‘Gads Hill Plot’ from the James Dunn Collection
9 June 2020
Read by Nickolas Grace
We have been very fortunate in our collaboration with Nickolas Grace who is one of Britain’s most distinguished and versatile actors. He trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama and is best known for his roles as the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood, and Anthony Blanche in Brideshead Revisited. His career spans television, film and theatre. Numerous film and television credits include These Foolish Things, An Ideal Husband, Lorca: Death of a Poet, Tom and Viv, Heat and Dust, Merlin, House of Cards and most recently, Killing Eve.
Here, he reads A Lonely Man, the anonymous plot written on stationery from Charles Dickens’ home, Gad’s Hill Place, from a volume of correspondence between the writer, Percy Fitzgerald, and various members of the Charles Dickens family. The document is part of the James Dunn Collection, held by Blackburn with Darwen Library and Information Service.
A Lonely Man
A lonely man- goes down to cathedral town. Family there- girl (gentle) and ill conditioned youth – lonely man proposes to her goes away and is rejected and goes away- Youth has a great lawsuit-
Lonely man, goes back. Gets ill. Two girls- one falls in love with him, watches him. When ill. He marries promises to marry her out of gratitude- at this moment arrives first girl whose family all in a state of ruin. Bailiffs – to help them- He does so- and she says she will marry him now. But he’s pledged. Youth always dislikes him and finds this out jealous – tells girl Mr L(?) who gets ill and dies.—Then he marries her.
Youth always hates him now finds he loves. (leaves? lies?)She behaves wonderfully. Youth comes to house. People speak to him. Eyes opened at last.