Julian Fellowes's Belgravia Episode 10

The Past Comes Back


By Julian Fellowes

Read by Juliet Stevenson

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The full truth of what happened that night at the Duchess of Richmond’s ball is revealed.

Julian Fellowes’s Belgravia is a story in 11 episodes published week by week in the tradition of Charles Dickens.

Belgravia is the story of a secret. A secret that unravels behind the porticoed doors of London’s grandest postcode. The story behind the secret will be revealed in weekly bite-sized installments complete with twists and turns and cliff-hanger endings.

Set in the 1840s when the upper echelons of society began to rub shoulders with the emerging industrial nouveau riche, Belgravia is peopled by a rich cast of characters. But the story begins on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. At the Duchess of Richmond’s now legendary ball, one family’s life will change forever . . .


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Previously in Belgravia

Jane Croft, Sophia Trenchard's former maid, paid a visit to the Trenchard household to give Anne some papers she had been keeping for more than twenty-five years. However, Anne was not the only one to see them. And, increasingly trapped by the plans for her marriage to John Bellasis, Maria sought out Charles to help her escape.

Episode Ten

John Bellasis was sitting in a large leather armchair in the library of the Army and Navy Club in St. James's Square drinking a cup of coffee and reading a copy of Punch, a new magazine he had heard of but never seen until then. Dressed in a pair of fashionable pale yellow trousers, a blue Valencia waistcoat, a white shirt, and a black frock coat, he had made something of an effort with his appearance. That afternoon, he was waiting for a friend, Hugo Wentworth, to arrive and he was very keen not to appear down on his luck.

Wentworth was a member of the club, which had opened only four years earlier, in 1837, the year that had seen the young Queen Victoria ascend the throne, and as an officer in the 52nd Light Infantry, Wentworth was eligible to belong to it, but John didn't envy him. With the membership confined to those in the forces, when John did visit the place he found the conversation rather flat, and the food… well, the food left a lot to be desired. It was not for nothing that Captain Higginson Duff had christened it "The Rag." The story went that, on returning from a tour, he'd described the unappetizing supper he'd been served as a "Rag and Famish affair." The Rag and Famish was a squalid gaming house, not unknown to John's own father, that was notorious for its filthy rooms and disgusting dinners, so the remark was clearly intended as an insult. But the members chose to be amused rather than offended, and the club had been known as The Rag ever since.

"Bellasis!" came the booming voice of Hugo Wentworth, who was standing in the doorway and pointing straight at John. "There you are!" He strode across the room, resplendent in his uniform, the noise of his heavy boots thudding on the Turkish carpet. "You look very dashing," he said. "You certainly know how to show a man up."

John shook his head. "Nonsense. There is no civilian dress that can compete with a uniform, as we all know."

Hugo coughed. "Is it too early for a glass of Madeira?"

"It's never too early for a glass of Madeira," said John. But he wondered how much longer they would have to go on with this small talk. He was impatient to start the business that had brought him here.

"Good, good." Hugo looked around and caught the eye of a club servant. "Madeira, please," he said as the man approached. "For both of us."

"What is your news?" said John. Evidently they were going to have to wade through a certain amount of idle chatter before Wentworth would begin.

Hugo's tone became serious. "I've just been told I'm off to Barbados. I must say I don't fancy it one bit. Can't stand the heat."

"No. I can imagine."

"Anyway, what will be, will be," he said. "By the way, I saw the notice of your engagement in the Times. Congratulations. She's a lovely young woman."

"I'm very lucky," said John, without meaning it.

"When's the wedding?"

"Soon, I think."

His leaden tone told Captain Wentworth it was time to move on, and at last he did. "Now"—he took out a packet and removed some papers from it—"I have done a little digging, as you asked."

"And?" John sat up in his chair. This was what he'd come for.

He had not been himself since he'd read the copied material that Ellis had brought him. And when she'd failed to return with the originals later that day, he had been forced to acknowledge that the information they bore witness to could not be destroyed or even contained. In the first of Sophia's letters she'd told her maid of the child she had conceived. A child who was to be sent to live with a family named Pope as soon as it was born. That much he had absorbed easily. He'd long realized that Charles Pope was in some way connected by blood to one of the major players in this game. John had suspected him of being James Trenchard's son. Now it turned out he was the son of Trenchard's daughter. All this was fair enough. Trenchard had been anxious to keep the secret to protect his daughter's good name, and John understood why. The letters had also allowed him to fill in the missing piece of the jigsaw. The father of Sophia Trenchard's baby was Edmund Bellasis, John's own cousin. It all made sense—Trenchard's patronage of Charles Pope, Lady Brockenhurst's obvious affection for him. There was nothing to surprise in this revelation. On the contrary, for the first time since Charles Pope had come into their lives, everything was clear.


On Sale
Jun 9, 2016
Hachette Audio

Julian Fellowes

About the Author

Educated at Ampleforth and Magdalene College, Cambridge, Julian Fellowes is a multi-award-winning actor, writer, director and producer. As creator, sole writer, and executive producer of the hit television series DOWNTON ABBEY, Fellowes has won three Emmy awards.Fellowes received the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for GOSFORD PARK (2002). His work was also honored by the Writer’s Guild of America, The New York Film Critics’ Circle and the National Society of Film Critics for Best Screenplay. Other writing credits for film include PICCADILLY JIM (2004), VANITY FAIR (2004), YOUNG VICTORIA (2009), THE TOURIST (2010), ROMEO &amp JULIET (2013), and the upcoming three-part drama DOCTOR THORNE for ITV. Fellowes also directed the award-winning films SEPARATE LIES and FROM TIME TO TIME. Fellowes wrote the books for the Tony-nominated stage production of MARY POPPINS and SCHOOL OF ROCK – THE MUSICAL which opened on Broadway in December 2015, and is written and produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Fellowes has authored two novels: the international bestsellers SNOBS (2005) and PAST IMPERFECT (2008/2009).Julian Fellowes became a life peer in 2010. He lives in Dorset and London with his wife, Emma.

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