yes hi did you know that elizabeth childs is my number one lady

Captain Britain Joining The MCU. Give Me Fucking Strength - Quill’s Scribbles

You know there are some points in my life where a person or a movie studio does something so stupid and moronic that my only response is… what the fuck are you doing?

DC, what the fuck are you doing?

Marvel, what the fuck are you doing?

Kevin Feige… what the fuck are you doing?!

Yes, apparently Marvel Studios are considering putting Captain Britain into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Something I’m sure every comic book fan in the land has been crying out for. Now I’m sure you’re wondering what I, a British person, may think of this. Do I feel patriotic? Proud that such a ‘beloved’ British icon is going to be part of the MCU?

Yeah, I can’t say I’m excited about the prospect and the reason is because… um… how do I put this?… Captain Britain is quite possibly the dumbest thing to ever come out of Marvel (and I’m including Howard The Duck).

Captain Britain was created by Chris Claremont and Herb Trimpe to be the British equivalent of Captain America. But whereas Captain America took off and became a relatively integral part of the American comics industry, Captain Britain never had quite the same impact with us Brits. In fact in contrast with Captain America, he’s actually a very obscure character. While he does have his fans (very few fans), most people have either never heard of him or, like me, can’t stand the fucking sight of him, finding the character to be more patronising than patriotic.

There’s a number of reasons why Captain Britain never took off, but first let’s quickly sum up his backstory. Brian Braddock (smirk) was born into an aristocratic family in Essex and educated at Fettes College In Edinburgh. Because his family were no longer rich enough to fraternise with their academic peers, Brian was a quiet and lonely child because he was too proud to fraternise with the lower classes (and I’m sure we in the lower classes were eternally grateful for that, you stuck up git). After his parents, Sir James and Lady Elizabeth (oh I do beg your pardon) die in a laboratory accident, Brian gets a job at a nuclear facility at Darkmoor. When this facility is attacked by a terrorist, Brian gets on his motorcycle (a motorcycle? Oh come now! Surely that’s far too lower class for him. Shouldn’t he be riding a horse and cart? Pip, pip! Tally ho chaps! We’ll give the ruffians what for!) and goes looking for help only to then crash and get seriously injured (you had one job! That’s you off the Queen’s Christmas card list). He is then saved by Merlyn (yes, that Merlin) and is offered the chance to become Captain Britain. He’s asked to choose between the Amulet of Right (pffft) and the Sword of Might (tee hee). Brian chooses the amulet and he transforms into the champion of Great Britain, fighting for Queen and country and all that is pre-shrunk and cottony… Oh no, wait. That’s from Captain Underpants. Have you ever read Captain Underpants? It’s a brilliant series of books. Very funny. Did you know that DreamWorks are doing a movie adaptation? I’m very excited! :D

Now you may have noticed that I wasn’t really taking this seriously. And really, how could I? It sounds more like a parody of Captain America. But no. Apparently we’re supposed to be taking this very seriously. So come on. Let’s be serious about this for a moment. No! Stop sniggering! Control yourselves, please! This could very well be the next big thing in the MCU.

Originally posted by yourreactiongifs

As I said, there are many reasons why Captain Britain never really took off. The most glaring example being how stereotypical it is. He comes from an aristocratic family. He went to a boarding school. It’s incredibly painful. He’s one step away from spending Sunday afternoons playing croquet in the grounds and sipping tea in the gazebo before retiring to his four poster bedroom where his butler will give him a glass of port as a nightcap and remind him to get up early in the morning so he won’t be late for a spot of fox hunting with the chaps from Grantham House. I mean Jesus Christ!

