Category Archives: period romance

Will the real Richard Armitage please stand up? Or–maybe not.


“Who’s Richie A, Who’s the real guy, will the real Richie A please stand up, please stand up”

(with apologies to Eminem aka Slim Shady, who is, in fact, actually a guy named Marshall Mathers)

Fedoralady plays the devil’s advocate a bit here . . .  tossing out some food for thought.  Glean from it what you will.


Who exactly is Richard Armitage? That seems to be a question a fair amount of fans are asking these days.

What concerning RA can we agree upon?

I think we can all agree he’s enormously talented. Charismatic. A hard-working professional (maybe even a workaholic). He shows an appreciation for his fans and has a generous heart, supports worthwhile charities and encourages others to do the same. He is not at all hard on the eyes. In fact, he seems to get more attractive with each passing year. There is a lot to like and appreciate here.

The RA that most who have been fans for a longer period have come to expect is this thoughtful, diffident, humble, bookish, boyish, good-humored and gentle sort of gentleman—a kind of Harry Kennedy come to life in some respects. Richard himself once said HK was the character he had played who was most like him in real life, which led to quite a few “squees” in the fandom.


BeFunky_vod2-126harry (2)

We saw glimpses of this “Admirable RA” in television and radio interviews to promote his shows and films, in the behind-the-scenes features for DVDs and in some print interviews. There was never a great deal offered up about his private life, even when interviewers tried to pry or provoke it out of him. He preferred to focus on his work, a subject about which he was clearly passionate.

Some fans who first discovered him as Thornton in “North and South” found Richard Armitage the perfect romantic hero and longed to see him in more high-quality period drama. Those who adored him as Harry Kennedy pined to see him perform in a wittily scripted rom-com. Others found “Action Hero with a Heart” Armitage and “Beautiful Baddie (Who Really Isn’t)” irresistible.















For certain fans, RA pretty much ascended onto a pedestal. If he wasn’t a saint, surely he was an angel, almost too good to be true.
After all, look at all his virtuous qualities . . . he was different from all that riff-raff out there in celebrity land, and we could pat ourselves on the back and smugly smile and say, “We fangurl only the best and the most pure of heart.”


And other fans said (in private, if not on forums), “Virtuous qualities, shmirtuous qualities. He can effin’ read the phone book for all I care (preferably in really tight jeans and a shirt with a few buttons undone) as long as I can hear that smooth chocolate baritone and gaze into those hellagood azure eyes and imagine all the bad, bad things I could do to him!” (I should point out these feelings can be found in fans who really, really admire his personality and acting talent, too.)



As for Richard, he has always tended to dismiss talk about his sexual allure, expressing disbelief that he could ever be considered a hottie, proclaiming he’s always found himself a bit odd-looking.

RA has seemed like the perfect celebrity crush for the discerning fan girl: bright and gifted, yet humble and modest. Beautiful and sexy, yet seemingly unaware of his physical charms (although quite a few of us found that hard to swallow). Here was an intensely private man who clearly intended to remain so, one who wanted the focus to be on his body of work as a serious actor–and not his body, as it were.

And then he joined Twitter. Dived in headfirst, one might say.
And we started getting selfies. Lots of selfies. Some were quite funny and cute and a little weird, but in a good sort of way. And one or two were— “Huh? Zat you, Richard?”
They seemed to be of a handsome young man but they didn’t exactly look like Richard Armitage—maybe a younger look-alike relative?

Clearly, our Richie was doctoring his images. Hey, no big deal, right? Don’t all celebrities (and quite of few of us nobodies) use filters and other touch-up tools on our photos before we post them to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the like? And he’s working at lot in Hollywood now, where youth is the religion; he’s almost 44 and there are always younger actors up for the same roles.



B4cEX4uCIAE03cWAnd maybe, just maybe, Mr. A is a bit more vain and conscious of his good looks than we were led to think.

Then there’s this whole thing of tweeting—and deleting. And tweeting and deleting some more. “Make up your mind, Mr. Armitage, a legion of fans is apparently hanging on your every word and trying to dissect what went wrong that caused you to need to remove a particular image/words!” Fans cry out.

So, tell me, Richard,  are you just teasing us, or are you in fact still a bit inept when it comes to this whole social media morass? Inquiring minds want to know. Some fans are getting downright frustrated!

And there are some of the roles Richard is choosing—very action-oriented, one even described as “hyper-violent” and of course, that blood-soaked turn as a serial killer later this season on “Hannibal.”
Didn’t he once state horror was a genre he didn’t think was a good fit for him?

“What caused you to change your mind?” ask some fans, disappointed over your decision.

“Aren’t people allowed to change their minds?” Other fans respond. “This isn’t your run-of-the-mill splatter fest, anyway. There’s great scripting and character development. The critics love it!”

There’s a lot of disquiet and a certain degree of disappointment expressed in the fandom of late and it has led me to query: While we’ve never been completely harmonious, were fans in general happier when RA was actually less accessible?
Was ignorance bliss for some of us when that alluring veil of mystery still swirled around him? Is a portion of it still there or has social media permanently dispelled it?


