Hannah, as Baird shuts the drawing room door.  Their privacy is absolute.  But Fanny is nervous about the proprieties.

Fanny: “Baird, we must keep the door open for form’s sake. What will people think?”

Baird: Feeling a sense of bravado at having the upper hand, for once, with Fanny, Baird sighs with disdain.  “Nay Fiona, were people to think ill of eitherrr you or I on so slight a thing as a closed door, then those arrre not the people with whom we should wish to associate.”

Fanny: Stung by his tone, and recognizing her own previous misinterpretations of others’ actions, she sits down on the sette resignedly.  “It is the way of things, I suppose.”  Then she continues in a small voice.  “Those people are my friends.”

Baird: “Then if gossip and innuendo arrre your currency of exchange, you do yourself an injustice.”  Baird sits on the sette next to Fanny, but apart from her.

Fanny: Looking up at him quizzically, wondering if he is praising her or not, she asks. “What do you mean?”

Baird: “Only this Fiona, that you are betterrr than those people–if you would only rrrealize it.”  He sighs in frustration as he runs his hand through his hair.

Fanny: “You think too well of me, Baird.” Fanny lowers her eyes from Baird.   “I am only a silly spoilt woman.  People only like me because my brother is a wealthy manufacturer.  Even you only agreed to meet me initially because your father told you to.”

Baird: Looking at Fanny in horror, he asks her gently as he takes her small hand in his and she looks up at him again.  “Fiona, how can you think that I would want to marrrry you if you werrre only a silly spoilt woman?  And your brrrotherrr is a nice man, but neitherrr he–norrr me fatherrr–would in any way influence me in my choice of wife.”

Fanny: Fanny hesitantly removes her hand from Baird’s grasp.  “Truly, Baird.  I am not some paragon of virtue and I am far from being a saint.  You will be the Earl of Airlie one day and you should have a wife and countess who is good and kind and elegant and refined–so that she is respected by your people.”  Fanny says sadly as she wipes a tear from her eye.

Baird: “But Fiona you arrre all those things to me–especially, you arrre good and kind.  I saw you playing with my niece and nephew, and the Lennox bairrrns. You became a different and more joyful person as you played with them and as you held them at my sister’s home in London.  And now you also care for the Mill’s Nursery School childrrren.”

Fanny: “That’s different.  I like children.  They like to play and they … well, … children don’t judge people.  They accept a person as they are–without making them try to meet some impossible standard of ladylike perfection.” She thinks of her mother’s high standards.

Baird: “But you arrre perrrfect in my eyes!” Then he sees Fanny flinch. “No!  Let me rrrephrase that, Fiona.  You arrre the delightfully imperrrfect lady who is rrright for me.  When we marrrry, we will have many years beforrre we have to worrrry about being the Earl and the Countess of Airlie.  My Fatherrr is as strrrong as an ox–and will live to be 90!  So we can live ourrr lives as we wish–trrraipsing around London and the Highlands as much as we want to–and having as many bairrrns as you wish, to keep the fun in ourrr lives.”  Baird’s voice smoulders at his mention of his Fiona giving him children.

Fanny: “Hmm.”  Fanny whimpers, hopefully, but reservedly–untried emotions for her.

Fanny looks at Baird with love and tenderness.  Then he kneels down in front of her and takes both of her hands in his.

Baird: “Fiona Thornton, I love you and no otherrr.  You can na chase me away because you think yourrrself ill prrreparrred to be me wife.  I am pigheaded and prrrideful.   Maybe I am the one who is ill prrreparrred to be yourrr husband?  Have you everrr thought about that?”  Fanny looks at him wistfully for a moment. “But doesn’t every couple have to find their way togetherrr–as we will?”  He smiles at her mischievously.  “Please say yes to my proposal of marriage, Fanny.  You arrre my hearrrt’s only love.  And I am deterrrmined that you will be my countess in seven days.  This is my thirrrd proposal to you my love.  Please marrrry me.”  He pleads earnestly.

Fanny:   The moments tick by.  And as often happens, the third time is the charm.  Then Fanny whispers in a voice so soft even she can barely hear it.  “Yes?”

Baird: He smiles broadly with a raised eyebrow.  “What did you say?”

Fanny: “Yes.”  She says meekly.

Baird jumps to his feet and lifts a surprised Fanny to her feet also.  Then he pulls her into his embrace and asks her excitedly.

Baird: “Say it again!”

Fanny:  Now in a clear voice, she smiles up at him.  “Yes!”

Baird: Baird embraces her. “Oh Fiona!” Then he pulls back to gaze into her eyes.   “You have made me the happiest man on this Earrrth. And yourrr happiness will everrr be goal.   I love you so.”

Fanny: She pinkens. “And I love you, Baird.”