Another big reason why Captain Britain doesn’t work is because we don’t really have the same relationship to our flag and our country as the Americans do. Oh sure we can be patriotic on occasion, such as on remembrance days or royal events, but America takes it to a whole other level. Americans love their country. They love their flag. They’re proud to be Americans. To the point where they even have laws dictating how you should take care of your flag. You can actually get punished for not cleaning your flag properly. In some states it’s illegal to wash your flag in a washing machine because it’s disrespectful. That’s insane! Like… it’s just a piece of cloth! Calm down! Brits, generally speaking, don’t have that kind of relationship. In fact kind of the opposite. We often mock our country and view it with a certain amount of disdain. The only people who feel truly patriotic about Britain are the royalists and other such nutters. People who passionately believe that Britain is the best country in the world, who love the Royal family and harken back to the UK’s glorious yesteryears (which never actually existed). While both Captain America and Captain Britain are both equally dumb ideas, I can see why Americans would be drawn to Captain America. An American patriot who stands for American ideals and wears the American flag across his chest with pride. Captain Britain on the other hand, with his Union Jack and his Amulet of Right, is more likely to produce snorts of laughter from us Brits.

But I’ll say one thing for Captain America. It may be a stupid idea and he may talk as though he has the Declaration of Independence shoved firmly up his arse, but at least he doesn’t act all high and mighty or try to lord it over everyone else. No. He fights for the common man and that’s largely because he was a common man himself. A wimpy kid off the streets of Brooklyn determined to become a soldier and fight the Nazis, wanting to protect his country from injustice. His inner strength, good will and patriotism is what made him a prime candidate for the Vita-Ray experiment and he represents an aspirational figure that kids can look up to. Captain Britain is precisely not that. In fact he represents what the majority of Brits actually hate. An overly privileged, upper class prick who has great power bestowed onto him despite the fact that he’s done very little to actually deserve it.

And that’s by far the biggest problem with Captain Britain. As a character, he just doesn’t appeal to us Brits. He’s above us and he sees himself as above us. We don’t want to see that. If we wanted to see that, we’d just watch BBC Parliament. Let me give you an idea of the kind of characters we in the UK love:

Derek Trotter, more commonly known as Del Boy, was the main protagonist of the hugely successful sitcom Only Fools & Horses and is arguably one of the most beloved characters in British culture today. A market trader and con man who sells hooky gear on the streets of Peckham and often gets into trouble due to his get rich quick schemes. 

Dave Lister, a vending machine repair man from the sci-fi sitcom Red Dwarf. This lager drinking, curry loving slob ends up becoming the last surviving member of the human race and a Godlike figure to a new race of people that evolved from his pet cat. As the series progressed, he helped his robot Kryten break his programming and become fully independent, and it’s this that helps him to grow and mature to become the space hero he is now in the current series.

Victor Meldrew, from the sitcom One Foot In The Grave. A middle aged man forced into early retirement and having to find ways to pass the time, be it through peculiar hobbies or shouting at the weird events happening around him, much to the dismay of his wife Margaret.

Basil Fawlty, from the beloved sitcom Fawlty Towers, has become one of the most iconic characters in British culture. A traditionalist, right wing hotelier desperately seeking to raise his social status and to become successful, but is forced to work with people he absolutely despises, including his incompetent Spanish waiter Manuel.

Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced Bouquet) is the main character of the sitcom Keeping Up Appearances. Housewife to her eternally suffering husband Richard, she’s a pompous snob desperately seeking to maintain the illusion that she’s wealthier and more socially important than she actually is. However her attempts to climb the social ladder are often ruined by her working class sisters or her senile father.

And finally, just to bring this back into the realm of comic books there’s:

John Constantine. The chain smoking, working class magician from Liverpool who fights dark supernatural forces on a regular basis and frequently has to make morally dubious choices, often resulting in the deaths of his friends and loved ones.

Now what do all of these characters have in common? They’re all underdogs. Working class. Losers. Idiots. Failures. Those are the types of characters we’re drawn to as a culture. The reason why I included so many sitcom characters is because I feel they perfectly demonstrate the difference between British and American culture. America is brimming with idealism and aspiration. The idea that anyone can become greater than their humble origins, and this is reflected in their culture. In most American movies and TV shows and comic books, the main character is often smarter, wittier, tougher and/or funnier than the audience, representing someone they can aspire to be like. Here in Britain, where our rigid class system is permanently ingrained into us at an early age, we mostly accept the fact we’re likely going to stay where we’re at for the rest of our lives and so our media reflects that by giving us characters that are in similar situations to us. The reason we identify with the likes of Constantine and Lister and Del Boy is because they operate on our level and share our problems and worries. They’re one of us. When Basil Fawlty and Hyacinth Bucket arrogantly disregard their working class roots and try to raise their social status, it’s funny when they fail because serve them right for looking down on us. But when Del Boy eventually becomes a millionaire at the end, we’re legitimately happy for him because we like the character, we want to see him succeed and we’re glad he managed to succeed without compromising who he is. And that’s why Captain Britain will never be accepted by us. He is above us and has power over us and we don’t like that. People with power and authority are to be mocked and shamed, not to be celebrated or aspired to be like.

