Archive for December, 2011
HMS Joyful Molly has dropped her anchor and will stay berthed for the holidays. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Blessed Yuletide! Thanks for reading my blog, and may you and your loved ones all have a happy and healthy New Year, full of adventures, discoveries and unforgettable moments!
This year’s Charity of Molly’s Choice:
The Trust’s primary objective is to respect and preserve the treasured relationship between owners and their pets. To this end it works in partnership with owners to overcome any difficulties that might arise. A national network of over 15,000 community service volunteers has been established to provide practical help when any aspect of day to day care poses a problem – for example, walking the dog for a housebound owner.
A national fostering service is provided for pets whose owners face a spell in hospital – volunteers take pets into their own homes and supply love and care in abundance until owner and pet can be reunited.
The Cinnamon Trust also provides long term care for pets whose owners have died or moved to residential accommodation which will not accept pets. Arrangements are made between owners and the Trust well in advance, so owners do have peace of mind in the knowledge that their beloved companion will have a safe and happy future.
Any support is very welcome!
Some months ago, the cat of Antiques Roadshow expert David Battie – a lovely fellow called Leonard – smashed a Wedgwood teapot from Mr. Battie’s collection. Made in 1795, the precious piece had weathered many storms, but as we all know, nothing and nobody is safe from the inquisitive mind of a cat. Trust me, I know what I’m talking about.
No responsible cat owner would hold such an accident against the animal, though; after all a cat is a cat and not an art expert, and we don’t expect a feline to show respect and appreciation for cultural heritages of any kind. Also, cats are cute.
Those involved in Wedgwood-Gate aren’t cats, though, and Judge Charles Purle QC knew exactly the consequences when he ruled that
just like the administrators from Begbies Traynor knew what they did when they sought the ruling to determine the future of the collection.
Now if only everybody else involved in this mess had known what they were doing before this debacle happened, we’d all be much happier!
Tempting as it is, let’s not blame judges and administrators, though. This ruling has a long prehistory, and holding the museum responsible and sell off its invaluable collection to satisfy the creditors of the Wedgwood company which went boom! in 2009 is legally correct. To quote Judge Charles Purle QC:
“This is sad for those who would wish to preserve a collection of what everyone recognises is enormous national importance, but is the result of insolvency legislation combined with the very comprehensive pension protection that the state now provides.”
Sad? Sad? “Titanic” is sad, this is bloody tragic! Seriously, what sort of country would allow the loss of such an important collection? What kind of politician would back this? What’s next? Putting Nelson on his column up for auction on ebay to fund the Olympics?!
Do you really want to see the Wedgwood collection auctioned off and spread all over the planet? And do you really think that, with such a precendent, other museums may not be at risk of being dissolved and their collections ending up on some high-profile garage sale?
The administrators said they’d explore other options to raise money to keep the collection in situ (Heritage Lottery Fund, the V&A Museum, members of the Wedgwood family etc.)
They also said that the Pension Protection Fund, the main creditor, had indicated they they were prepared to allow time for fundraising.
It’s our turn now: we have to ask ourselves if Britain’s legacy for future generations really should consist of nothing but Tesco car parks. Get active, write to your representatives and urge them to take a stand.
I’m running out of sel volatile here; it’s time for a mutiny, my friends. We can’t allow this to happen.
Thanks a lot to everybody who participated in this year’s Yuletide Contest! There was a lot of competition for those who sent in the correct answer to the question: “What is Molly Joyful’s favourite Jane Austen novel?” It’s “Persuasion”, of course, and as some mentioned their favourite TV adaptation: mine is the 1995 BBC one with the wonderful Amanda Root and Ciarán Hinds.
Many knew the answer, but it was Kerstin from Germany whose number was drawn by Buttons the cat. Congratulations! Your Very Austen Yuletide Parcel will soon be on its way.
In other news, I’ve hanged Mr. Silvester. I couldn’t help it; I just couldn’t resist to make him the centrepiece of my Yuletide decoration, and you must admit that he’s making a very fetching Christmas ornament. The BBC could make a ton of money with Garrow’s Law ornaments – Mr. Garrow baubles! Lady Sarah garlands! And imagine Judge Buller on top of your Christmas tree!
