“N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 81 (PG-13): Courting Permission September 9, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #633)

“N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 81 (PG-13): Courting Permission September 9, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #633)

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 Ogilvy, Jo Joyner for Fiona/Fanny Thornton Ogilvy, Brendan Coyle for Nicholas Higgins, Graham McTavish as Dr. Cameron Ogilvy, Holliday Grainger for Angharad Ogilvy MacIntosh, Simon Woods for Baird Ogilvy, Emma Ashton as Mrs. Dillard, John Light as Henry Lennox, Tim Faraday as Watson, Gillian Anderson at Carlotta Quint Watson, Jeremy Northam as Dr. Miles Houghton, Gerard Butler as Lord Jamie Ogilvy, Juliette Lewis as Lady Thistle Ogilvy, and Helena Bonham Carter as Brigid Gordon, 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. As such there will be heartfelt moments of love and sensuality (S)–as well as other dramatic emotions (D), 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: If Audrey Grace Thornton turning four years old wasn’t excitement enough–she had two parties, one at the Mill School and one in the Thornton Manor gardens–her littletwo year old sister Caty fell into the water fountain during the treasure hunt. But Nicholas Higgins quick thinking and quick reflexes pulled her out of the fountain, coughing up water, her top half drenched in water, but happily not permanently harmed. John and Margaret were beyond grateful to Nicholas as they moved everyone to the chocolate desserts. However, Nicholas delayed joining them to shyly speak to Nanny Brigid Gordon. And she surprised him by guessing is interest in her and laying down her terms for their acquaintanceship–if they were both agreeable after a suitable chaperoned courting period, it would be matrimony or nothing. And Nicholas agreed.


“N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 81 (PG-13): Courting Permission

The June 20th Friday evening of the now four year old Audrey Grace Thornton’s birthday party, a tired and sleepy household prepares to retire for the night at Thornton Manor. Little Caty seems none the worse for wear after her falling into the water fountain. Yet John and Margaret kept her by one of their sides the rest of the day. And true to his word to Margaret, John has already had the gardeners drain the fountain and flowers will be planted in it the following day.

John and Margaret have read Audrey Grace and her two year old sister little Catriona a bed time story and kiss them good night as Margaret places a sleeping Caty in bed and John carries the almost asleep Audrey Grace to her bed.

John: “My little treasure!” John carries his daughter Audrey Grace into his arms.   “Did AudreyGrace-almost-four-image-is-Tête_d'Etude_l'Oiseau_(1867)-byWilliam-Adolphe_Bouguereau_(1825-1905)_Jul2614wiki-crop2you enjoy your birthday today, sweetheart?”

Audrey Grace: Audrey Grace [(2) right] smiles in looking up at her father. “I did, Papa. It was the bestest birthday I have ever had.” Audrey Grace kisses her Papa’s cheek then she hugs him tightly around his neck.

Then John places her in bed next to her sister, Caty–and the girls instantly embrace, with Caty still asleep

Audrey Grace: Lying hugging her sleeping sister Caty in their shared bed, a sleepy Audrey Grace holds out her free hand to her parents. “Thank you for my parties and presents, Mama and Papa.”

John and Margaret clasp her hand in theirs and they both smile lovingly at their daughter who is growing up so fast before their eyes.

Margaret: “You’re welcome, My Sweetheart.”

John: “We’re glad that you enjoyed yourself.”

Audrey Grace: “Uh huh.” Audrey Grace sighs and is fast asleep.

John and Margaret rise and walk toward the bedchamber’s door to the hallway.Margaret-isDanielaDenby-Ashe-inNorth&South-Epi417h49m20s188_Nov1013GratianaLovelaceCap-crop2

Margaret: Margaret whispers [(3) right]. “John, let me just check on baby Douglas and I will join you in our bed chamber.”

John: John kisses his wife Margaret’s forehead. “Alright My Love. Don’t be long.” His voice deepens into a husky timbre with his love for his beautiful wife.

