Family Dinner

*-Of course I don’t own any of any of the characters.

*-Reviews are always welcome.

 Family Dinner


“Must we go tonight? I can think far more pleasant activities to occupy the evening” Fitzwilliam groaned as his wife finished tying his cravat.

“We must go, my darling, otherwise mama will never let us hear the end of it” Elizabeth understood her husband’s trepidation; she knew how her mother could be, even on her best day.

A week ago, a letter has arrived at Pemberly from Longbourn, containing Mrs. Bennet’s unmistakable handwriting.

“Lizzy, you and Fitzwilliam must come to dinner a week from tomorrow, for I am anxious to see you and the children, it has been ages since your father and I have seen you”.

“At least tell me that Charles and Jane will be in attendance” Fitzwilliam adored his wife and his children and found his father in law to be quiet but extremely tolerable. The addition of Jane and Charles and their respective children would only lighten the mood.

But it was his mother in law, Mrs. Bennet and her daughters, who were not yet married, Kitty and Mary who he dreaded. Mary, engrossed in her books and her music, never really speaking except of remind them of some obscure religious tract and Kitty, still very much unrestrained and girlish in her actions.

Then there was Mrs. Bennet, who like Kitty, was often unrestrained in her actions and her words. But Elizabeth often reminded her husband that her mother’s actions were not out of malice, but love, in her own way of course.

“Charles and Jane are on the continent, they will be returning next month” Elizabeth reminded her husband.  Charles had been traveling to the continent for business and instead of leaving Jane and the children at home; he decided to make it a family vacation in addition to his business.

Fitzwilliam groaned again, the company of his friend could drone out the most trying conversation of their respective mother in law.

“I will reconcile you with one thought” Elizabeth offered.

Not even you, my beloved, can offer any reconciliation” Fitzwilliam thought to himself, but let his wife continue.

“Lydia and Wickham are still sequestered at Newcastle, they will not be returning until Michaelmas”.

The thought of having spent a meal with George Wickham sent a chill through Darcy. His dislike and extreme distrust of the man had only intensified over the years, making any situation where he was forced to be in the room with his former childhood playmate to be utterly unbearable. The only positive action that had come out his connection to Wickham was that after nearly a year their first meeting, the forced marriage of Lydia to Wickham had brought him to his heart’s true desire.

“Pardon me, Mr. Darcy, the carriage is waiting” Mrs. Reynolds knocked on the door.

“I suppose, Lizzy that means we must go” Darcy came to the unhappy conclusion.

“Yes, it does” Lizzy agreed.

“Are the children ready?” Lizzy asked, opening the door.

“Yes, ma’am”.

“It’s only a few hours” Lizzy held out her hand to her husband’s.

“I suppose”.

“They could be coming to Pemberley” Lizzy reminded him as they climbed into the carriage.

Again, Darcy knew this wife was right. As much as Mrs. Bennet loved her daughters, she loved to brag that her elder daughters had married very well. Her non stop praise of both Netherfield and Pemberly irritated him to no end, especially when she visited. At least when they visited Longbourn, there was always the opportunity to exit if needed.

As the carriage pulled into Longbourn, Lizzy squeezed his hand as Mrs. Bennet’s overly loud voice echoed from the door. Taking a deep breath, he exited the carriage. This was to be long evening.

The End


Anna Karenina- A Review

Let me start this review with a disclaimer. I have not read the book, nor have I seen previous cinematic recreations of Anna Karenina.  Up until tonight, I was a Tolstoy virgin.

The basic plot of Anna Karenina revovles around a married 19th century Russian aristocrat who embarks on an affair with dashing calvary officer with scandalous results.

Keira Knightley is the title character, Jude Law is her husband and Aaron Johnson is the calvary officer.

My main draw to see this movie was the cast and Joe Wright’s history of making a credible leap from novel to film. One of the strengths of this film is Joe Wright’s ability to use actors who he knows will work for the role and with the other actors.

Would I order this movie on DVD? Probably not, but if it was on TV and nothing else was on, I would probably watch it.



These characters belong to Julian Fellows, Carnival, etc.

 The Baby Of The Family

Sybil Branson was dead. Her last gift to the world was her daughter, who would be named for her mother.