This year’s decoration work was carried out by Buttons & Lorchen. They are specialised in colourful pawbles.
I’m a little late this year, but I haven’t forgotten about Molly Joyful’s traditional Yuletide Contest. Some things never change, so you have once again the chance to win a splendid Christmas parcel!
“Pray tell, what may we win?”
This lovely little book will take you right back to your childhood. Gorgeous gowns for Elizabeth and gentlemanly suits for Mr. Darcy! Never again boring moments under the Christmas tree!
It must be Mr. Bingley’s cheeky smile why this is a favourite of mine (though “Pride and Prejudice” is not my favourite Austen-novel. That would be “Persuasion”, for obvious reasons!)
But wait, that’s not all! For the naval geeks among you, there is
Jane Austen and the Navy, based upon family papers and naval records, shows the novelist as a historian of Nelson’s Navy – not the Navy of great victories at sea but the Navy at home, and of sailors amongst their families and friends – but it is set against the background of war, with Revolutionary and Napoleonic France, fought across the globe between 1793 and 1815.
And that’s STILL not all! Because what would Christmas be without
A SELECTION OF THE BEST CHOCOLATE IN THE WORLD
Real chocolate. Not the tasteless factory stuff – chocolate-chocolate. Milk, dark, white, nuts, orange – your choice.
And what do you have to do to win this parcel full of Yuletide joy?
Just send an email to
joyful_molly at yahoo.co.uk
and answer the following question:
“What is Molly Joyful’s favourite Austen novel?”
B) Pride and Prejudice
IMPORTANT: Please put “Contest” in the subject line.
Deadline: 12th December, 2011, noon GMT.
Please read the following rules before you send off your mail.
1. By participating in this contest, you confirm that you have read, understood and accepted the rules.
2. You have to be at least 16 years old to participate.
3. Please be fair: only send in one mail per person.
4. No cash pay-out of your prize.
5. No correspondence will be held over the outcome of the contest.
6. If you are the winner, you’ll have to provide us with your name and address.
7. We’ll send your prize out asap, but have no influence on postal services.
8. Should, for any reason beyond our control, one of the prizes not be available, we’ll replace it with a different prize of the same value.
9. We accept entries from all over the world. If, however, your country does not allow the import of chocolate, you’ll “only” get the books (sorry about that).
Looking for a specific review? No need to trawl through all entries in the “Garrow’s Law” category anymore. Here are links to all my reviews. Please note that these are not the official titles of the episodes.
What can I say, I’m an optimistic kind of girl!
My apologies in advance for not doing a full review with many screencaps of episode 4 – my doctor gave me a very stern lecture on his definition of “don’t use your hand and arm” this morning, and to emphasise his point, he’s equipped me with two splinters. (I’m not fishing for sympathy here, I just want you to know why this won’t be up to my usual reviewing standard).
Police brutality and election rigging – such fascinating subjects, especially in the week before the elections in Russia. But what we really want to know is: will there be a happy end for Mr. Garrow and Lady Sarah? Will baby Samuel return to his mother? Can George fill his uncle’s splendid shoes? And will there be a fourth series of “Garrow’s Law”?
Don’t worry, I’ll tell you.
It’s election day in London, and there’s no love lost between the supporters of Charles James Fox (Blake Ritson) and Sir Cecil Wray, and Sir Sampson Wright’s (Richard Cordery) Bow Street constables make free use of their clubs on the Fox supporters, which leaves an innocent man bludgeoned to death.
Of course the constable responsible for the murder is not charged. Why would he, if it can be blamed on an innocent bystander?
Luckily for the very dashing Mr. Nicholson (Nyasha Hatendi), George Pinnock (Harry Melling) can convince the grieving Mr. Garrow (Andrew Buchan) to take up his case. The sadly deceased Mr. Southouse (Alun Armstrong) had set it aside, as “a nonsense you might enjoy”.
Mr. Garrow quickly dissects the (bought) witnesses of the prosecution, and thanks to George’s detective work, he finds the real murderer among the ranks of the Bow Street constables. Sir Sampson Wright is spinning a web of lies and intrigues, but while that is, of course, very damnable, comparing him to Nero is a bit harsh, Mr. Garrow. Still, we can agree that he’s a particularly slimy and unpleasant individual.
