Julian Fellowes's Belgravia Episode 5

The Assignation


By Julian Fellowes

Read by Juliet Stevenson

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The gambling dens of London and a secret assignation provide the backdrop for indiscretions large and small.

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

At a soirée organized by Lady Brockenhurst, Anne and James Trenchard came face to face with Charles Pope. Everyone that evening was captivated by the young man—especially Maria Grey. But James feared that Anne had unwittingly sown the seeds of their destruction.

Episode Five

Susan Trenchard lay in bed listening to the Church bells of All Saints, Isleworth. Every now and then she could hear the noises of the river: watermen calling to each other, the splash of an oar. She looked around the room. It was decorated like a bedchamber in a great house rather than a lodging, with heavy brocade curtains, a classical chimneypiece, and a fine four-poster which she found so comfortable. Another woman might have been alarmed to discover that John Bellasis kept a small house in Isleworth with a single room for eating, a large and luxuriously appointed bedroom, and more or less nothing else beyond a service area and presumably a room for the near-silent man who ministered to them. Again, the fact that the servant had asked no questions when they arrived but simply produced a delicious luncheon before ushering them into a bedroom where the curtains had been drawn and the fire lit might have implied that he knew the form for this type of encounter a little too thoroughly for comfort. But Susan was too content, too satisfied—indeed, more satisfied than she had been in years—to pick holes in her present happiness. She stretched.

"You should probably get dressed." John stood at the foot of the bed, buttoning his trousers. "I'm dining in town, and you should be back in time to change."

"Do we have to?"

Susan propped herself up in the bed. Her auburn hair snaked in curls over her smooth white shoulders. She bit her plump bottom lip as she looked up at John. In this mood, she really was quite irresistible, and she knew it. John walked over and sat down next to her, running his index finger down the side of her neck, tracing the curve of her collarbone, while Susan closed her eyes. He cupped her chin and kissed her.

What an extraordinary proposition Susan Trenchard had turned out to be. Their meeting at his aunt's soirée had been quite fortuitous and entirely unplanned, but she was his best discovery this Season. He really believed she would keep him entertained for weeks.

He had Susan's maid, Speer, to thank for the ease of their adventure. For a wiry, miserable-looking woman she was prepared to be remarkably complicit in her mistress's seduction. Not that Susan had really needed much encouragement, especially when faced with someone as proficient in the bedroom arts as John. He'd always had a sharp eye for a woman who was likely to stray. Her boredom and lack of affection for her husband had been obvious to him as soon as he'd approached her that evening at Brockenhurst House. All he'd had to do was flatter her a little, tell her how pretty she was, frown with interest at her opinions, and slowly but surely he knew he would be able to prise her away from the weak-looking Oliver Trenchard. In the end, women really were very simple creatures, he thought now, looking into her pale blue eyes. They might tremble with indecision, affect shock and dismay at the very idea, but he knew these for the stages they felt obliged to go through. From the moment she'd laughed at his jokes, he knew he could have her whenever he wanted.


On Sale
May 5, 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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