It’s a year after the proposal rejection day. Margaret finds that she and Dixon are destitute. Her father has passed and left very little money. Mr. Bell is in the America’s. She finds that she and Dixon must move to a different flat, which is on the edges of the Princeton area. Margaret’s pride keeps her from becoming a begger to her few friends. She begins to search for work in one of the mills while Dixon takes in washing and ironing, so they can eat. In her desperation, Margaret inquires about employment at Marlborough Mills. Seeing her enter is his mill yard, John hurries to Miss Hale, wondering what she is doing there. Confronting John and looking into his eyes, Margaret apologizes for wasting his time and flees his presence. John had no idea that the employment she mentioned was for her, but he did see she was sickly, pale and thin. Margaret disappears into the Princeton District to escape John’s pursuit of her. John begans an ambitious campaign to find her as a spark of hope is born again. loyalwynward.com
Releases in November.
Personally, I have been waiting for this one.
First THE HOBBIT: TBOTFA Character Poster Spotlights Lee Pace As ‘Thranduil’
In the first of what is sure to be a series of character posters for Peter Jackson’s final instalment in WB/New Line’s Hobbit trilogy, we get a new look at Guardians Of The Galaxy‘s Lee Pace as Elf-King Thranduil.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” brings to an epic conclusion the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, Thorin Oakenshield and the Company of Dwarves. Having reclaimed their homeland from the Dragon Smaug, the Company has unwittingly unleashed a deadly force into the world. Enraged, Smaug rains his fiery wrath down upon the defenseless men, women and children of Lake-town. Obsessed above all else with his reclaimed treasure, Thorin sacrifices friendship and honor to hoard it as Bilbo’s frantic attempts to make him see reason drive the Hobbit towards a desperate and dangerous choice. But there are even greater dangers ahead. Unseen by any but the Wizard Gandalf, the great enemy Sauron has sent forth legions of Orcs in a stealth attack upon the Lonely Mountain. As darkness converges on their escalating conflict, the races of Dwarves, Elves and Men must decide – unite or be destroyed. Bilbo finds himself fighting for his life and the lives of his friends in the epic Battle of the Five Armies, as the future of Middle-earth hangs in the balance.
Starring Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ken Stott, James Nesbitt, Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving and Orlando Bloom, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is set to be released on December 17th.
Read more at http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/notyetamovie/news/?a=107787#D0v0i47zrOCF2Y3P.99
Why, despite co-starring Oscar winners Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence , has Serena taken two years to get to cinemas?
It’s got all the makings of a massive box office hit – a steamy Depression-era drama adapted from a best-seller by an Academy Award-garlanded director and starring two Oscar-winning A-listers in the form of Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence.
More to the point, it’s also got a dark-haired Rhys Ifans smouldering away under a 10-gallon hat as a vicious Appalachian woodsman called Galloway.
So why then, some two years after it finishing shooting, is Serena – a Shakespearean-style tragedy about a North Carolina timber baron and his ambitious wife, tantalising dubbed “Macbeth with lumberjacks” by Ifans himself – only now getting its premiere in the UK, with fans Stateside still having to wait until March 2015 before they can see it?
Susanne Bier, the acclaimed Danish auteur who directed it, has even managed to make and release another film in the time since Serena’s production wrapped in the Czech Republic, while Cooper and Lawrence have seen their careers go stratospheric courtesy of their performances in the universally raved-about Silver Linings Playbook.
But, while such delays are usually signs of a troubled production and a sure-fire celluoid dud, studios execs behind the picture last night stepped to its defence, calling it “a beautiful-looking period piece” and “a really good, serious drama”.
Less encouragingly, one source added: “If people go in thinking it’s a bad film they will be pleasantly surprised.”
And, while that may seem a little like damning it with faint praise, other critics have proved far more scathingly with Bier’s efforts.
“Unfortunately it’s just a bad movie,” sniped one. “It’s boring and it’s slow,”
Another added: “It’s not like the two leads are bad in it — even after I saw it, I thought, ‘There’s probably value there, it’s Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper after all’.