Margaret nods with a knowing smile. Then she walks to the door to the adjoining baby nursery, knocks softly, then enters–while John heads back to his own room.

Margaret: “Nanny Brigid?” Margaret whispers in the darkened room, while she lets her eyes adjust to the darkness that is broken by the warm glow of firelight in the fireplace.

Nanny Brigid: “Yes Mrrrs.?” Brigid sits up in her bed, then stands to see what is wanted.

Margaret: “Oh! I’m so sorry, Nanny Brigid. I didn’t realize that you had gone to bed already. Please don’t let me disturb you.” Margaret starts to back out of the room.

Nanny Brigid: “Tis no disturrrbance.” Brigid stands up and wraps a shawl around her shoulders. “Ye have come to kiss baby Douglas goodnight then?” Brigid smiles–for she kisses goodnight her own son Arthur every night.

Margaret: “Yes.” Margaret sighs sheepishly as she goes to his crib and sees her son sleeping soundly.   Margaret kisses two of her fingers, then she lovingly places her fingers on her son’s cheek as she gazes wondrously at her miracle, giving a son to John when they adopted baby Douglas and his sister Catriona.

Baby Douglas: “Hhhhh!” Baby Douglas sighs in his sleep with his mother’s touch, but he does not awaken.

Margaret: “Well, I should leave you to your rest.” Margaret starts to turn toward the hallway door to let herself out.

Nanny Brigid hesitates–biting her lower lip. Then she purposely walks toward MargBrigid-isHelena+Bonham+Carter+helena_Aug2414lastfm-sized-sepia-croparet and whispers.

Nanny Brigid: “May I ask ye something, Mrrrs?” Nanny Brigid feels suddenly shy [(4)  right] at the prospect of informing her employer, what she is about to inform her of.

Margaret: Margaret turns back to Nanny Brigid. “Of course.” She whispers.

Nanny Brigid: “While I am yet wet nurrrrse to baby Douglas, would ye object to Mrrr. Higgins and I becoming acquainted?” Brigid waits patiently for Margaret’s answer.

Margaret’s eyebrows rise. She guessed that her friend Nicholas Higgins had an interest in her children’s nanny, but not that it had progressed to the point of their possibly developing an acquaintanceship.

Margaret: “Oh!” Margaret smiles indulgently. “Has Nicholas asked you ….?”

Nanny Brigid: “He has, Mrrrs.” Though if truth be told, it was Brigid who urged him along by her forthrightness.

Margaret: “Well, as long as the children’s needes are tended to, I have no objection to you using your Sunday afternoon off as you wish.”   Then Margaret adds protectively. “Though my regard for Mr. Higgins is unwavering, I would not like unseemly talk to develop by idle persons about your interactions.”

Nanny Brigid: “Norrr would I, Mrrrs. With that in mind, might Mr. Higgins courrrt me here at Thorrrrnton Manorrrr? He is herrre often enough alrrrready not to arrrouse interrrest.” Brigid smiles impishly.

Margaret: “Courrrt you?” Margaret blanches, her not suspecting that Nicholas and her Nanny had progressed that far. Then she regroups.   “I suppose that would be ideal. Let me think upon that–before we address the topic with Mr. Thornton.”

Nanny Brigid: “Yess, Mrrrs. Thank ye.” Brigid nods with a smile. “Good evening.”

Margaret: “Good evening.”

Margaret nods and heads to her own bed chamber. Margaret was going to try to figure out a way to broach the topic of Brigid and Nicholas courting with her husband John when she entered their shared bed chamber Friday night. But John’s loving attentions quite sweep her off her feet–literally–and she is otherwise more pleasantly engaged before sleep claims her this night.


