I originally started this story as a few play scenes--don't remember when--probably not long after I saw The Heiress on Broadway. I put it away after three or four scenes, because it was time for another revision on the WIP.
As you may have guessed from that list of inspirations, this story has: an English country manor (yes, again), but this time it's falling apart. I think the Ponsonby-Courtneys live in a house that looks like this:
|In real life: Belton House, Lincolnshire, England|
Until the summer of 1893, when Conrad brings home an annoying American heiress named
Ethel Or maybe Ursula Houghton, who is followed on this visit by her pushy mother and her handsome brother, Simon.
Here are a few lines from those couple of scenes I wrote:
Lady Malden: Thank you, Miss Ethel. Yes, it is quite an old house--the first building on the site was built in 1310. The Ponsonby-Courtneys have lived here since 1440.
Victoria: (bored) And then we lost it in 1473. Good heavens, Aunt, I don't think Miss Ethel is terribly interested in our many marriages and our many losses and gains. Then again, maybe you are. Losses and gains are very Wall Street, aren't they, Miss Ethel?
Mrs. Houghton: The tour was enlightening, don't you think?
Ethel: Oh, yes. The gutters are blocked, the third floor is derelict, and the roof leaks.
Conrad: I like Miss Ethel very much.
Conrad: I want to marry her.
Conrad: Vicky, it's not because I don't--
Victoria: You don't have to explain, Conrad. I well know the situation. We've no claims on each other, beyond blood.
Conrad: And a few kisses. But once I take a wife and we have sons to carry on, I may take a mistress.
Victoria: Expected, but still deplorable. You've not even proposed to her!
I don't have an entire plot worked out yet, but I am diving into research. Here are some images that pertain or are inspiring this story.
|Actress Ethel Barrymore, 1896.|
|Prince George, his wife Princess May and grandmother Queen Victoria in 1893|
|Train crash, October 1895, in Paris|
|Lillie Langtry, actress. Mistress to Prince Edward.|