Her husband, Tom and her family watched as her body convulsed uncontrollably. Then she was gone.

They wanted to believe it was simply a bad dream. They would wake up tomorrow and Sybil would be alive and bonding with her new daughter.  

But they were not dreaming. Sybil was dead, her warm smile, her spontaneous laughter, her passion was all a memory.

Her elder sisters, Edith and Mary, who could never resist an opportunity to argue with each other, were silent.

 Even her grandmother, the towering and sharp tongued Dowager Countess was at a loss for words.

In the servant’s quarters, they also remembered Lady Sybil. The elder servants remembered her as a vivacious and inquisitive child, always curious about the world around her. The younger servants remembered her as warm and giving, never cruel or manipulative as some of her class could be.

The next morning, Mary could not contain her tears. She had never been one to cry, even as a child. But today she cried, for the loss of youngest sister, for her niece who would never know her mother.

“Mary, my darling” Matthew held her as she cried.

“I miss her”.

“We all do, but for Tom, we must be strong. He will need all of us in the coming days”.

Mary knew that her husband was right. She would wipe her tears away and remember Sybil as she would have liked to be remembered.

The church was full. Mary and Edith sat next to each other, taking turns holding the baby. Though they didn’t speak, but they were of one mind. Their niece would never feel the loss of her mother; they would make sure that Sybil would be known to her daughter.

Robert and Tom were also of the same mind. They both loved Sybil dearly and they loved her daughter. Whatever disagreements they had, that was the past. It was time to unite, for both Sybil and her daughter.

There was nothing any of them could do now. What was done was done. Their focus was now Tom and baby Sybil, to provide and love and support that Sybil, with her last breath, wanted them to have.

What they didn’t see what the shimmering light in the corner appear and disappear. Sybil was watching over them, waiting for the day when they would join her in the next life.

Fifteen Years Later

“Sybil, dear, don’t run” Without looking up, Cora knew that the quick footsteps on the rug in the library belonged to her eldest granddaughter.

“Cora, let her be”.

“How are you, grandfather?”.

Robert would never admit it publicly, that Sybil was his favorite grandchild. His daughters made him a grandfather five times over. Mary and Matthew had three children and Edith had one, marrying Sir Anthony after he proved himself worthy of her, despite leaving her at the altar less than a year before. But Sybil was his favorite because she was the mirror image of her mother.

“I am well, my dear. Thank you for brightening an old man’s day”.

“Grandfather, you are not that old”.

Before the conversation could continue, another pair of footsteps was heard on the rug. Tom and Matthew entered, allowing the footmen to take their coats.

“Tom, there you are. How was the train?” Cora asked.

“No more than usual”.

“Sybil, your aunt has been anxious to see you. Why don’t you join her for a bit?”.

“Yes, Uncle Matthew” Sybil ran up the stairs with the same exuberant energy in which she entered the library.

“I’m glad both of you are here. Cora and I want to show you something”. Unearthed nearly a year ago was portrait painted many years ago of Mary, Edith and Sybil. It was portrait of three innocent young girls, of a simpler time and place.

No one noticed light that shimmered above them in the afternoon sun. Sybil was still with them, watching and smiling.

The end

The Heiress- Well Worth It

Tonight I had the pleasure of seeing the latest Broadway revival of The Heiress, a theatrical reboot of the Henry James novel, Washington Square.

The story revovles around Catherine Sloper (Jessica Chastain), her father, Dr. Austin Sloper (David Straitharn) and Morris Townsend (Dan Stevens), the man who Catherine wishes to marry against her father’s wishes.

Dr. Sloper lost his wife decades ago, but still blames Catherine for his wife’s death and constantly puts her down. He believes that Morris only loves his daughter for her fortune and openly dissaproves of their marriage.

The casting of the main three characters was impeccable. Jessica Chastain plays Catherine as an intelligent young woman, stifled by her emotionally distant and demanding father. David Straitharn as Dr. Sloper is a man who loves his daughter the best way he can.  Dan Stevens plays Morris Townsend as a man who is intelligent and charming, but may have ulterior motives.

The play was riveting, I was unsure until the end if Catherine would stay with Morris or send him packing.

See it while you can.



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