Baird: “Fiona!”  Baird sighs and then he leans in to give Fanny a tender kiss.

Baird’s lips brush Fanny’s lips at first in petal soft tenderness.  They have been out of practice in their kissing and Baird wants to take it slowly with his Fiona.   Then feeling no resistance from her for his forwardness, he presses his lips more firmly to hers and begins to kiss her again, and again, and again, and again.  He has kissed before.  But what man of his age has not?  Yet with Fanny’s still nascent kisses, Baird finds a whole new level of intoxicating passion that makes him glad that their wedding will be soon–and that he only has seven days to wait.

Fanny feels like swooning with the delights of her Baird’s kisses.    Fanny feels that since their falling out– twice–and their reconciliations, that she and Baird are experiencing even more pleasant accord with each other than ever before.    Baird is so tender and loving with her, that Fanny feels gently cherished–as she always hoped she would feel in kissing her intended future husband.

Fanny: “I love you so, Baird.”  Fanny whispers to him sweetly.

Baird: “And I love you, my Dearest Darling Fiona.”  Then he gets an impish grin upon his face. “But wait! There is still something amiss.”

Fanny: “What?” She pouts. She said she was sorry.  Fanny wonders, what more does he want?

Baird:  “This.” He smiles.

And Baird reaches down beside him at the end of the sette and he lifts up an intricately carved hinge lidded antique square box of middling size–smaller than a ladies hat box, but not by much–and he sets the box  on the low table before them.  Fanny looks at him quizzically and smiles–wondering what could be in the box.  Baird smiles impishly.  Fanny absentmindedly runs her tongue along her upper lip–it is a small gestural tick of hers that always indicates Fanny’s interest.

Baird takes a small metal key out of his vest pocket and inserts it into the box’s lock and turns it.  The lock mechanism clicks open–and the box seems to sigh as he opens the lid.  What lies within is covered by a faded blue velvet felt like looking cloth–similar to what the silver flatware service is wrapped in, thinks Fanny.

Fanny:  Itching to know what lies within the box–Fanny never having read the tale of Pandora, thinks all pretty boxes contain good things–Fanny’s hands move forward toward the open box even as her fingers wiggle in excitement. “What is it?”

Baird: “Eagerrr!   Arrren’t we?”  He teases.  Baird’s smile broadens as his hand hovers in intentional hesitation over the velvet cloth.

Fanny:   “Baird!  Patience is not one of my virtues. So be forewarned.”

Baird:  “Noted!” He raises his eyebrows.   “Now, ye must underrrstand that this is but on AnconaTiara-fullApr2014orderofsplendorblogspotloan to us.  It belonged to the 1st Countess of Airlie.”  Baird pulls back the velvet cloth to reveal a delicate Ogilvy Family heirloom tiara [(5) right].

Fanny: “Ohhhhhhh!”  Fanny sighs in rapt wonderment.  “This pearl tipped diamond tiara is beautifully exquisite–even prettier than Mama’s tiara.”

Baird: “Fiona, I am sorrry that I was crrross with ye earlier today.   But ye almost spoiled me surrrprrrise in brrringing ye this tiarrra forrr you to wearrr at ourrr wedding.  That was why I was so put out with you.”

Fanny: Fanny lunges at Baird–landing on his lap–and kisses his face all over in gleeful delight.  “I forgive you!”

Baird thinks that he and his Fiona should always make up their future arguments this way–with her sitting on his lap and kissing him with abandon.

Baird: “Ha ha ha ha ha!”  Baird laughs delightedly.  “Would ye like to trrry on the tiara?” Need he even ask?

Fanny: “Yes please!”   But first, Fanny kisses Baird so thoroughly once more that he thinks that they should see if the vicar would be available this evening.

Eventually detaching himself from Fanny and placing her back upon the sette next to him, Baird carefully lifts the heirloom tiara out of its velvet cradle and gently places it on his Fiona’s head–taking care for inserting the combs at the back of the tiara into her hair to securely fasten the tiara to her head.   Fanny stands up from the sette with great poise and grace and gazes upon herself in the drawing room mirror over the fireplace mantel–and she smiles sweetly at herself.  Baird stands also and smiles at her lovingly.

Baird: “Ye look like a prrrincess!  You arrre my prrrincess.”

Fanny smiles at Baird shyly, feeling like a princess–and her graceful posture and bearing do credit to that title.  Then Fanny and Baird kiss again–but sweetly–with Fanny taking care not to tilt her head too much for fear of the tiara falling off, until she accustoms herself to its slight weight.


After fifteen minutes have passed with John and Margaret waiting patiently in the dining room for Fanny and Baird to return–and John being quite hungry and despairing of his dinner retaining any warmth–he goes in search of Fanny and Baird in the drawing room.  When he opens the drawing room door, he sees the tender scene of Fanny and Baird kissing sweetly.