The Sunday June 22nd–two days following Audrey Grace’s fourth birthday parties–finds Nicholas Higgins invited for luncheon at Thornton Manor after church at Margaret’s behest–since she is now quite enamored of the notion of playing matchmaker for her friend Nicholas and her Nanny Brigid Gordon. John Thornton has yet to be apprised of the situation. So Margaret must tread delicately.

And John’s business partner in the Ogilvy-Thornton Scottish Mills venture, Mr. Bell is still with them. So Mr. Bell adds another layer of complication to the matter.   Mr. Bell had earlier in his visit attended the lively birthday garden party and he is also their house guest for a few days on his way from Oxford, England to tour the Scottish Mills. The food is delicious and the after luncheon conversation among them is lively before Margaret repairs to the garden with Nanny Brigid and the children.

Mr. Bell: “Well, Thornton! I leave you not six months ago with you and my god daughter Margaret having only one child, and now I come visit and find you with three children! I knew you were industrious, but my word! Ha ha ha ha ha ha!” The mischievous Mr. Bell is in rare form tonight.

John, Margaret, and Higgins: “Ha ha ha ha ha ha!”

Higgins: “Thornton and Miss Margaret are right good people to be adopting those two little ones.” He grins, then looks wistfully at the dining room door, wondering what Brigid Gordon is doing at this moment. He has only glimpsed her twice since Audrey Grace’s birthday party last Friday–on Saturday morning when he brought John a bill of lading to sign, and then again at church this morning.

Margaret: “Thank you Mr. Bell, and Nicholas. Well Nicholas, it was your good example of taking in the six Boucher children that helped confirm our own thoughts about adoption. Didn’t it, John?” She smiles at her husband.JohnT-SmallSmile-isRichardArmitage-inNorth&Southepi1-045Oct2713ranet-crop-hi-res-rev2-flip

John: “Yes, that and I kept Margaret to adopting only two children–and not six–to ease us into our growing family.” John smiles contentedly [(5) right] as he gazes adoringly at his lovely wife Margaret.

Margaret: Playfully swatting at her husband, she mock admonishes him. “Oh you!”

Higgins smiles wanly and his mind ponders many things. John and Margaret Thornton’s love and loving family are gifts that he has not had for some time now–since his dear wife died ten years ago. And Nicholas finding out off handedly the other day from Margaret Mrs. Gordon’s age of twenty-five–meaning that he is 12 years older than she–makes him realize that he is probably too old for Mrs. Gordon to consider him as a suitor. Nicholas is still a man in his prime of thirty seven–just about John Thornton’s age. Nicholas was a teen when he first married and raised his family–so he wonders if he should be greedy to seek another. So Nicholas is wavering about his wish to seek out Mrs. Gordon to court her now. Though Higgins and Nanny Gordon are yet to be acquainted with each other about their personal habits and interests, Nicholas feels more than a desire for companionship with her the several times that he has glimpsed her on her walks with the children, or when he has come by the Manor to talk with John about something that he conveniently forgot to ask him at the Mill. And her declaration to him of her terms for him courting her at the birthday party has quite unsettled him.

Mr. Bell: Leaning over to John Thornton, Mr. Bell states in a clear voice. “I say, Thornton. Your overseer seems to be a contemplative fellow–so lost in thought is he, I doubt that a thunder bolt could rouse him.”

Margaret: Patting Nicholas’ arm, Margaret smiles at him when he looks up at her. “Nicholas? Did you wish to join us for a stroll in the garden while the children have their naps?” Margaret knows that Nanny Brigid will be there also, by design–with another manor staff member watching over the children during Nanny Brigid’s afternoon off.

Higgins: Startled, Nicholas jerks his head toward Margaret. “No! Miss Margaret, I would be pleased to join you. I would like to wish them well in their rest. I miss having little ones around me now that Mary has the children with her.”

John: “Well then, let us not keep the children waiting.” John rises from his chair and everyone follows suit.


As they make their way to the second floor bed chamber hallway, Margaret puts her finger to her lips.