Without giving too much away I can say that, while justice is once again not done, at least Mr. Nicholson is acquitted and Mr. Casson’s daughter (Sophie Rundle) learns who really murdered her father – constable Richard Lucas (Cal Macaninch).
As for Mr. Lucas – well, let’s just say he moves out of Judge Buller’s jurisdiction…
Elsewhere, Sir Arthur Hill (Rupert Graves) is suffering serious insults and mocking from Lord Melville (Stephen Boxer); the scandal and the process with his wife have left his reputation seriously tarnished and his career in ruins, and he has to flee the Admiralty under the laughter of Lord Melville and his cronies. One could almost feel sorry for the poor bloke. Almost.
But the central themes of this last episode were grief and loss, and how to cope with them. Mr. Garrow has lost both his best friend and the love of his life; and no matter where he turns to, he finds reminders of the people he loved and who have left.
It’s almost too much to bear for one man, so he can really count himself lucky that George, in true Holmesian manner, manages to track down Lady Sarah (Lyndsey Marshal) and baby Samuel in a small cottage in the country.
It goes without saying that Mr. Garrow takes the next coach heading Sarahwards. He finds her in the garden, hanging the washing out to dry. Moo-eyes and cuddles a-plenty!
Ehr… Mr. Garrow? I think you should have a bit of a closer look here… I see something you don’t see.
I’m sure Lyndsey Marshal had a lot of fun with all the beautiful gowns she got to wear on Garrow’s Law (ok, maybe not on a hot summer’s day!), but I think she looks her best when Lady Sarah is dressed plainly. She has that perfect sweet face for period drama.
Yes, George is truly the hero of this episode. “Can he replace Mr. Southouse?” was a question which moved many of us, but luckily, the writers didn’t try to replace the old solicitor with a young one. George is his own character, eager to learn, very clever, yet with that wonderful careless attitude and self-confidence of youth. With Mr. Garrow now being the mentor, there’s a new dynamic to the series, and I think it works wonderfully well. Not that Mr. Southouse wasn’t sorely missed, though. I admit repeated sobbing.
But back to the case of the murdered voter. Sir Sampson Wright is not happy with Mr. Garrow’s intervention and his citizen arrest of Mr. Lucas, and orders to have him beaten up very thoroughly. Later, the ruffians are thrown in the Thames by a group of very angry Garrow-fangirls and pelted with off-all, but that happens off-camera.
When Mr. Garrow awakes, he finds Lady Sarah by his side, moping his fevered brow and tending to his wounds. *insert strings and harps here* Ah, what a treat for the hurt/comfort crowd!
Yes, Lady Sarah is back, and she’s fed up with courts and law. She takes her fate and the future of her son in her own hands, and though George is helping her with this task, it’s her who manages to wrestle Samuel free from Sir Arthur’s grip in the end. She finds evidence for Lord Melville’s dubious business undertakings in Trinidad, and this knowledge is offered to Sir Arthur in exchange for Samuel.
If that’s not a reason to celebrate, then what is?
“I’m pregnant!” OK, that, too.
Ruining Lord Melville or keeping the baby? Ah, life is full of easy decisions… Sir Arthur has his big moment when he gets Lord Melville arrested for misappropriation of treasury funds in Trinidad, and boy, does he ever enjoy it!
Sir Arthur, on top of the world, keeps his word, and returns Samuel to his mother. Cot and baby move into Mr. Garrow’s home, and finally, finally, the family is complete. Angels are singing, unicorns are grazing on the lawn outside, and Samuel needs a new nappy. Huzzah!
And Mr. Garrow? He’s caught the attention of the very handsome and very creepy Mr. Fox, and we can assume that he’ll be up to his neck in politics very soon. Mr. Fox didn’t look that dashing in reality, but I shan’t complain.
So, what will the future hold for our beloved and bewigged hero? Hopefully a fourth series!
Some viewers noted with no small worry that the last episode of series 3 had a rather definite “last episode, ever” touch to it. I hope the BBC is not under the mistaken impression that we are not interested in the characters beyond the happy end. We are! There are so many cases in the files of the Old Bailey’s to explore! What will family life be for Mr. Garrow and Lady Sarah? What will George be up to? Will Sir Arthur hold his peace, and will Lady Henrietta put up with his antics? And what about Mr. Southouse’s thypusian handshake? Will we ever get to meet Mrs. Silvester?