“The main problem is that the script is just terrible.”
However, Bier herself has now also weighed into the debate, explaining that Serena had simply fallen victim its cast’s own subsequent huge success.
“Once it finished shooting we all became very been busy,” she said.
“I’ve been doing another film (domestic drama A Second Chance’] while Bradley and Jennifer have been tied-up with other projects – just doing the post-production sound recording has been tricky as Jennifer’s only one day off in two years.”
Still, at least fans of Ruthin-raised Rhys haven’t had to wait as long as they have to see his turn in legendary Last Picture Show director Peter Bogdanovich’s latest screwball comedy, She’s Funny That Way.
Originally entitled Squirrels To The Nuts, it’s been almost a decade in the making and only finally got its debut at the Venice Film Festival earlier this month.
Serena will be now receive its UK premiere at the 2014 BFI London Film Festival in October.
A John Thornton / Margaret Hale Fantasy Novel
Continuing Chapter 4
“Maybe we should open a new business . . . a social club, geared toward singles.”
“Nicholas, be serious.”
“Well, I am not so sure that I am not being serious.”
“And just how would this work?” John said, laughing.
“Oh, I do not know. We’d have to work that out. We would steer it, somehow, towards, people who would like to meet other people their own age and single. Our aim would be to bring people together socially in a very proper and dignified manner. Of course, the whole affair would revolve around dancing and there would be light refreshments such as champagne or different wines. It would be only open one night a week on as little as once a month. There would be a fee to enter to cover all expenses. There would be chaperones and tables, chairs, at least enough seating for everyone. It would have a covered veranda or porch that surrounds the building which shall have plenty of doors leading outside. If the grounds were large enough it could have picnics now and again on Sunday afternoons.” Nicholas’s mind just did not want to shut down once he started thinking about it.
“Nicholas, you are sounding too much like a London ton with its parties and balls during a season. You know Milton does not care for social levels. And I cannot fathom a woman coming unescorted or paying her way in.”
“Hmm . . . you are right there and that social barrier, we do not want to cross into. Oh well, I was just thinking of my poor friend John.”
“I appreciate your sentiment. I know you are sincere.”
“All right, my child, what has little Margaret found out these past two weeks?”
“I shall do my list of discoveries before my questions.” Margaret stated, sitting up smartly in the chair she had pulled to the front of Katie’s desk.”
“That sounds agreeable to me.”
“Stop me if you want to discuss an item or wait until the end and you give me an approval or denial. Does that sound like a good way to begin?”
“Yes, my dear. Very organized and smart of you. Go!”
“First, starting outside. I know you do not have a permanent gardener and I do not know the terms with which you are dealing with one, but whoever it is, is not seeing properly to the trimming of the larger bushes and trees. It appears whatever is below the eye is well kept, but something that may need a ladder to be worked properly is in poor condition. The iron benches need an annual coat of paint. There is one step on the back porch stairs that is just beginning to loosen. Moving to the stables . . . Tawl is doing an excellent job of keeping the horses trimmed, brushed, fed and exercised. The stable building and his accommodations over top are all right for now and probably the next year or two, but eventually it shall need a new roof. The only expenditure that I could see is that some of the harnessing that is used frequently is starting to wear even though Tawl keeps them well oiled. For this house itself, I saw no repairs or painting needed. It has apparently been well cared for. Coming inside . . .,” Margaret was interrupted.
“Margaret, that is astounding. I would probably only have noticed that the benches needed painting. That is quite astute of you to notice the pruning of the taller trees. Please do not tell me that you got on a ladder and looked at the stable roof.”
“Yes, I did. I must admit, I had Tawl do this three story building for me.”
“I shall do the interior of the building before I get to the people working here and the finances. Starting in the attic, I do not know if it is possible but it seems the girls spend a lot of time sewing up there. If it were affordable to put two or three gas lights in the attic, it would benefit them greatly and help with their time management. Due to only having dormer windows, they have no light to work come twilight and could use their nights off to work their projects. I see no signs that there is a roof leak anywhere. Coming down to the second floor, I was very impressed with the rooms the girls have and their furniture and decorations. I believe Adrienne needs a new privacy screen as hers looks like it has been battered to bits and fixed. There are other skewed and strange things in her room, but you did say she took the wildest clients. The two bath chambers are in adequate shape, although I think within a couple years they shall need to be overhauled. One of the mirrors shall soon need re-silvering.”
