On those lines-- what do you think of the famous line of Mlle Georges about the Duke of Wellington being "beaucoup le plus fort" as a lover? Can it be trusted?
It’s an interesting line, can it be trusted? One thing to keep in mind in regards to Mlle. Georges memoirs is that it is believed that there may have been one or more different ghost writers that contributed to her memoirs (several different names have been floated–from her attorney to Alexandre Dumas).
So can it be trusted? That’s up to the reader, but with the above information, it’s probably best to take it with some salt.
Another fantastic piece of television I’m watching at the moment is the BBC adaptation of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. Haven’t read the book yet but on the strength of the adaptation, I picked up a copy yesterday.
And though Ronan Vibert here (you Cadfael fans may recognise him from The Virgin in the Ice as Le Gaucher) doesn’t quite fit the image of Wellington as well as Hugh Fraser does in my books, I’m liking his interpretation so far. I mean, only the Duke could come up with a line like that when faced with zombies!
At this moment on June 16th 1815, at the crossroads of Quatre Bras, Belgium:
A French army of 20,000 men, commanded by Marshal Michael Ney, is engaging an ever-increasing allied force of British, Dutch, Belgian and German troops commanded by the Duke of Wellington. Ney’s objective is to hold the allies up while the main French invasion of Belgium, headed by Napoleon Bonaparte, defeats the Prussians at Ligny, around 6 miles south-east.
The French attack begins while the allies are still arriving piece by piece from their encampments south-west of Brussels. Ney’s initial attacks are launched at 2.00 p.m. and involve columns of infantry thrust against the allied vanguard, the 2nd Division, consisting of a Dutch and a Nassau Brigade. While initially holding firm, these two Brigades are forced back by sheer weight of numbers. The Dutch fall back to the farm of Gemioncourt and the Nassuaers to the farm at Grand-Pierrepont.
At 3.00 p.m. Wellington himself arrives on the battlefield at the head of the 6th (British) Division, as well as the Dutch Light Cavalry Brigade. Ney flings in another assault. Although the fresh British troops hold firm, the Nassau troops are driven from Grand-Pierrepont into the nearby Bossu wood. However, they give ground only grudgingly, fighting tree-to-tree. At Gemioncourt the Dutch fight on despite losing almost two thirds of their men, recapturing the farmhouse at several points.
A Dutch cavalry charge by the Prince of Orange is repulsed by Ney’s own cavalry, but the bold move buys enough time for Wellington to organise his slowly developing line. At 4.15 p.m. Ney receives orders from Napoleon to step up his offensive. He attacks the crossroads, where his combined infantry and cavalry thrust badly damage two British regiments, the 42nd and 44th Foot.
Allied reinforcements are still arriving on the field, while Napoleon had pulled men away from Ney’s command to assist in the struggle with the Prussians at Ligny. At 5.00 p.m. Ney orders a massed cavalry assault in an effort to smash Wellington’s centre. This unexpectedly bold move catches the British 5th Brigade, holding the crossroads, badly unprepared. Still in line formation, the 69th Foot is savage by cuirassiers, losing their King’s Colour, while the 33rd and 73rd Foot are scattered. The French cavalry take the crossroads, but couldn’t hold them - a counter-attack drives the unsupported cuirassiers back.
With allied reinforcements still flooding in, Wellington orders a general counter-attack. French cavalry again catch the British off-guard - in this case the Brigade of Guards were forced to flee into Bossu wood - but ultimately as the day’s fighting petered out the French have lost all the gains they’d made throughout the day.
Despite this, Napoleon’s strategic objective has been realised. Ney has held up Wellington while the French Emperor defeats the Prussians at Ligny. Wellington falls back towards Brussels, taking up a position at a ridge just south of Waterloo, for the final clash of the Napoleonic Era on June 18th, 1815…
Nico’s fingers are cold and there are pine needles in his Converse. As he trudges along behind Will, his hands stuck under his arm pits to keep warm, he wishes with all his heart he’d taken up Valdez’s offer of hot chocolate and churros.
Will, damn him, couldn’t have been having more fun. His tan cheeks are flushed with cold as he skips through the field of Christmas trees and jumps over stumps. He’s bundled up considerably more than Nico is; Will’s wearing a fleece-line flannel shirt under a black down vest and khakis tucked into Wellington boots.
The grin Will wears, most importantly, is a hundred times brighter than the pale winter sun overhead.
“Ok, well I think we should head all the way to the back; people probably haven’t picked through there as much so we’re bound to find the perfect tree.” Will says. “You keeping up back there?”
Will stops walking and turns around to face Nico, who knew he was probably the perfect picture of the Grinch. Nico hadn’t celebrated Christmas in a long time, from the winter his sister died to the time he was probably fifteen. And after that, most of his holidays were spent with the Jacksons, and they were Jewish. Christmas had only become a Big Deal again when Nico and Will started dating.
(Nico had probably eaten a lot more latkes in the last several years than he had Christmas cookies to be perfectly honest.)
Next to the Fourth of July, Christmas is Southern-Boy Baptist-Raised Will Solace’s favorite holiday, so the sudden onslaught of Christmas cheer in Nico’s life after a long time is kind of overwhelming.