The idea that Kevin Feige is even considering putting Captain Britain into the MCU for me proves what I’ve been saying about Marvel all along. That they don’t care about creating a coherent or entertaining universe, that they’re adding characters and storylines just for the sake of adding characters and storylines, and that Kevin Feige clearly doesn’t have the slightest fucking idea of what he’s doing. If he did, he honestly wouldn’t think Captain Britain would be a profitable or worthwhile project to pursue. I also feel extremely annoyed by all of this. Remember when Feige said we were definitely going to see an LGBT+ superhero appear in the MCU at some point in the next ten years? Or just recently when he said we were totes going to see Miles Morales’ Spider-Man show up in the MCU at some point in the future? All of these vague half-promises constantly pushed back to make way for more ‘important’ projects like an Ant-Man sequel, an Inhumans TV series or Captain fucking Britain.

Regardless of what your thoughts are on the state of the MCU right now, I think we can all agree that when you get to the stage when you’re seriously considering Captain Britain as a legitimately good idea… maybe it’s time to take a break and reevaluate just what the fuck it is you’re actually doing.

Live Blog - The White Princess Episode 2

Here’s my live blog of TWP Episode 2, it’s just over four pages.  I’ve given it a once-over rough edit, but this is what I wrote up while watching the episode.  Hope you find some humor here!

“drawn from the novel by Philippa gregory” righhhhht.

Wait, why is she smiling like that when she’s entering his apartments?  I can see a fake or strained smile, but she looks shy and happy?  Wtf?  Last I left them she was like “i don’t like this guy”, unless this is supposed to be her tricking him?

What is the hell is this scene?? She’s like… being seductive??  Also, neither of their costumes are working.  Her sleeves are ridiculous.  And he looks like he’s wearing an emo bathrobe.  Jacob is too good for this show.

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   Elizabeth Taylor: Eyes so liquid with life

By Truman Capote

   Some years ago, rather more than 15, a friend and I decided to install, among the New York social curriculum, a series of surprise-guest lunch parties; the idea seemed amusing enough for February, the dreariest month in New York, so my friend and I invited four other friends to join us for lunch at a private apartment. The idea was that the six of us would, individually, supply an additional guest, a “mystery” guest – preferably someone interesting and well-known and yet not known personally to any or at least all of us. My choice was Dr J Robert Oppenheimer, but he wasn’t available that day; now I can’t remember who I brought.

But I do remember the selection made by Lady Keith, who was then Mrs Leland Hayward. Lady Keith, whom her friends call Slim, is a tall, coltish, California-bred aristocrat (northern California, need one add) with the most beautiful legs, ankles and feet extant. Her “surprise”, Elizabeth Taylor, was rather a runt by comparison – like Mrs Onassis, her legs are too short for the torso, the head too bulky for the figure in toto; but the face, with those lilac eyes, is a prisoner’s dream, a secretary’s self-fantasy; unreal, non-obtainable, at the same time shy, overly vulnerable, very human, with the flicker of suspicion constantly flaring behind the lilac eyes.

   We had met once before – one summer afternoon on the farm of a mutual friend in Connecticut. At the time, her third husband, the tough and short and sexy Mike Todd, still had his plane crash ahead of him, was still alive and married to this beautiful child who seemed besotted by him. Often, when couples make oozing displays of themselves, always kissing, gripping, groping – well, often one imagines their romance must be in serious difficulties.