“Margaret, you are amazing me. Although you are spending my money, I can see where you are saving me money. Go on.”
“On this level I have found that the parlor really needs new drapes. I am not sure I could make them, but I could try if you want me to. The furniture appears fine; there is no wearing of the slipcovers, although the carpet seems to be wearing, from pacing, no doubt.” Margaret laughed and so did Katie. “The foyer entrance, hall way and stairs are in excellent condition. You are presenting a first class look to your client as he enters. Whoever is in charge of changing the fresh flowers needs to be a bit more vigil on that score. In this room, I find nothing that is needed and honestly, I did not go into your bedchamber at all. My room is fine. The dining room needs several of the chairs re-glued or tightened or whatever you do to chairs. There is a cracked window glass, which is not letting any rain in, but the appearance is not something I think you want to live with. I know that table is used a lot and not all for meals, but someone should polish it more often. It is beginning to dull.”
“Margaret, take a breath. You are wearing me out,” Katie laughed. “I cannot believe your finishing school taught you such detail.”
“They did not teach me that. You did!” The two of them rocked with laughter, enough to bring a few of the girls to the door to see what was going on.
“That’s all girls. Run along.” Katie cheerfully waved the girls away.
“Shall I continue, madam,” Margaret blurted out without thinking and wondered how Katie would react.
“I see you are reading those books,” Katie laughed. “Madam, is a proper title for me so do not look like you have just insulted me.”
“That just slipped out. I am glad it is proper. All right, my biggest concern when I started on the discovery expedition, I thought, was going to be the kitchen, pantry, and scullery. To my surprise, being it is a source of worry in most houses, is that there is no worry here. I believe your cook and her helper love working here and their work shows it. The kitchen is about as clean as any I have ever seen. The food is well handled and cleaned. They are proud of their work and love the girls and you. I think they shall never leave you. I was even sure I would find a bit too much waste in scraps, but I did not. Very little is set out for the neighbor’s dog. Now, I have yet to see the books to ensure the orders are paid what is due and nothing is slipping into pockets. I still plan to go with the cook when she buys meats and see who she is dealing with and how fair his prices are. Unless there are irregularities there, I see no financial issues for the running of the house. Do you want to discuss anything or should I ask my few questions next?” Margaret felt pride in the job she had done because it showed on Katie’s face.
“Do the questions, next.”
“I think there may be a small courtship going on between your butler and the pantry maid. What are your thoughts on that?”
“Did you happen to notice if they were taking time away from their jobs?”
“Very little. I only have a feeling about it since . . . what’s his name . . . Ben seems to amble into the kitchen more often than I would have expected, but it is not very often. When she is off work after dinner and before Ben comes to the door to work, that half hour, they seem to have their heads together on the back steps.”
“Margaret, I shall let you be the judge of that. I do not care if they want to become close, but it must not reflect on their work or be seen by any client. You dole out the warnings as you see fit. Next?”
“Who orders the wine for the parlor clients?”
“I have let the cook do that. Did you find something there? I am not a wine drinker?”
“With the face you present to your client, the wine is far below even an average wine. I know you would not want to encourage your clients to drink to their hearts content, even arriving too early just to partake of your refreshments, but you are embarrassing yourself with what is available. I do know a bit about wines and I could do that for you, but we would have to work out a budget and then see if there is any abuse of it.”
“I know we’ve talked a bit about the chambermaids that come in at night, but I do not see any of your regular staff with days off. Am I missing something?” Margaret asked.