“I’m just…I’m cold.” Nico grumbles, and tried to bury himself further in his leather jacket.
Will snorts and in an endearing tone goes, “Silly.” He then unwraps his scarf from around his neck and looped it around Nico’s.
“There you go, all better.” Will says. He takes Nico’s cold hands in his own and kisses the tip of Nico’s nose.
Nico decides he could always blame the flush on his face on the chilly air.
Together this time they walk towards the back field of Christmas trees. Nico’s cold, thin fingers fit easily in Will’s broad, tanned hands. With his other hand, Will adjusts the grip on the saw they’d been given at the farm’s welcome center.
“Did you ever have a Christmas tree, Nico? In Italy?”
Nico gives Will a flat look, “Yeah, we had tons of pine trees in Italy, especially Venice.”
“Oh. Yeah, sorry.” Will colors a little a goes quiet.
Nico rolls his eyes and gives Will a little punch in his upper arm, “They’re more of a Germanic thing I think. Christmas trees have come to Italy by now, I think, but we definitely didn’t have them in the 30s and 40s.”
“What about with your dad? I know sometimes you exchange presents.”
Nico snorts, “My dad doesn’t want to deal with any more greenery than he has to. Sometimes Hazel and I put ornaments and garland on the poplars, though.” They end up facing four rows of tall evergreens, looming in front of them.
“Ready?” Will asks.
“As I’ll ever be.” Nico says.
It takes them another hour and shivering and shouting across the field to each other and Nico complaining about the cold until both of them are standing in front of a five foot pine tree.
“You know what I just realized?” Nico says, staring at the pine tree, “What about the dryad?”
“You mean of the pine tree?”
“Yeah,” Nico says, turning to face his boyfriend, “Are we gonna kill a nature spirit by chopping down her tree?”
“No,” Will says, “I looked into it years ago. Pine trees have become a Judeo-Christian thing, and there aren’t any nature spirits in that vein of belief. Thalia was the only pine to have a spirit tied to it.”
“And you found this out how?”
“Katie Gardener. C’mon, isn’t your grandmother technically Demeter?”
“Don’t remind me,” Nico says. “Ok, so are we cutting this thing down or not?”
Will holds out the saw to him, “Would you like to do the honors? I know how much you like reaping souls and the barbaric killing of innocents.”
Nico rolls his eyes at the grin that’s splitting Will’s face, “Sure, I guess I’ll sacrifice. But if I chop it down, you have to carry it back.”
Throwing his head back, Will laughs and then pretends to flex. “Fair enough.”
When the tree falls to the pine needle-coated ground, Nico stands up from his crouch and smiles at his boyfriend. “Nothing says Merry Christmas like a dying tree.”
Will laughs again and grabs Nico close to kiss his cheek, “Merry Christmas, Nico.”
Nico nuzzles his face into Will’s neck, “Buon Natale, Will.”
Foreword: in Spring 2010 any actor in the Kiwi community is applying to audition for any role in the Hobbit. Pin-up boy Dean O'Gorman tries as well, and he reads for Bilbo. As soon as he finishes, he has no illusions whatsoever: “There’s no way I’m gonna be Bilbo”. He forgets about it and thinks about other projects, but he notices with a hint of disappointment that all his friends seem to have gotten a (minor) role in this film. And he guesses that probably PJ didn’t like him at all.
But sometimes you are given a second chance…
It’s Easter Weekend 2011, 40 days after the beginning of principal photography, and Dean is relaxing at home, watching Game of Thrones. Suddenly his phone rings: it’s his agent, telling him that PJ wants him to audition for a role in the Hobbit. Dean thinks it’s for an Orc or something like that but it’s for a role with (relatively) many lines: the Dwarf Fili.
A few days later, Dean is flown to Wellington and has to do a long and complex audition with Aidan Turner. And the fact that he was also required to cry in a highly emotional scene always sends shivers down my spine.
Because that was the end of their journey and they were looking for an actor who could live up to those terrible final moments..
This may be silly but I’m gonna give it a go because I really need to find something. Please help me signal boosting this with a reblog?
I’m looking for one, two, or three people to share an apartment with in Montreal, for April or May. I can pay up to $550 CAD for my room + my part of all utilities and internet. More details on what I’m looking for:
LGBT and pet friendly people only (I have a cat). People in their 20s or early 30s only.
Neighborhoods I’m looking for: downtown, Griffintown, Plateau Mont-Royal, Verdun, Gay Village, Saint-Henri, Little Burgundy.
Needs to be near a metro station (preferably orange or green line), OR buses #715 or #61, OR Wellington Street.
I have furniture for my room and a TV, washer, dryer, table an chairs, all kitchen utensils but no fridge, stove, or couch. I don’t need a parking spot!
it would be medium to long term :) Serious and calm people only please.
PLEASE if you know someone looking for a roommate with those criteria’s, please have them contact me! Send me a message if you are interested, we can talk on skype, facebook, message text, etc. Thank you!!
So I really hope Meg’s next video is just five straight minutes of Beatrice going off on Ben (and his flatmates for pressuring him into making that decision without consulting Bea first), ending with something along the lines of “Guess what, fuckface, I’m coming to Wellington and sorting this out myself!”