Margaret: “Just let me see if the girls are still awake.”

Margaret taps lightly on Audrey Grace’s and Catriona’s shared bed chamber. The little girls look up from their place sitting on the rug by the glowingly warm fireplace hearth, playing with their dollies as she enters. Audrey Grace had let her new little sister pick out several of her dollies to have until more can be bought for her. And little Catriona is also wearing some of Audrey Grace’s night clothes clothes from when she was a two year old.

Audrey Grace: “Mama!” She hops up and runs over to Margaret.

Catriona:   “Mama?” Catriona stands up a bit slower on her toddler legs and toddles over to Margaret

Margaret: “My girls!” She hugs and kisses each of them. “We have a treat this afternoon. Both Mr. Bell and Nicholas Higgins would like to wish you a lovely nap.”

Audrey Grace: “ Yes please!” Audrey Grace claps her hands together. She likes Mr. Bell because he smiles a lot.

Catriona: “Potty, Mama, please?” Catriona does not speak in complicated sentences, but she still manages to make herself understood.

Margaret: “Of course, Caty, Dear. Audrey Grace go let your father and our friends into your bedchamber while I help Caty.”

Audrey Grace: “Yes, Mama.” Audrey Grace nods and goes to open the door. “Papa!”

John lifts his daughter up into his arms and caringly rocks Audrey Grace. Then looking around the bed chamber and not seeing his wife Margaret, he asks.

John: “Where are your Mama and sister?”

Audrey Grace: She cups her hand to her mouth and whispers into her papa’s ear. “Papa, Caty had to potty. But I didn’t.” She smiles brightly.

Mr. Bell: “Where is this second daughter? Are you certain that you have another little girl, Thornton?” Mr. Bell teases John, for he had met Caty already at the garden party.

John: “Margaret and Caty will be along directly. Let us go see if baby Douglas is asleep.”

John raps his knuckles three times on the nursery room door adjoining Audrey Grace’s and Catriona’s bed chamber. Then John leads the men walking into the baby Douglas’ nursery–where Nanny Brigid and her baby son Arthur also sleep so that she can tend to the children in the night as needed.

Nanny Brigid has just finished nursing baby Douglas and is patting his back as she holds him over her shoulder–hoping to burp him before laying him down to sleep. Though it is almost her afternoon off, baby Douglas still needed his feeding. Brigid’s feet have sleeping stockings on them to keep off the chill and she is in her nightgown and robe–before changing back into a day dress for walking in the garden. And unbeknownst to her, the top button on her nightgown is still undone–after she had quickly buttoned up after nursing the baby.

Audrey Grace: Audrey Grace asks with her guileless face. “Did my baby brother eat a good lunch, Nanny Brigid?”

Baby Douglas: “Errrp!” A very loud burp issues forth from the three months and one week old baby’s mouth, then he falls asleep.

John: “I would say so. Ha ha ha ha ha!” John is accustomed to being around servants in his home when either they or he and his family are in their nightclothes, since essentially, they all live together.

Brigid: “Aye! He is eagerrr forrr his milk, the wee little one.” Brigid smiles at Audrey Grace and her father John.

Then as the the other two men enter the nursery–that is also Brigid’s bed chamber– Brigid freezes for seeing Nicholas Higgins and Mr. Bell with her being so indecorously dressed in her nightgown and robe and they are in dressy day wear attire.

Mr. Bell: Seeing Nanny Brigid’s discomfiture, Mr. Bell tries to allay her embarrassment with humor. “Not to worry, Nanny Brigid. We are all men who have or have had wives or sisters or mothers whom we saw in their nightgowns.” Mr. Bell clarifies it thus because as a never married academic, it would be impolitic for him to admit that he has seen a lady not related to him in her nightgown.