“Garrow’s Law” is one of the best series the BBC has produced in years, and I’m hoping very much for a fourth series. I’d like to thank everybody in front and behind the camera for their amazing work and providing such wonderful entertainment. Special thanks also to Mark Pallis for his research and the fascinating background information.
Oh, and just in case somebody from the BBC should be reading this: within an hour after the end of episode four, 789 people were visiting this blog looking for “garrow’s law series 4”, “will there be a 4 series of garrow’s law” and “series 4 garrow’s law confirmed?” – plus the other couple of hundreds who were looking for Mr. Garrow, Lady Sarah, Mr. Southouse and Sir Arthur.
And George, of course. He seems to be very popular with the ladies (“george pinnock married?” “george garrows law girlfriend”) – heh!
To series 4!
People are very much like scratchcards. If you scratch off the latex, you might be lucky and find a fortune, but more often than not, you’ll be disappointed. And if you scratch the thin veneer of civilisation off a man, you might find someone like Sir Thomas Picton. Yes, that Thomas Picton, of Waterloo fame, previously of Trinidad notority, where he ruled as governor with an iron fist. Torture, executions, the full deal. Among other revolting things, he also had a young girl tortured. And all that, I suppose, while being completely convinced that he was an ambassador of civilisation.
Recently some people suggested that the portrait of such a man might not be the most suitable to hang above the judge’s chair in the Carmarthen court house. I’m sure you can imagine how that idea was received…
“Sacrilege! He was a hero! Waterloo! Wellington! British Empire! Pretty uniform!”
That’s the opinion of Ann Dorset, one spokeswoman of Carmarthenshire Museum which owns the painting of Sir Thomas Picton. Some warts, indeed – even by the standards of his time. But who cares what a hero does abroad. Fine, he had people tortured and all, but hey, let’s not be too harsh on good ol’ Tom.
As tempting as it is to look at history through rose-tinted glasses: sometimes, people can be heroic and revolting. William Wilberforce, abolitionist and mysoginist. Mary Daly and Gloria Steinem, feminists and transphobes. The list goes on.
The following comment by Richard Goodridge, the former mayor of Carmarthen, is typcial for someone who sees history as a pick-and-match:
“Louisa Calderon suffered no ill effects from the treatment she received and required no medical attention afterwards. After she was released from custody she walked more than a mile to the store where the crime took place, smoking a cigar.”
Standing on a sharp spike while suspended from the ceiling by the wrist? A walk in the park, my friends!
May he step barefoot on a Lego.
But let’s start with something less infuriating, we’ll have plenty of reason for throwing blunt objects later on. Lady Sarah (Lyndsey Marshal) can’t decide which dress to wear for her big showdown with Sir Arthur Hill (Rupert Graves). Baby Samuel’s fate is at stake – so… green or blue? The fewer dresses, the harder the choice. And Mr. Garrow (Andrew Buchan) is not yet an experienced enough almost-husband to know that the correct answer would be “you look lovely in both, my dear.”
Who knows, maybe now the time has come to recognise the rights of a mother? Ah, you just have to love an optimist.
The wicked don’t rest, so a new case is coming Mr. Garrow’s way: Mr. James Fullerton (Will Keen) is willing to carry all costs if Mr. Garrow takes on the case of Luisa Calderon (Sasha Frost), a “sweet, young freeborn female, tortured by the vicious governor general of a slave colony.” (Please note les random pots de chambre in the background!)
The case is just the beginning, though: the list of Mr. Picton’s cruelties is long, and while the case has processed too far to stop it, many influential personalities own property in the colonies, and have absolutely no interest in their business of slavery being discussed in public. But that’s exactly what Mr. Fullerton wants: Mr. Garrow should use the huge casefile during the process and so expose the horrible events in Trinidad.
Aw. Looks like George (Harry Melling) caught a serious case of hero-worship…
Meanwhile, Lady Sarah sees Samuel again for the first time in months. The process begins, and as expected, her “immoral” life with William Garrow is the main focus of Sir Arthur’s team.