“Yes, and no, dear. The kitchen does not want scheduled days off. They know if they need time for something that I shall grant it if possible, and that works fine for us. Actually, we do have a second driver that shall take Tawl’s place on his days off, if we know we shall need one. Usually he is amiable to swap his days off when he knows he’s not needed and that is working. But we do have a driver we can hire if it comes to that. Now, speaking of days off, I insist that you take at least two days off and get out of this house. Go to the library, the book store, take a walk, meet people, buy the wines and check the butcher but get out of here now and then. You are still a lady and I want you to socialize where you feel comfortable. You may use Tawl whenever you want.”
“Thank you, Katie. I am certainly glad to not be where I am known and I shall go out. I like to walk and I like to read. I only have one other question for now. How do you think the girls are taking to me?”
“I think they like you very much. They watch you, you know. They want to learn how a Lady behaves. You still have two girls that want to learn to read. And secretly, I think they’re anxious about you writing your book. Have you done anything with that or given it much thought?”
“I have penned a lot of questions and I shall start to study the girls soon and learn more about their history and how they got here and what they think of their future. Yes, I am becoming more interested in writing. I pick up a lot just from the dinner conversations. I shall let them all chose their own name to be used in the book.”
“Margaret, that brings me back to your question yesterday about me being one of the girls at some point in my life. The answer is no, but my mother had lain with many men in order for us to survive. I had been around this atmosphere until I was ten, when she died. I was sent to an orphanage and then adopted by a well-off couple. They educated me to a point and then I became a governess, although your family was not my first position. I do not know if I was fortunate or not to have worked for a woman, tending her two daughters while she worked as a madam. That was in London. As you, and I hope you do not follow in my path, I learned a lot by watching and listening. The men and women and their liaisons were not new but the business end of it was. That is what interested me. I finally placed an ad in the paper requesting a position as governess, just to get away from that place and her children hardly needed me anymore. All they needed was someone to keep them out of sight. That’s when your parents hired me. Those were the best years of my life. Well . . . the rest is history as they say and here I am. I am doing well for myself, although it is nothing to be too proud of. I do have a steady man, who I think loves me regardless of what I do, now. He’s been at sea, so you have not met him yet.”
Katie went over all of Margaret’s findings and approved all of them. Margaret looked at her list and knew she had a lot of work ahead of her.
“Here, Margaret,” Katie said, handing her the household budget book. You shall find the names and address of tradesmen I have used for various repairs, the chambermaid service, Tawl’s replacement and I really think everything you need. I’d like you to see if the gardener can come sometime this week and I shall speak to him, unless you want to do that.”
“I shall be glad to try, Katie. If I feel he’s trying to overwhelm me with words or piffle, I shall come for you, but I think I can handle it.” Margaret said, feeling confident.
“You will not need to make such a thorough report every month as I am sure you shall stay on top of the necessities that I have let lag. Now . . . let us discuss you salary, your financial advancement and your room and board.”
John Thornton finished his poached egg and carried his cup of tea to the sofa with his morning paper. Unfolding it, a bold headline captured his attention. What an odd item for the Milton Messenger to print:
LORD ROBERT HOWSHAM SEEKS MISS MARGARET HALE OF MILTON
Lord Howsham wishes to contact Miss Margaret Hale believed to be residing in Milton. Any and all replies, please address to Lord Robert Howsham at the Milton Grand Hotel.
Strange that Milton ever received at visit from a noble. There was nothing for them here, he thought. This Miss Hale must be important to him. It could be he’s not even here, he’s just placing random ads looking for this woman. He’ll make a trip if he’s told there was a reply, possibly. John thought about asking Nicholas to dine with him tonight at the Grand dining room.
Happy Valley actor James Norton will star alongside Robson Green for the six-part series, which is set in 1950s Cambridgeshire.
Adapted from the novel, Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death by James Runcie, the series is written for ITV by Daisy Coulam, who has previously scripted EastEnders and Casualty.
Set against the backdrop of the real hamlet of Grantchester, the drama focuses upon the life of Sidney Chambers (Norton), a charismatic, charming clergyman who turns investigative vicar when one of his parishioners dies in suspicious circumstances.
Soldier Soldier star Green plays plain-speaking, over-worked police inspector, Geordie Keating, whose methodical approach to policing complements Sidney’s more intuitive techniques of coaxing information from witnesses and suspects.