Out of politeness and courtesy, Nicholas sheepishly looks down at his shoes [(6) right], his Nicholas-isBrendanCoyle-asJohnBates-inDowntonAbbey_Sep0814enchanted-serenity-crop2grinning face crimson at glimpsing the lovely sight of Mrs. Gordon in her nightgown. He is most embarrassed to be so intruding upon her private space so soon after she has agreed to let him court her. And he worries that she will think he is being to forward with his presence in her bed chamber now.

Margaret having surmised where everyone went when she and Caty returned from the bathing chamber, she and little Catriona walk into the nursery hand in hand. Catriona instantly walks over to Brigid and raises her hand to touch her baby brother.

Catriona:   “My brother, Duggles.” She states with a small smile.

John and Margaret exchange a loving look. They know that it was the right thing to adopt both baby Douglas and little Catriona together as brother and sister.

Audrey Grace: Walking over to little Catriona, Audrey Grace caringly embraces her. “That’s right, Caty. Douglas is our baby brother. Can you say his name? Douglas.”

Catriona: Catriona looks up at her new sister, Audrey Grace. “Duggles…?”

Audrey Grace: “Douglassss.”  Audrey Grace repeats slowly.

Catriona: “Dulass?”

Audrey Grace: “Mama?” Audrey Grace looks a bit frustrated at her Mama. She has tried to teach her new little sister their new brother’s name, but Catriona still doesn’t get it quite right.

Margaret: “That’s close enough for now, girls.” Margaret stands between them and hugs their shoulders as they lean into her. The little girls are quite tuckered out after the excitement of Audrey Grace’s two birthday parties on Friday, more playtime on Saturday and having to sit still during Sunday church.

John: “Time for naps everyone. May I have Douglas, please, Nanny Brigid?” John holds out his arms for his baby son and Brigid deposits baby Douglas into them with a smile as she quickly holds her robe more closed in front of the gentlemen.

Then Brigid picks up her own son Arthur to cuddle and to rock to sleep for his nap with a tender smile on her face. She has found a new home here at Thornton Manor and she and her son are acclimating well. Brigid is standing turned away from the adjoining doorway to the girls’ bed chamber so she does not see Nicholas Higgins smiling at the loving scene of mother and child that she represents before he follows the Thorntons backinto the girls’ bed chamber.

John smiles at Margaret as they walk the girls back into their bed chamber to sleep for their naps–with Margaret holding each of her daughter’s hands. Mr. Bell and Nicholas wish the girls pleasant dreams and leave Margaret to tuck them in as John ushers the men out of the room.


The seventy five year old Mr. Bell decides to take a nap as well and bids adieu to both John and Nicholas and enters his guest bedchamber in Thornton Manor. John and Nicholas continue down the stairs for John to walk Nicholas out to the garden for some lawn bowling [(7)] while they await Margaret. Margaret’s brother Frederick living in Spain had sent them a set of lawn bowling balls one year.

But Nicholas has something on his mind. And he blurts it out before he can stop himself.

Higgins: “Thornton? Before we join Margaret in the garden, might I speak to you about something?”

John: “Related to the mill?” John queries.

Higgins: “No. It is a personal matter.” Higgins says sheepishly.

John: “Then let us repair to my study for some sherry to discuss it.”

As they walk down the hallway to his study, John has no clue what Nicholas might want to speak to him about. He told John and Margaret earlier that his children were all well. John frowns quizzically as he opens his study door, wondering what this is about.

Higgins: “Thank yo for your time, Thornton.”

John: “Of course. Come man, sit. And by now Nicholas, …” As he poors their sherries, John purposely uses the familiar mode of address when he had formerly and formally only addressed his Senior Overseer as Higgins. “… I think you should call me John when we are in private. Of any man of my friendly acquaintance–who is not family–you are around me the most.” John hands him the drink.

Higgins: “I don’t think I can do that, Master.”

John: “Hhhh! Nicholas, I count you as a friend as well as a colleague. And afterall, you saved my life and the Mill averting the riots when Stevens tried to burn the place down nearly five years ago.” John states plaintively.   “Won’t you grant me the boon of your friendship as you do with Margaret?”