Sir Arthur Hill, men’s rights advocate.
Lady Sarah, not impressed.
Mr. Fullerton is filling Mr. Garrow in on the long list of crimes committed or ordered by General Picton (Patrick Baladi). While torture is only a “misdemeanour” in British law, he wants to use the case of Luisa Calderon to bring that long list finally to light.
The case is well documented, and George has done a great job collecting all associated cases.
While Mr. Garrow has a look at the evidence, Lady Sarah and Sir Arthur are still shouting at each other. He insists on his right of ownership to the child, she brings up pregnancy and childbirth, and we all know where this will go to…
I’m wondering – as Mr. Garrow has already been found guilty of “criminal conversation” with Lady Sarah, why don’t they just claim now that Samuel is his son now? I mean, the scandal’s already happened. He’s living with a married woman, she is an adulteress in the eyes of law and public. Couldn’t this save everybody a lot of trouble and time?
But anyway, back to Mr. Garrow. He’s interrogating Mr. Vallot (Zubin Varla), General Picton’s jailer torturer and executor
He’s an alcoholic, driven to drinking by the horrible pictures of his deeds haunting him. Will he be any use as a witness? We’ll see.
Back in court, Lady Sarah has lost her case, as expected. Lady Henrietta (Olivia Grant) is all smug about it, but there seems to be an uncomfortable feeling – maybe the thought that a man who treats a woman badly does not restrict his behaviour to one woman only. Who knows, maybe she’s next on the list to have her heart ripped out?
Time for Mr. Garrow to meet his main witness, Luisa Calderon. Both Mr. Garrow and George are speechless for a moment; can’t say I’m surprised!
Luisa tells of her ordeal, and insists that she had not committed the theft she’d been accused of and subsequently tortured for. Mr. Garrow still seems to be a little unsure about the case when he’s approached by one of Lord Melville’s men and informed that his lordship requires his presence. Uh uh uh.
Lord Melville (Stephen Boxer) makes Mr. Garrow a most immoral offer: if he restricts the case to Luisa Calderon, without bringing General Picton’s other crimes into it, he’ll use his influence on Sir Arthur to make him return Samuel to Lady Sarah. Neither the King nor anybody else profiting from the slave trade and the cruelties connected with it have any interest of seeing their income threatened. Mr. Garrow doesn’t like this offer one bit and tells Lord Milville so in rather strong words.
Upon his return home, Mr. Garrow finds Lady Sarah completely devastated.
Lord Melville had claimed that every man would be compromised at one point in his life – will Mr. Garrow’s love for Lady Sarah be the defining moment in his life when he will be compromised?
While Mr. Garrow ponders his fate, Mr. Southouse makes one last attempt to convince Sir Arthur to return baby Samuel to his mother.
As expected, that heartfelt request is met with ridicule by Sir Arthur, who’s dropped the grapes in favour of apricots.
Life would be much easier for everybody if Sir Arthur choked on an apricot stone, but Mr. Southouse decides not to take any risks, and insists that he wishes to shake Sir Arthur’s hand. As Mr. Southouse is suffering from typhus and knows that it can be passed on by contact, one could consider this an attempt to murder Sir Arthur.
Yeah – no. I’m sorry, but no. I simply don’t believe that Mr. Southouse would do that, not even if he hated Sir Arthur’s guts and was on the brink of death. Not only is it completely out of character, but let’s assume Mr. Southouse was, like most people in his time, a religious person. Would you murder somebody when you know you’ll meet your maker soon? I really doubt it!
While Sir Arthur returns to apricots and rickettsia prowazekii, Mr. Southouse heads to Mr. Garrow’s house to ask how Lady Sarah is doing. Mr. Garrow, in a gesture of gratitude, puts his hand on Mr. Southouse’s shoulder, but his friend moves quickly away, saying: “Please stand back. I abhoar promiscuous demonstrations of affection” – and even now Mr. Garrow does not realise that something is wrong! Argh! Grrr! Growl! Friends are precious, Will my boy; you might regret not having paid attention soon.
For now, all of Mr. Garrow’s thoughts are with Lady Sarah.