Executive Producer Diederick Santer says of the series: “Grantchester is a real labour of love for me and [production company] Lovely Day. Sidney is a charming, but complex character, a man of faith burdened by his past despite a distinguished wartime record, he’s funny, dashing and inquisitive. He loves being a parish priest in the exquisite village of Grantchester, but somehow it’s not enough and he still finds time to fall in and out of love and solve crimes.
“James Runcie has created this brilliant character and this glorious world, which Daisy Coulam is now bringing to the screen in her wonderful and lavish scripts, and I can’t wait for ITV’s audience to get to know him too.”
“Mrs Bernard, please? Do not let them do this to me!” I cried as Dobson carried me from the room and down the stairs. No answer came from the mother of my abductor. I could not understand! Why? What had I done to her or anyone else to be denied mercy like this?
I was also denied the leisure to ponder over this because Dobson headed for a door on a lower landing. He kicked it open and forcibly threw me on a large four poster bed. My head banged against the headboard, leaving me vertiginous for a short period of time. When my vision cleared, I saw Nicholas Bernard sitting in an armchair beside the bed. He placed his fingers under his chin forming a steeple and drew up his lips in a smile that did not reach his eyes. I tensed and instinctively crawled away from him. Glancing at the windows, their curtains still open, I saw that night had come.
“I demand that you stop this outrageous behaviour, Mr Bernard! Please take care that I should return home this instant. My family and friends will be in great concern over my safety.” I did my best to look at him with a scowl because I was afraid to let him see my fear. My life could very well be at risk.
Bernard’s smile widened but did not grow softer.
“Oh, you feisty little vixen!” he exclaimed. “Good! Gather your courage for you will need it for what I have in store for you!”
That remark sent a chill down my spine because his voice had been laced with cruelty and viciousness. His eyes, which were a soft hazel, now showed a hint of green. It gave him a devilish look. It also did nothing to put my mind to rest.
“Mr Bernard, pray act like the gentleman that you are. You are a young man of fortune and proper upbringing and one who enjoys the respect of his fellow citizens. Why would you want to throw that away on my behalf? How would you be able to face society if you acted as you intend?”
“Ah, but that is where you are mistaken! I am no ‘gentleman’, no ‘gentry’ like that bastard Spencer and I have no standards, moral nor societal, to uphold! I am a commoner, a wealthy one but nevertheless, a commoner. How do you think my father gained his fortune? Not by playing it fair, sweetheart, I can tell you that! My father was as cunning as a lion. He searched for prey and was ruthless in cutting out the competition. Moreover, do you think I will let my actions be known to all and sunder?”
Bernard suddenly stood and loomed over me, his hands gripping my arms and pinning them onto the bed. I noticed a drop of saliva running down his chin and had a sudden fear that he might be insane! In a cooing voice he continued. “You will be ruined and shunned as a loose woman but I will appear clean as a whistle because no one knows you are here. I have, however, set things into motion already. Rumours are being spread throughout the city that you have eloped with a hitherto unknown lover.”
One of his hands began unfastening the buttons of my riding jacket and all the while, Bernard kept on talking. “The members of my mama’s little card club have already dispersed the scandalous lies my mother fed them about your hypocrisy. How you deceived society by your dainty and innocent ways. How you tricked Spencer into your confidence and, on the verge of marrying him, stole his mother’s jewels to run away with your lover.”
“His mother’s jewels?” I exclaimed, now utterly bewildered. “I had no knowledge of their existence! Douglas never spoke of them.”
“Ah!” Bernard cajoled, his hand now inside my bodice. “But he has not told you even the half of it, my pet.”
Desperately swallowing against the nausea that threatened to overwhelm me at Bernard’s cold fingers on the soft skin of my breast, I ventured. “The half of what, Mr Bernard? Can you not tell me? I would like to know, please.” And with a courage I did not know I had, I laid my hand against his cheek and caressed it. “Please, Nicholas?”
