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Julian Fellowes's Belgravia Episode 4
At Home in Belgrave Square
Read by Juliet Stevenson
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Format:Audiobook Download (Unabridged)
This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around April 28, 2016. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.
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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
Lord and Lady Brockenhurst were approached by Stephen and John Bellasis, who were both in search of funds. John was now engaged to Lady Maria Grey and was already making a claim on his status as heir to the Brockenhurst fortune. Meanwhile Lady Brockenhurst had tracked down Charles Pope and had a surprise in store for the Trenchards.
It was almost ten o'clock. Anne Trenchard's hands were trembling and her stomach was knotted with excitement. She stared at herself in the glass, silently willing Ellis to hurry up and put the finishing touches to her hair. She was wearing a tiara and she could feel some of the pins pricking her scalp. She would have a headache before the evening was over. That much she knew.
She glanced across at the gilt clock on her chimneypiece. Two rather sulky-looking cherubs held up the face between them. Belgrave Square was less than five minutes away by carriage. It would be impolite to arrive much before half past, but she wasn't sure she could wait that long.
It was rare for Anne to feel any kind of enthusiasm when it came to social engagements. But then again, it was rarer still to meet one's own grandson for the first time in twenty-five years.
Could Lady Brockenhurst's letter be true? Anne couldn't quite bring herself to believe it. What would he look like, she wondered, adjusting her diamond collier de chien. He used to have pale blue eyes, just like Sophia's, but then all babies are born with blue eyes so perhaps they'd changed. She remembered his scent, warm and sweet with milk, his sturdy little legs and dimpled knees and the strong grip of his tiny hand. She also remembered all the emotions she had gone through: the anger and the terrible, painful sadness when he had been taken from her. How one small, helpless human being could provoke such feelings was beyond understanding. She lifted Agnes from her attendant position at her mistress’s feet. There was something comforting in her unqualified love, or was it just a need to be fed that kept her faithful? Guilty at doubting her, Anne kissed the dog's nose.
"Are you ready?" asked James, poking his balding head around the door. "Susan and Oliver are in the hall."
"We don't want to be the first there." But Anne smiled at her husband's ebullience; there was nothing he enjoyed more than a grand evening out, and few came more grand than an At Home at Brockenhurst House.
"We won't be. There'll have been a crowd for dinner." Which was true enough. They were in the second tier of invités. She knew James would have sold his soul to be on the list of the dining guests, but he was too excited to let that spoil things now. It was odd the way he appeared, in his eagerness to be received in Brockenhurst House, to have forgotten the very real connection between the families. Apparently they were to conduct themselves as if there were no link, there was no child. Of course he was in for an awakening if Charles Pope were present, but there was no point in disturbing him now. She stood. "Very well. Ellis, could you fetch my fan, please? The Duvelleroy."
Despite James's generous allowance, Anne had little interest in fashion, but fans were one of her few extravagances. Indeed, she had quite a collection. The Duvelleroy was one of the best. Hand-painted and exquisitely made, she kept it for special occasions. Ellis slipped it into her hand. It featured a painted image of the new French royal family, brought to the throne by a revolution a decade before. She stared at the plump, elderly King. How long would he hold on to that troubled, slippery crown, she wondered? But then, how long would she be able to keep her own secret? How long would they continue to enjoy fortune's favor before it all came crashing down around their ears?
- On Sale
- Apr 28, 2016
- Hachette Audio