Higgins:   With a twinkle in his eye, Higgins countes. “But I address her as Miss Margaret–same as from our first meeting when she became caught in the end of the work day crowds and I helped her get out of the way.” Nicholas humbly underplays the importance of his intervention for the then Margaret Hale’s benefit that day.

John: “That is what I am referring to. You have continually given your friendship to Margaret and I. We should be on a first name basis.”

Higgins: “Alright.” Nicholas grudgingly agrees.

John: “Alright what?” John teases.

Higgins: “Alright … John.” Nicholas wrinkles up his nose distastefully and looks over his shoulders–wondering what the first Mrs. Thornton, now Hannah Lady Airlie, would say about this.

John: “Progress!” John smiles broadly. “Now! What is it you wanted to discuss?” John sips his sherry.

Higgins: “I would like to court Mrs. Gordon.” Nicholas blurts out again.
John: “Kkkhhh!” John chokes on his sherry, spitting out a bit of the dark red liquid onto the carpeting. That will stain, and John thinks thank goodness that they are in his study where a carpet stain or two will not be noticed as John strategically moves a foot stool to cover the area.

Higgins: Patting Thornton on the back, Nicholas asks solicitously. “Are you alright there?   John?” Higgins grins sheepishly with Thornton’s first name so new upon his lips.

John: “Yes!   Sorry!   I wasn’t expecting that topic of conversation.” And yet, John’s study has seen many a strange topic of conversation over the years. He shakes his head.

Higgins: “So do yo object? Or may I have clear pardon to court Mrs. Gordon?”

John: “I think we need something stronger to drink. Whiskey?” John tilts his head takes the unconsumed sherry glass from Higgins’ hand. Then John swivels his body to his mini bar–fixing them tall whiskeys in man sized bar glasses. “Try this.” John hands a large round glass to Higgins.

Higgins: “Thank yo!” Higgins takes a large gulp, while Thornton merely sips. “Much better.” Nicholas grins as he tips his man sized bar glass at John Thornton. “So? Mrs. Gordon?”

John: “I did not realize that you had any acquaintanceship with Mrs. Gordon? She has only been residing with us a little over two months.”

Higgins:   “Exactly! That is why I wish to get to know her.”

John: “But you said you wish to court her. Does your interest tend to matrimony?” John has not thought of his colleague and friend Higgins, scratch that, Nicholas as a husband, since he has been widowed the whole time John has known him.

Higgins: “I am only a year older than you, John. Would you wish the years before you to be bleak without your Margaret and your family?”

John: “Certainly not!”


Higgins: “Well then?” Higgins opens his hands and looks at John pleadingly.

John: “Very well. But if Mrs. Gordon does not wish your attentions and interest, then you will leave her be. Understood?”

Higgins: “Fair enough.” Nicholas does not reveal that he has already had a similar conversation with Mrs. Gordon, their Nanny Brigid. For it would not do for Nicholas to seem to have preempted John’s authority over his staff.

John sets down his own unsipped whisky glass and walks Nicholas out to the hallway and they begin to walk to the back of the house to reach the garden.

John: “Now!” John rubs his hands together. “Shall we play a little lawn bowling, Nicholas.”

Higgins: “Aye!   I will give it a try, John.” Higgins nods cagily.

The two men walk out to the Thornton Manor terraced patio before the formal garden area. They walk down the four steps to grass level and John walks to a wooden lawn bench that also contains some storage in the seat compartment. John lifts out the box containing the lawn bowling items and returns to Nicholas.

John: “Here we are.” John hands two red colored balls to Nicholas.

Nicholas: “Thank you for luncheon and thank you for allowing me to court Mrs. Gordon.” He smiles as he and John set up the lawn bowling game.

