Reviews for A Conspiracy of Concern
Edward Carson chapter 17 . 10/10
There is so much here. Captain Brown has taken romantic meddling to heart after being so blind in the matter of his own daughter and Major Gordon. You have explained away his haste in marrying Mrs. Jamieson's sister-in-law, as depicted in the series. But the most poignant moment here is Miss Matty gazing at Mr. Holbrook's silhouette in the morning when she wakes and before she closes her eyes at night. And then Mr. Carter, talking himself into action over Henry V... It's so gratifying when one can put one's knowledge of English literature to good use, here and everywhere else in the story.
Edward Carson chapter 16 . 10/10
I continue to enjoy the ambiguity posed by Captain Brown's attentions, even if the Captain is entirely unaware of it. Poor man. Misunderstood. And I like Mr. Carter realizing that when Miss Galindo questions him on something, that doesn't mean he needs to make a defense - she's just asking a question. It is a pleasure, always, to read the formal way these characters speak to each other, Harry being the exception.
Edward Carson chapter 15 . 10/10
Miss Pole is wonderful. What cares she for Valentine's day? I love Mrs. Forrester's romantic nature as well, but Miss have captured her perfectly. And, on a more serious note, your pacing is terrific. These are not people in a hurry. We of the hurried century must adapt to them and treasure each word on the road.
Edward Carson chapter 14 . 10/10
As always, you manage to juggle a cast of dozens in a busy room, and bring them all out right, with plots unfolding seamlessly. As always, here and in the previous chapter, I favour Captain Brown, but Dr. Marshland here is an absolute delight. And the prose - so very elegant.
Edward Carson chapter 12 . 8/30
Miss Pole and dear Mrs Forrester - these are delightful women. And Mrs. Jamieson with her focus on different aspects. The layers of the relationship between Miss Galindo and Lady Ludlow, and between Lady Ludlow and Mr. Carter are captivating. Again, there is nothing simple here. Even Lady Ludlow must negotiate. Nice introspection by Mr. Carter at the end.
Edward Carson chapter 11 . 8/30
I like the complexity of this chapter. Nothing flows smoothly for Miss Galindo. She makes some progress with Mr. Carter, and then suddenly they are going backward. She's so distracted by this that she forgets the same thing twice. And then there is Miss Galindo's turmoil (almost) over the settled order of things - does Lady Ludlow really have the right to pronounce on things? That bit was very well written. And Mr. Carter sounds exactly as Mr. Carter should sound. His voice comes off the page as out of the mouth of the actor who played him. This rocky road frustrates me, but that is because it is good drama, and I long for the happily ever after.
Edward Carson chapter 10 . 8/21
It takes a great deal of skill to bring a bunch of people together in a room and give them all something to do, even as the focus remains on a few key players. Miss Pole, as usual, manages to take a very small portion and make something great of it. Captain Brown is the delight here, and you have very cleverly set him up to be misunderstood by Mr. Carter and Miss Galindo. Poor man, Captain Brown, he seems a bit out of kilter with the rest of Cranford - and all because he would speak his heart and mind more openly. Everyone is perfectly drawn in their various moments. I hear their voices speak your words.
Edward Carson chapter 9 . 8/21
As you venture off the beaten track of the story you must rely more on your own imagination to tell the story and yet remain true to Cranford. You have managed this. The detail and the diversions are well executed.
Edward Carson chapter 8 . 8/21
This chapter is nicely understated and very well written. Here is Mr. Carter, who had a nicely ordered life, and then all these people came into it and complicated it for him. I like his realization that he is a man like any other where Miss Galindo is concerned. You have communicated the complexity of his feelings without overwhelming us with the details.
Edward Carson chapter 7 . 8/21
I had to read it twice before I understood the "inappropriateness" of the "having our heads" line. This is nuance, Mr. Carter himself having had his attention drawn by Lady Ludlow to the horrors of the French Revolution.
Edward Carson chapter 6 . 8/17
Captain Brown is a delight in Heidi Thomas's rendering, as well as in yours - in both places visually represented by the wonderful Jim Carter. I see the consistency here with the TV series Brown. He may not have seen his daughter's romance blooming, but he has learned from his oversights. He is also not shy of women or of acknowledging their contribution to a man's happiness. It is one of his most attractive features. And his sensitivity regarding Miss Galindo is even more compelling than his concern for his friend, especially that thought about spinsters. Captain Brown does not like to see others unhappy and will do what he can to alleviate their pain. Mrs. Jameson's sister-in-law appears to have been a lucky woman (in Return to Cranford), so long as she can put up with The Pickwick Papers. This was a particularly well done piece.
Edward Carson chapter 5 . 8/17
It is hard to put ourselves into the past. I appreciate here the conversation between Miss Galindo and Beckett and the way she takes affront at what he is saying as taking liberties beyond his role. It's like the maid who tries to tell Miss Pole that she's bought a ... whatever you call those skirt things - instead of a bird cage. You can't be right, if you're not at the same social level as me...
Edward Carson chapter 4 . 8/17
For all that he is an original character, Anthony Beckett fits right in. It is a thoughtful touch on Lady Ludlow's part to spare Mr. Carter the attentions of the ladies. Oh, dear Captain Brown and The Pickwick Papers - he will not let that go. The detail about that book - Mr. Burton's wooden legs - is precisely the kind of thing that adds layers to your writing and makes it more powerful thereby. And then there is the frankness of a child: "Is Mr. Carter going to die?"
Edward Carson chapter 3 . 8/15
Mr. Carter's agonies are well beyond the physical: "brought to Hanbury." He has become dependent. And then the humiliation of kindnesses, too. This is an insightful glimpse into the mind of a man whose life has changed radically and in such disturbing ways. This is nicely done.
Edward Carson chapter 2 . 8/15
Such restraint on their part. We are not accustomed to this world of stoicism and keeping one's counsel, we who spill our thoughts and emotions at the slightest pretext. It makes for powerful drama that they are silent, even while teeming with emotions and apprehensions and uncertainties. The tension between Miss Galindo and Mr. Carter is palpable. And Captain Brown is beautifully done. I hear him speaking. In all cases, less is more. Your writing is pared to the necessary and the more powerful for it.
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