My aggressor leered and drew back, seating himself on the chair again. “Margaret, my sweet, are you beginning to like me, then? Or are you just attempting to beguile me with your feminine wiles?” His eyes raked over me so vilely that my heart nearly stopped in fear. That man was the devil incarnate. Nevertheless, I had a sudden understanding that I could actually have an influence on Bernard which restored my courage. For the sake of mine and Douglas’ future, I had to try everything within my power to escape this lunatic and his mother. I ached to go back to Douglas and our love, to the bond we would soon forge. Already I missed him so acutely that nothing else mattered! I would do anything to be united with him, anything! I would even let this madman think I would succumb to him. So I shamelessly batted my eyelids at him and tried to make my voice sound sultry.
“Nicholas, had I but known you sooner, who knows what might have transpired? We were so isolated, my mother and I, that we did not pay enough attention to what life had to offer us in Torquay. A foolish mistake, I realise now. It deprived me of the pleasure of your company. We will remediate that, won’t we?”
“Margaret …” Bernard now said hoarsely, his eyes softening ever so slightly. “Margaret, are you sincere? How do I know you are not deceiving me? You could easily be tricking me into softening my vigilance and leap to freedom when I let my guard down.”
I dared not answer with words because I needed all my presence of mind to make the expression on my face longing and seductive. A faltering of my voice would surely betray me. Instead I kept stroking his face with a faint smile curving my mouth. Bernard bent over me again and tested my sincerity by pressing his mouth on mine, his tongue pushing for entrance.
“Oh, Douglas!” I begged inwardly. “Please, forgive me, my love …” And opened my mouth to Bernard’s kiss. It was as vile as I had imagined! His lips were thick and spongy and his breath tasted sour. His tongue was like a piece of rotting vegetable that probed all the way down into my throat. It was incredibly hard for me to prevent myself from choking and gagging. I do not know how I managed. Maybe it was the memory of Douglas’ kisses that kept me sane, the feeling of his mouth and tongue, so sweet, so alluring, that made me sustain Bernard’s onslaught. But I achieved it, for Bernard withdrew with a sigh of satisfaction.
“Ah, sweet nectar! My lovely Margaret, how I long for us to join our bodies in unison and pleasure!”
“We will, Nicholas, we will. Could I beg you for a small favour? What day is it?”
“August 14th. Why?”
“I am extremely thirsty and starving for food. I think I have not eaten in two days and I feel a little queer. Please, let me partake of some refreshment so that I can devote myself to the full to our union?”
“Very well, my sweet. You must give yourself to me in complete concentration and for that, you will need all your abilities. I will go and order a tray.”
Private Diary of Douglas Alexander Spencer
Watcombe Manor, August 15th 1818, two o’clock in the morning
I cannot believe it! For hours I have been reading Father’s diaries and found nothing but estate business and every day goings-on being described in full and boring detail. Until now … until I read this hastily scribbled and badly worded paragraph in a shaking hand on the last day of his life, April 4th 1818, a few weeks before I reached home.
‘Made a new will. Had to. Must preserve some funds for Douglas in case he comes back to England, even if it means I have to bring down the Bernard child’s allowance. My cousin in Jamaica wrote to me in February to confirm Douglas was still unmarried and had not formed an attachment to any young lady. Stubborn young sod! Anyhow, the will is drawn and secured away in the usual safe place, where I found unending comfort and where I keep all my secret correspondence. If Douglas is the man I hope he has become, he will look there and find it, along with the rest. If he does not search for it, then he will have to marry to get his inheritance. Otherwise, all goes to Wilkinson and Douglas be damned!’
Understandably I was in great confusion! A will subsequent to the one guarded in the lawyers’ practice? The Bernard child? What child? I had to find this will! What could he have meant by ‘the usual secret place’? A place of safety and comfort … Then, suddenly, it dawned on me! It could only be in my parents’ bedchamber.
I went to wake up Jack Twinkler and the two of us went to the bedroom where I had almost deflowered Margaret and, in the process, spilled myself into my breeches, fool that I am!