Not so with these two. I remember them, that afternoon, sprawled in the sun in a field of grass and daisies holding hands and kissing while a litter of six or eight fat Newfoundland puppies tumbled over their stomachs, tangled in their hair.

   But it was not until I encountered her as Slim Hayward’s guest that Elizabeth Taylor made an impression on me, at least as a person; as an actress I’d always liked her – from National Velvet straight on, but especially as the rich girl in A Place in the Sun.

In the years since our first meeting, much had happened to her, but the two worst things were that Mike Todd had died and that she had married the “singer” Eddie Fisher – an event almost as unsuitable as Mrs Kennedy’s Grecian nuptials. Still, neither of these occurrences had dimmed the hectic allure Taylor radiates like a rather quivery light.

The lunch was long, we talked a lot. My first discovery about her was that despite an amusing abundance of four-lettered profanity, she was in various areas a moralist, quite a strict one, almost Calvinistic. For instance, she was agitated at the thought of playing the ill-starred, hedonistic heroine of John O’Hara’s Butterfield 8; she had an unbreakable legal obligation to do the role (for which she later won an Academy Award), but she wished she could get out of it because “I don’t like that girl. I don’t like what she stands for. The sleazy emptiness of her. The men. The sleeping around.”

At this point I recalled a conversation I’d once had with Marilyn Monroe (not that I’m making a comparison between Taylor and Monroe; they were different birds, the first being a take-or-leave-it professional, the other a morbidly uncertain, naturally gifted primitive). But Monroe’s moral attitude was similar: “I don’t believe in casual sex. Right or wrong, if I go for a guy, I feel I ought to marry him. I don’t know why. Stupid, maybe. But that’s just the way I feel. Or if not that, then it should have meaning. Other than something only physical. Funny, when you think of the reputation I have. And maybe deserve. Only I don’t think so. Deserve it, I mean. People just don’t understand what can happen to you. Without your real consent at all. Inside consent.”

The second surprise was how well-read Taylor seemed to be – not that she made anything of it, or posed as an intellectual, but clearly she cared about books and, in haphazard style, had absorbed a large number of them. And she discussed them with considerable understanding of the literary process; all in all, it made one wonder about the men in her life – with the exception of Mike Todd, who had had a certain flashbulb-brightness, a certain neon-savvy, her husbands thus far had not been a whiplash lot: Nicky Hilton, Michael Wilding, Mr Fisher – what on earth did this very alert and swift-minded young woman find to talk to them about?

“Well, one doesn’t always fry the fish one wants to fry. Some of the men I’ve really liked really didn’t like women.”

   And so we began to discuss a mutual friend, Montgomery Clift, the young actor with whom she had starred in A Place in the Sun, and toward whom she felt an affectionate protectiveness. She said: “You know, it happened at my house. Or rather, just after he’d left my house. He’d had a lot to drink, and lost control of his car. He was really all right before that – before the accident. Well, he always drank too much – but it was after the accident, getting hooked on all those pills and painkillers. Nobody beats that rap forever. I haven’t seen him for over a year. Have you?

And I said yes, I had. He called a few days before Christmas, and he sounded fine. He wanted to know what I was doing for lunch, and I wasn’t doing anything, I was going Christmas shopping, so he said he’d buy me lunch at Le Pavillon if I’d take him shopping. He had a couple of martinis at lunch, but he was rational, very amusing; but on the way he stopped in the gents, and while he was in there he must have taken something, because about 20 minutes later he was flying.

We were in Gucci, and he had picked out and piled on the counter perhaps two dozen very expensive sweaters. Suddenly, he grabbed up all the sweaters and sauntered outside, where it was pouring rain. He threw the sweaters into the street and began kicking them around. The Gucci personnel took it calmly. One of the attendants produced a pen and sales pad and asked me, “To whom shall I charge these sweaters?” The thing was he really didn’t know. He said he wanted some identification. So I went out into the street, where Monty was still kicking the sweaters around (observed by amassing voyeurs) and asked him if he had a charge card. He looked at me with the most manic, far-gone hauteur, and said, “My face is my charge card!”