8992342a74186be2f224f6dbd9d00254I wonder, would it be more acceptable for some fans if he were like a movie star in the old studio system, in which the Powers That Be carefully groomed and molded their stars’ images . . . and kept anything negative out of the press.

Has Richard Armitage as an individual actually changed in any fundamental way, or are we simply seeing him break out of his shyness and shake off some of that British reserve,with the self-professed late bloomer now “busting out all over” with a nearly nude photo posted on Twitter? (Of course, it’s not like he hasn’t gotten naked before for the camera . . . on several occasions, in fact. “Between the Sheets,” “Spooks” and “Strike Back.”)

Do we know/see a little too much now, and are some of us afraid of what we might discover next about “our Richard” that could potentially shatter our illusions about him?

And do we as individual fans and as a collective truly want the real Richard Armitage—whomever and whatever he might prove to be—to stand up? Or can we ever really “know” a man who is such an expert at immersing himself into his characters?  Actors–well, they ACT.

Would we prefer to only fangurl a Richard made to our personal specifications . . . and is there any harm if we do?  Should we hold tight to our fantasies even if reality turns out to bite?

I wonder.

They could play relatives.



So, I was watching The Woman in Black the other night, and seeing Daniel Radcliffe sporting sideburns and wearing sober Victorian garb really reminded me of RA.







With those keen blue eyes and dark hair, Daniel could play a relative of Mr. Thornton’s–perhaps a younger cousin?

Also, I have to say Daniel’s really grown up into a very handsome, as well as talented, young man.  And such a sweetie!  With a tad of a goofy grin. 😉


Valentine’s Day with Mr. A & His ChaRActers


I am working on another post that’s taking me a while–it has nothing to do with romance or with RA, but I think you might find it of interest.  It’s both somewhat art and copy-heavy with some quotes and a tad of research thrown in, and my own personal experiences. As I said, it’s taking a while.  It’s a subject that’s been bouncing around in my brain for a considerable amount of time . . .

But it’s closing in on Thursday here, February 14, and that means Valentine’s Day, and thoughts of lovely Richard Armitage and his characters–the stalwart romantic hero, the beautiful bad boy who longs to be loved, the funny, shy accountant with the naughty side, the gentle giant who wins our hearts, the fierce alpha males with their softer, more tender sides–are not far away.  So let’s celebrate with some fanart and fanvids with a bit o’ of romance sweet and steamy.






Give me an Armitage hero



I am still in a heroic mode. Well, I am not a hero. But I want to pay tribute to Mr. Armitage, a personal hero of mine, and his wonderful characters, with all their flaws and inner conflicts, their ambiguities, who become our heroes. I prefer them to the guys in the capes and tights with the super powers. Give me an Armitage hero.

















Possible Movie RemAkes: Swashing Some Buckles!


OK, I freely admit it: I’d love to see Richard in period clothing again. He wears it so well. When I listen to radio dramas such as Clarissa and the Heyer audiobooks, it is so easy for me to imagine RA in frock coats and perfectly tied cravats, riding boots and snug-fitting breeches. Call me shallow; it is, indeed, a pleasant diversion.

But not only do I want to see him in such period costumes, I want to see him in action in such period costume, playing intrepid heroes.  I want to see our athletic, dashing Richard Armitage swashing some buckles, wooing lovely ladies, wielding flintlocks and rapiers with the balletic grace he brings to the role of Thorin.

The Original Hero with a Secret Identity

Before Bruce Wayne/ Batman and Don Diego de la Vega/El Zorro, there was Sir Percy Blakeney, the foppish, foolish British aristocrat who, with the help of a trusted band of fellow aristocrats, secretly helps save souls from Madame Guillotine during the Reign of Terror in the French Revolution.

The Scarlet Pimpernel, the character created by Baroness Orczy in a series of historical adventure-romances first published in 1905, is a master of disguise and escape, a formidable swordsman, quick on his feet and very clever and cunning.

By contrast, Blakeney is a dull-witted, vain, fashion-obsessed creature who takes little interest in world affairs. His beautiful wife, a French actress, Marguerite St. Just,  is unaware of her husband’s secret identity. Circumstances lead him to mistrust her; she, in turn, feels estranged from her cold, dull English husband.


Anthony Andrews and Jane Seymour in a 1982 television adaptation of Orczy’s work.

The Scarlet Pimpernel (1982 film)

The Scarlet Pimpernel (1982 film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The story is filled with intrigue, blackmail, lust, revenge, romance, adventure and derring-do all set during a very exciting period in history. I could see Richard having great fun with the dual role, really making us believe in the dull-witted dandy Sir Percy as much as the daring, dashing hero, the Pimpernel. And there’s a sword fight!

Leslie Howard and Merle Oberon as Sir Percy and Marguerite in the 1934 Hollywood version of TSP, considered the definitive adaptation by some fans.

Leslie Howard and Merle Oberon as Sir Percy and Marguerite in the 1934 Hollywood version of TSP, considered the definitive adaptation by some fans.