John: “It was our pleasure. We hope that you can join us for luncheon again sometime.” Then John sees Margaret walking out onto the patio to join them–with Nanny Brigid. So John adds. “And as to Mrs. Gordon?”

Higgins: “Yes?” Higgins smiles, his eyes perking up to see Mrs. Gordon walking toward him with Margaret.

John: “Just don’t let Margaret find out that you want to date baby Douglas’ wet nurse.” John states mock seriously. “Our baby son Douglas won’t be weaned for another three months at least. So Nanny Brigid is needed here.” Nicholas’ face falls. “Just kidding.” John smiles broadly at his jest.

Higgins:   “Oh! Alright.” Higgins nods uncertainly.

Of course, Margaret was the one who guessed Nicholas’ affinity for Mrs. Gordon–even before Brigid talked to her. Margaret just has not had time to inform her husband John.

A stunned but happy Nicholas Higgins turns toward the two ladies walking toward he and John from the back of Thornton Manor. Margaret Thornton has a gleaming smile on her face for her husband John. Brigid Gordon smiles pleasantly, but not too eagerly–she has yet to get to know Nicholas Higgins. And Brigid Gordon will be cautious about bestowing her regard on Nicholas Higgins, or any man. Then the two couples spend a friendly and companionable hour lawn bowling before they part company with each other.

When Nicholas leaves for home after a pleasant Sunday afternoon at Thornton Manor with John and Margaret, and Brigid Gordon, he walks out of the Marlborough Mills gate with a spring in his step. The brisk late afternoon air is bracing and helps Nicholas to keep his wits about him. At the beginning of Sunday luncheon today–nay at the beginning of the weekend with Audrey Grace’s birthday party on Friday–Higgins could not have foreseen that by the end of the weekend, he would be addressing the Master of Marlborough Mills as John when they are in private, and with Nicholas being given permission to court Mrs. Gordon, by both she and her employer, John Thornton.

However, it has been over twenty years since Nicholas courted a lady–his late wife Sharon, God rest her soul. And Nicholas will need some help to woo the lady of his choice now–Brigid Gordon. But with John Thornton’s wooing skills tempered by his now wife Margaret’s help during their courtship five years ago–the grape incident almost derailed John and Margaret at the start, but for Margaret’s sense of humor–Nicholas Higgins may need more than John Thornton’s advice to woo and wed the feisty Brigid Gordon.

To be continued with Chapter 82


“N&S: JT Love Lessons”, Ch. 81 References, September 09, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #633)

1)  “N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons” story logo: Richard Armitage as 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)  Audrey Grace Thornton almost four year old image is Tete d’Etude l’Oiseau by William Adolphe Bouguereau found at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/William-Adolphe_Bouguereau#mediaviewer/File:William-Adolphe_Bouguereau_%281825-1905%29_-_T%C3%AAte_d%27Etude_l%27Oiseau_%281867%29.jpg

3)  Margaret is Daniela Denby-Ashe in North & South Epi4 _17h49m20s188_Nov1013 Gratiana Lovelace Cap

4)  Image representing the Scottish Brigid Gordon is that of actress Helena Bonham Carter found at http://userserve-ak.last.fm/serve/500/34779527/Helena+Bonham+Carter+helena.jpg

5)  John Thornton i is portrayed by Richard Armitage in the BBC’s 2004 drama North & South found at richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/nands/album/episode1/ns1-045.jpg

6)  Nicholas Higgins image is Brendan Coyle as John Bates in Downton Abbey found at http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-zPQqxf3aTX8/TiD9wTGcCvI/AAAAAAAAeKI/aaiWXzdiQec/s1600/brendan%2Bcoyle.JPG via enchanted serenity period films blogspot.

7) Lawn bowling information was found at http://wikipedia.org/wiki/Bowls


Link to Previous Ch. 80

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
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2 Responses to “N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 81 (PG-13): Courting Permission September 9, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #633)

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