   Taylor, her eyes always so liquid with life, acquired an additional mistiness. “He can’t go on like that. It will kill him.” She was right; it did. But not before, greatly because of her sympathy and insistence at a time when producers were reluctant to use Clift, they worked together in Suddenly, Last Summer – which contained Clift’s last worthy performance, and one of Taylor’s best – except, many years later, the subtlety and shrewish, constrained hysteria with which she pigmented the role of the alcoholic wife in Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

   Some years went by before we met again, on this occasion in London, where she was biding time before heading for Rome and the start of the doomed Cleopatra production. She and “The Busboy”, as Mr Fisher was called by many of Mrs Fisher’s friends, were living in a penthouse at the Dorchester. I’d visited that same penthouse often, as another friend had once lived there. Oliver Messel had tarted it up, and it was rather pretty, or had been: during the Taylor residency, the rooms were so crowded with shedding cats and unhousebroken dogs and general atmosphere of disorderly paraphernalia that one could not easily espy the Messel touch.

On the first evening I saw Taylor in this particular surrounding, she tried her best to give me a charming calico cat she had gathered up off some street. “No? That’s really very mean of you. I can’t cart all this…” she extended her arms, indicating the vastness of her burdens – enough animals to stock a pet shop, a male secretary serving drinks, a maid whisking in and out of the room displaying newly arrived dresses (“All from Paris. But I’ll have to send most of them back. I can’t afford it. I really haven’t any money. He doesn’t have any either. [First wife] Debbie Reynolds – if you’ll pardon the expression – got it all”), not to mention “The Busboy”, who sat on the couch rubbing his eyes as if trying to rouse himself from a nap.

She said to him, “What’s the matter? Why do you keep rubbing your eyes?”

“It’s all that reading!” he complained.

“All what reading?”

“That thing you tell me I gotta read. I’ve tried. I can’t get through it somehow.”

Her gaze disdainfully glided away from him. “He means To Kill a Mockingbird. Have you read it? It just came out. I think it’s a really lovely book.

Yes, I’d read it; as a matter of fact, I told her, the author, Harper Lee, was a childhood friend. We’d grown up together in a small Alabama town, and her book was more or less autobiographical, a roman à clef; indeed, Dill, one of the principal characters, was supposed to be me. “You see,” she told her husband, “I may not have had a particular education, but somehow I knew that book was true. I like the truth.”

“The Busboy” regarded her oddly. “Oh, yeah?

   A few mornings later I rang her up, and was informed by her secretary that she was in the hospital, a circumstance the London evening press confirmed: LIZ CRITICAL. When I got Mr Fisher on the phone, he was already balanced on the precipice of mourning: “It looks like I’m going to lose my girl.” He was so destined, though not in the style he presumed.

   Then I heard she hadn’t died after all, so I stopped by the hospital to leave her some books, and to my surprise, was ushered straightaway to her room. I was so impressed by the smallness of it; at least she wasn’t in a ward, but this claustrophobic closet, entirely stuffed by one narrow iron bed and one wooden chair, did not seem an appropriate arena for the life-death struggles of a Flick Queen. She was very lively, though one could see she had undergone a massive ordeal. She was whiter by far than the hospital’s bedsheets; her eyes, without make-up, seemed bruised and swollen, like a weeping child’s. What she was recovering from was a form of pneumonia. “My chest and lungs were filled with a sort of thick black fire. They had to cut a hole in my throat to drain out the fire. You see,” she said, pointing at a wound in her throat that was stopped with a small rubber plug. “If I pull this out my voice disappears,” and she pulled it out, and indeed her voice did disappear, an effect which made me nervous, which made her merry.

She was laughing, but I didn’t hear her laughter until she had reinserted the plug. “This is the second time in my life that I felt – that I knew – I was dying. Or maybe the third. But this was the most real. It was like riding on a rough ocean. Then slipping over the edge of the horizon. With the roar of the ocean in my head. Which I suppose was really the noise of my trying to breathe. No,” she said, answering a question, “I wasn’t afraid. I didn’t have time to be. I was too busy fighting. I didn’t want to go over that horizon. And I never will. I’m not the type.”