Jack and I turned the room inside out, searching every cupboard and closet, tapping the panels on the wall, and even probing the floor boards for hidden spaces. It was all to no avail. Jack, sensible lad that he is, then fetched me a glass of brandy and told me to sit quietly and concentrate on my father and mother. I was stunned to find such an awareness in a young man who had scarcely known his own parents! Yet, I did as he asked and let my eyes wander through the room. I recalled my strong father and my sweet mother and how they had loved and cherished one another, here in this very room, where their love had blossomed. And then I knew …
As soon as Bernard left the room, I jumped up from the bed and ran to the window. Not only was it locked tightly and situated at the street side of the house, it was also on one of the upper floors and the drop to the street level was at least 30 feet down! That had slipped my mind completely. I tried to open the latch because I might have a chance to call out on someone walking by. It was useless. I could not shift the handle because it was weld shut. This fact assured me of Bernard having acted under premeditation to abduct and ruin me. He had even prepared a prison for me.
My thoughts raced through my brain and I felt panicked like a caged bird trying to find a way to escape. I looked around the room for a weapon of some sort, in case I needed to strike Bernard down. The place was as bare as a monk’s cell, the only furniture being the bed and the chair! There was not even a closet or a chamber pot! My shoes had been taken away, along with my riding crop and hat. My spirits suddenly plummeted as I sank onto the bed, sobbing in aching despair.
What was I to do when Bernard would return and claim me? Well, I scolded myself, to sit here and snivel like a baby will not solve a thing! I needed to gather my thoughts and think!
I had been taken two days ago, halfway afternoon. Douglas would be searching for me and – oh, no! – not if he reckoned I had pinched the family jewels! Here I was, it all came to only one fact; did I trust Douglas’ love for me? If Douglas loved me, truly, utterly loved and trusted me – and I was sure he did – then he would not believe I deceived him. I had to trust Douglas completely and, with a jolt of pure joy, I realised I did!
But how would he know where to look for me? And how would he recognize Bernard’s doings in this? In truth, I had not the least notion if and when my rescuer would come. So, in the end, the only thing I could do was to hold off Bernard as long as possible or – to knock him unconscious and escape on my own accord.
I was still considering my possibilities when the door opened to let Dobson in and – Mrs Bernard. I stood and curtsied politely while I covertly studied her. She was short and stout with an ample bosom and a broad, plain face. Her once pleasant looks were blurred by plumpness. Her eyes were the same hazel colour as her son’s but she must have been dark-haired in her youth instead of fair like Bernard. Her mouth was thin and her nose snub. Her double chin quivered with agitation when she addressed me.
“You foolish, vain creature!” she growled. “Do you even have the slightest idea what a family you plan to marry into? The Spencers are a race of villains who do not place the slightest value upon the lives of others. They see, covet and take what they want with no regard for man or devil!”
“Mrs Bernard, I do not have an inkling about what you are talking of. I beg you to enlighten me about the Spencer family, Ma’am. What is it that I need to know?”
The woman did not reply but gave Dobson a sign whereupon the brute grabbed me and took me outside after Mrs Bernard and down a flight of steps.
Filming has begun on The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses, which will encompass Shakespeare’s Henry VI Parts I, II and III and Richard III.
The first photo to be released shows Cumberbatch, best known as Sherlock Holmes, on horseback as Richard III.
Scott, who plays Holmes’ adversary Moriarty, will appear as Louis XI.
The cast of the three-part drama will also include Sophie Okonedo as Queen Margaret; Hugh Bonneville as Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester; and Sally Hawkins as Eleanor, Duchess of Gloucester.
Tom Sturridge will star as Henry VI, Sir Michael Gambon will play Mortimer, while Philip Glenister will play Talbot
Ben Miles will play Somerset, Keeley Hawes will play Elizabeth, while Dame Judi Dench will appear as Cecily, Duchess of York.
Dominic Cooke, the former artistic director of the Royal Court theatre in London, will direct the films.
They will follow the first Hollow Crown films, the epic adaptations of Shakespeare’s Richard II, Henry IV Parts I and II and Henry V that were broadcast in 2012