Late at night, he returns to the office, where Mr. Southouse and George put together the damning documents about General Picton’s crimes. But much to their confusion, Mr. Garrow doesn’t want to see the evidence and declares it is of no relevance to the case. Looks like he’s come to a decision, after all.
When he returns home, Mr. Garrow finds Lady Sarah up and dressed. She apologises, saying that Samuel didn’t recognise her and that she’d move on. He tells her that there is still hope, explains Lord Melville’s proposal, and while she first protests, rightly warning that Mr. Garrow that he’ll become Lord Melville’s creature, she finally accepts his decision.
The Picton process starts. Not surprisingly, General Picton appears in company of Lord Melville.
There’s a short exchange between his lordship and Mr. Garrow, but it’s long enough for Mr. Southouse to smell the fish – something is not right here, and he demands to know what’s going on. When he realises that Mr. Garrow has sold out to Lord Melville, he breaks down and collapses. Finally, even Mr. Garrow realises that Mr. Southouse is very, very ill.
Mr. Southouse begs Mr. Garrow to “go in there and do your duty” – but will he? The process starts, with much more than just General Picton’s career at stake.
Mr. Southouse is very ill, and Lady Sarah is looking after him, but there’s nothing she can do for him anymore. Knowing that he doesn’t have much time left, Mr. Southouse asks Lady Sarah to fetch Mr. Garrow, as he wishes to see him.
Judge Buller (Michael Culkin), when learning of Mr. Southouse request, interrupts the process to “consult on the matter of Trinidad law”, giving Mr. Garrow the chance to rush to his old friend’s bedsite. Mr. Garrow arrives just in time to thank Mr. Southouse for all he’s done, for his friendship, his kindness, his guidance, and to tell him how much he is loved. He calls him a father, a teacher and his conscience.
Mr. Southouse says to Mr. Garrow that he was proudest of him in those moments when he was being honest, and what “they” have bought him with. Mr. Garrow replies: “With love.”
Mr. Southouse asks Mr. Garrow to promise him that he’ll be himself. He makes the promise – “may justice be done, even if the heavens fall”.
While Mr. Garrow makes a fateful decision, Mr. Southouse dies. I like to think that he knew that his trust in Mr. Garrow had been justified.
When news of his death reaches court, Judge Buller speaks some very kind words, expressing his hope that goodness will not die along with a good man, and a moment of silence is held.
I won’t spoil the outcome of the process for you – but really, guilty or not don’t make much of a difference in this case. For some people, justice will never be done.
Life goes on after the death of Mr. Southouse and the end of the process. Luisa Calderon is offered a part in a play in Drury Lane, and dear George seems to have the sweets for her. They’d make an incredibly cute couple.
Making her own decisions, Lady Sarah does what I’ve recommended ages ago: taking Samuel and fleeing the place. This promises big trouble for the last episode.
And what about Mr. Garrow? He holds death watch for his old friend. When he falls asleep, George carefully wraps him in a blanket, then kisses his uncle on the forehead.
Thus ends the story of John Southouse. It rarely happens that writers manage to create a character that I really care for, but I did care for Mr. Southouse, and I cried when he died. That’s a compliment both to the writers and the actor; my gratitude to Alun Armstrong for bringing my favourite solicitor to life – and death. He was the heart of the show; “Garrow’s Law” won’t be the same without him, and he’ll be sorely missed.
This episode was very hard to stomach. I’ve spent it either shaking my fist at the screen or crying, yet I’d still call it one of the strongest of the series. Be aware that there will be very ugly racist language and explicit description of torture, though.
There are people who think that we should let the past rest and look forward. “Ok, we had slavery here once, but that was ages ago, why still talk about it?” I’ll tell you why – because most of us don’t have a clue where the metals in our mobile phones and laptops come from, and under what conditions they are mined in the Republic of Congo. Because there are now more slaves worldwide than at any other time in history. Because we all still profit from slavery.
Next week (BBC1, Sunday, 9pm): A vicious riot erupts on polling day in the Westminster constituency. As the crowd parts, an old man lies on the ground, brutally clubbed to death. Garrow, alone and grieving, gets pulled into a complex web of conspiracy and cover-up, of political double-dealing and the abuse of power.