Perhaps not; not like Marilyn Monroe and Judy Garland, both of whom had yearned to go over the horizon, some darker rainbow, and before succeeding, had attempted the voyage innumerable times. And yet there was some common thread between these three, Taylor, Monroe, Garland – I knew the last two fairly well, and yes, there was something. An emotional extremism, a dangerously greater need to be loved than to love, the hotheaded willingness of an incompetent gambler to throw good money after bad.

“Would you like some champagne?” she said, indicating a bottle of Dom Perignon cooling in a bucket beside the bed. “I’m not supposed to have any. But **** that. I mean when you’ve been through what I’ve been through…” She laughed, and once more uncorked the throat incision, sending her laughter into soundless oblivion. I opened the champagne, and filled two ugly white plastic hospital glasses. She signed. “Hmm, that’s good. I really like only champagne. The trouble is, it gives you permanently bad breath. Tell me, have you ever thought you were dying?

“Yes. Once I had a burst appendix. And another time, when I was wading in a creek, I was bitten by a cottonmouth moccasin.”

“And were you afraid?”

Well, I was only a child. Of course I was afraid. I don’t know whether I would be now.”

She pondered, then: “My problem is I can’t afford to die. Not that I have any great artistic commitments (before Mike, before what happened to him, I’d been planning to get the hell out of movies; I thought I’d had enough of the whole damn thing). Just financial commitments, emotional: what would become of my children? Or my dogs, for that matter?” She’d finished her champagne, I poured her another glass, and when she spoke again she seemed, essentially, to be addressing herself. “Everyone wants to live. Even when they don’t want to, think they don’t. But what I really believe is: Something is going to happen to me. That will change everything. What do you suppose it might be?


But what kind of love?”

“Well. Ah. The usual.”

“This can’t be anything usual.”

“Then perhaps a religious vision?”

“Bull!” She bit her lip, concerned, But after a while she laughed and said: “How about love combined with a religious vision?”

   It was years before we met again, and then it seemed to me that I was the one undergoing a religious vision. This was one winter night in New York, and I was in a limousine together with Taylor and Richard Burton, the gifted coal-miner’s son who had replaced “The Busboy”. The Burtons’ chauffeur was driving away from, or attempting to drive away from, a Broadway theatre where Burton was appearing in a play. But the car couldn’t move because of the thousands, really thousands, of people carousing the streets, cheering and shouting and insisting on a glimpse of the most celebrated lovers since Mrs Simpson deigned to accept the King. Damp, ghostly faces were flattened against the car’s windows; hefty girls, in exalted conditions of libidinous excitement, pounded the roof of the car; hundreds of ordinary folk, exiting from other theatres, found themselves engorged among the laughing, weeping Burton-Taylor freaks. The whole scene was like a stilled avalanche nothing could budge, not even a squad of mounted policemen badgering the mob, in a rather good-natured way, with their clubs.

Burton, a light-eyed man with a lilting, Welsh-valley voice and an acne-rough complexion you could scratch a match on, visibly relished the carrying-on. “It’s just a phenomenon,” he said, grinning a good grin full of expensive teeth. “Every night Elizabeth comes to pick me up after the show, and there are always these… these… these…

Sex-maniacs,” his wife interposed coolly.

These enthusiastic crowds,” he corrected her a little scoldingly, “waiting…

To see a pair of sinful freaks. For God’s sake, Richard, don’t you realise the only reason all this is happening is because they think we’re sinners and freaks.”

An old man who had climbed on to the hood of the car shouted obscenities as the car suddenly started an abrupt escape, and he slid off the hood under the hooves of prancing horses. Taylor was upset. “That’s the thing that always bothers me. That someone is going to get hurt.

But Burton seemed unconcerned. “Sinatra was with us the other night. He couldn’t get over it. He said he’s never seen anything like it. He was really impressed.” Well, it was impressive. And depressing. Taylor was depressed by it, and as soon as we eventually arrived at the hotel where they were staying, and where there was another group to greet their arrival, she fixed herself a sort of triple vodka. So did Burton. Champagne followed vodka, and from room service appeared a not very exciting after-midnight buffet. Burton and Taylor wolfed it down: I’ve noticed that actors and dancers always seem to have uncontrollable hungers – yet their weight stays at some strange, ethereal level (even Taylor, who never, off-camera, appears as plumpish as she occasionally does in photographs: the camera has a habit of adding 30 pounds – even Audrey Hepburn is no exception).