John: “Kkkkhhh! Ahemmmm!”  John coughs while standing in the drawing room doorway-John-atMastersDinner-isRichardArmitage-inNorth&South_17h06m00s183_Dec2213GratianaLovelaceCap-crop-sized-clr2-to get Baird’s and Fanny’s attention and they break apart.  Afterall, it has been fifteen minutes since Baird and Fanny left the dining room, and John has been a patient man. “Am I to assume that congratulations are in order?”  John smiles delightedly in his formal evening wear [(6) right].

Fanny:  “Yes, Johnny!  Baird has asked me to marry him again–for a third time–and I have said yes, again!”   Fanny beams a brilliant smile and raises her eyebrows to draw her brother’s eyes to her tiara.

Margaret:  Peeking around her husband’s tall form, Margaret squeals. “Ohhh!   That’s wonderful!”

Then Margaret maneuvers around John and she hugs Fanny joyfully, even as John shakes Baird’s hand and claps his other hand on Baird’s shoulder.

Fanny: “Mind the tiara, Margaret.  It is on loan to me from the Airlie Family Vault.” Fanny admonishes gently. Margaret smiles cheerfully.

John:  “Baird, I trust that you will take great care of my little sister, for she is very dear to me.”  John smiles at Baird, then John gives Fanny a peck on her cheek.  And Fanny blushes to hear her brother say that she is dear to him.

Baird: “Fiona’s care and happiness will be my life’s joy!”  Then Baird clasps Fanny to him again and he kisses her soundly.

What is John to do?  But follow suit and he kisses his wife Margaret soundly.

Then the two happy couples walk arm in arm back into the Thornton manor dining room.

John: Observing that Fanny is still wearing the tiara as they sit down to eat dinner, he remarks.  “Fanny Dear, the tiara is a bit formal for  dinner en famille. Don’t you think?”

Baird smiles–as does Margaret.  John is entering into perilous territory. One does not separate a woman from her tiara.

Fanny: Fanny purses her lips together in a focused pout, and she intones chidingly.  “Johnny.  I must accustom myself to this tiara’s weight and balance so that I do not drop it on my wedding day.”  She states imperiously–as if this tiara is different from other tiaras that she has worn.  It is the first and only tiara that Fanny has worn.

Baird:  Baird brings Fanny’s hand to his lips and kisses it. “So Fiona, in the interrrest of prrreserving ourrr family heirrrloom, will ye prrractice wearrring the tiarrra beforrre ourrr wedding day?”  Baird smiles impishly.

Fanny: “Of course, Baird.”  Fanny smiles sweetly at her fiance.  “I plan to wear this tiara for several hours every day this week.  It will soon become an extension of myself.”  She preens

John, Margaret, and Baird exchange amused looks–as if to convey the thought that Fanny is already there.  Then they go on to have a lovely dinner–with Fanny only occasionally gazing at herself and her tiara in her silver soup spoon.

All that is left is to show up for the wedding–and a few related details.

To be continued with Chapter 50


“N&S:  JT Love Lessons”, Ch. 49  References, April 21, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #551)

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) Dr. Cameron Ogilvy is Graham McTavish found at  http://www.wearysloth.com/Gallery/ActorsM/30775-29923.jpg

3) Fanny was portrayed  by Jo Joyner in the 2004 BBC drama North & South (22h45m45s28) Dec2813 Gratiana Lovelace Cap-crop-sized-plain-mask

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) The Ancona Tiara image and history were found at http://orderofsplendor.blogspot.com/2013/06/tiara-thursday-ancona-tiara.html :  Here is an excerpt:  “The Ancona Tiara is a pearl and diamond tiara with Italian heritage. The body of the tiara includes groups of three round pearls in diamond trefoil surrounds on a pearl and gold base. The tiara is topped with pearls in two rows, a lower row of round pearls and a top row of upright drop pearls which are slightly irregular in shape – clearly old, baroque pearls. And old this tiara is indeed: it was made for Princess Maria Anna Carolina of Saxony (1799-1832) sometime around her 1817 marriage to Leopold II, Grand Duke of Tuscany.”

6) John Thornton is Richard Armitage in the 2004 BBC drama  North & South, epi 2 at the Masters Dinner (17h06m00s183) Dec2213 Gratiana Lovelace Cap-crop-sized-clr


Link to Previous Ch. 48:


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

2 Responses to “N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 49 (PG): Fanny’s Birthday Surprises, April 21, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #551)

  1. April 21, 2014–For those of you who prefer to read my stories on my Wattpad site, here is the link for Ch. 49: Fanny’s Birthday Surprises:



  2. Pingback: “N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 50 (PG-13): A Member of the Wedding, April 23, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #552) | Something About Love (A)

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