Gradually, one became aware of an excessive tension between the two: constant contradictions in dialogue, a repartee reminiscent of the husband and wife in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Yet it was the tension of romance, of two people who had made a physical, psychological commitment to one another. Jane Austen once said that all literature revolved around two themes: love and money. Burton, an exceptional conversationalist, encompassed the first theme (“I love this woman. She is the most interesting and exciting woman I’ve ever known”), and the second (“I care about money. I’ve never had any, and now I do, and I want – well, I don’t know what you consider rich, but that’s what I want to be”). Those two subjects, and literature – not acting, writing: “I never wanted to be an actor. I always wanted to be a writer. And that’s what I will be if this circus ever stops. A writer.” When he said this, Taylor’s eyes had a particularly prideful glow. Her enthusiasm for the man illuminated the room like a mass of Japanese lanterns.

He left the room to uncork another bottle of champagne. She said: “Oh, we quarrel. But at least he’s worth quarrelling with. He’s really brilliant. He’s read everything and I can talk to him – there’s nothing I can’t talk to him about. All his friends… Emlyn Williams told him he was a fool to marry me. He was a great actor. Could be a great actor. And I was nothing. A movie star. But the most important thing is what happens between a man and a woman who love each other. Or any two people who love each other.”

She walked to the window and pushed back the curtain. It had started to ain and the rain was puttering against the window. “Rain makes me sleepy. I really don’t want any more champagne. No. No. Don’t go. We’ll drink it anyway. And then either everything will be wonderful or we’ll have a real fight. He thinks I drink too much. And I know he does. I’m just trying to stay in the mood. Keep up. I always want to be where he is. Remember, a long time ago, I told you there was something I wanted to live for? She closed the curtains against the rain, and looked at me sightlessly – Galatea surveying some ultimate horizon. “Well, what do you think?” But it was a question with an answer already prepared. “What do you suppose will become of us? I guess, when you find what you’ve always wanted, that’s not where the beginning begins, that’s where the end starts.

First published in Ladies’ Home Journal in 1974, and taken from A Capote Reader, by Truman Capote 

Radio Times: Scarlet Lady

Natalie Dormer has had it with bit parts - she’s ready to take the lead in the BBC’ raciest ever costume drama.

Natalie Dormer has made her name playing strong, sassy and, yes, sexy female roles. Anne Boleyn in The Tudors, Cressida in the blockbuster movie franchise The Hunger Games and Margaery Tyrell in the worldwide hit Game of Thrones. So the lead part in what’s been described as the BBC’s raciest ever costume drama must have had her name inked in.

After much adjustment to her busy filming diary, Dormer finally struggled into a corset to play the fiery and free-thinking Seymour, Lady Worsley just before Christmas. Is she glad that she did? You bet. “This is a story of a remarkable woman in a man’s time,” she says. “It’s about a human being who is in a psychologically abusive relationship. She is vulnerable, and then she slowly empowers herself. That’s a great arc.”

The one-off drama is based on the biography of the 18th-century scarlet woman written by historian Hallie Rubenhold (see page 13). Lady Worsley is a rich and accomplished Georgian lady whose love match to Sir Richard Worsley (Shaun Evans) swiftly becomes an emotional prison thanks to the fact that he would rather watch her in bed with other men than make love to her himself (this is a film through which several scenes are observed through a keyhole).

However, when she and one of her many lovers, Captain George Bisset (Aneurin Barnard), run off together, she finds not freedom, but infamy: Sir Richard sues Bisset for £20,000 in compensation, a man’s wife then being considered his property. Not wanting Bisset to be ruined, Lady Worsley has only one option: she will reveal to the court the full number of lovers, and the fact the her husband knew each and every one of them. Her value thus being reduced in the eyes of the law, no damages will be due.

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