A physician turned pirate

In 1922, Rafael Sabatini penned a novel entitled Captain Blood, its 17th century hero a quick-witted Irishman who had served as soldier and sailor before settling down to work as a physician in Somerset. After aiding those injured in the Monmouth Rebellion, Blood is arrested, falsely accused of treason and transported to the Caribbean island of Barbados (Jamaica in the 1935 film) to be sold off as a slave.


The cover of the original edition of Sabatini’s Captain Blood.

Movie poster for the 1935 film version of Sabatini's novel.

Movie poster for the 1935 film version of Sabatini’s novel.


Peter Blood (Errol Flynn) toe-to-toe with the cruel Caribbean plantation owner (Lionel Atwill).

A wicked plantation owner who purchases him soon discovers Blood’s doctoring skills and he is hired out as a physician, successfully treating the governor for gout. A relationship develops between Blood and the plantation owner’s lovely niece, Arabella, played in the 1935 film by Olivia DeHavilland.  Neither development makes Blood’s owner a happy man.

When Spanish forces attack Jamaica, Blood and other convict-slaves manage to escape. Blood goes on to capture a Spanish ship and become one of the best pirate-buccaneers of the Caribbean. He also encounters Arabella on a merchant ship and duels with a French pirate to win her.  His gentlemanly instincts prevent Blood from having his way with his “prize,” however . . .

Richard would, of course, make an incredibly dashing, charismatic pirate and would be able to out-act Errol, who was appearing in his first high-profile role. This would also be a great excuse for RA to either grow out his hair or get extensions. Because he rocks the long locks . . . and the pirate shirts . .  and those thigh-high boots.

Captain Blood (Errol Flynn) lounging with a couple of friends.

Captain Blood (Errol Flynn) lounging with fellow pirate Basil Rathbone and a friend.

FYI: The character of Peter Blood is actually based on three real-life individuals, Henry Morgan, Thomas Blood, and Henry Pitman, a doctor who was actually caught up in the rebellion, arrested and sold into slavery in Barbados, where he was captured by pirates (although unlike his fictional counterpart, he didn’t join them in their exploits).

These are just a couple of classic film roles in the historical adventure/romance genre I wouldn’t mind seeing Richard perform. A girl can dream, can’t she? 😉

Armitage Sunday SmoRgAsbord: From Sir Guy to the painter guy . . .

Glamour Guy, looking confident and sexxxxxy.

Glamour Guy, looking confident and sexxxxxy.

I am going to attempt something almost unheard of around here for me: going to sleep before 1 a.m. I may not accomplish my goal, but I am gonna give it that old college try. There are things I really need to do tomorrow.

But before I don my sleep mask and turn on the white noise, let me lay out the table with a selection of delectables for you all to enjoy.  Have a lovely Sunday and enjoy the latest smoRgAsbord!


Porter. Never count him out.

Porter. Never count him out.

Oh, Lucas. Such a beautiful man. And So Not Dead (and So NOT Bateman).

Oh, Lucas. Such a beautiful man. And So Not Dead (and So NOT Bateman).

Sweetie John: earnest, honest, caring, committed.

Sweetie John: earnest, honest, caring, committed.

Need I say more?

Need I say more?

I atill worry about this.

I atill worry about this.


He’s downright balsamaceous, that boy: TAE Word for the Day


(And I’d like to hear him say that word, too.)

Balsamaceous: (adjective): Possessing healing or restorative properties.

The word derives from the Latin balsamum, “resin of the balm tree.” The substance is historically celebrated for its aroma and healing properties.

Dr. Track is a healer by profession, and with his steadfast dedication and delightful bedside manner, he certainly makes us feel better.

And whilst John Porter is a tough soldier by trade with kickass skills, his gentleness and compassion helped Katie through the trauma of her captivity even as he worked to free her. This balsamaceous hero is tops in our books.

Our Victorian hero, Mr. Thornton, restores our belief in foolish passion and sweet romance. Surely he’s been a balm to many a troubled spirit.

Dear Harry Kennedy. His sweet, sunny, nurturing nature–perhaps a reflection of his CReAtor’s own lovely character?–cannot fail to bring a smile to our faces and a warm tug on our hearts.

Just a few examples of Mr. A’s balsamaceous characters. But of course, the most balsamaceous of them all is the man himself.

Lovely, funny, brilliant, modest, insightful, endearing, charismatic . . . how you touch our hearts, minds and souls, Richard Armitage.

Twofer Tuesday: Iconic Armitage


John Thornton was the leading role that really put Richard on the radar for many fans. Now few can imagine anyone else filling the Victorian mill owner’s shoes better than Richard Armitage did. Whilst The Hobbit hasn’t yet debuted on the big screen, I have no doubt Thorin will become his second iconic role, winning him scads of new fans worldwide. Here’s to two amazing chaRActers carefully crafted and filled with passion and purpose by our RA: Thornton and Thorin!!

The Ultimate Nonesuch of a Celeb Crush: TAE Word for the Day


Nonesuch (noun): a person or thing without an equal; a person or thing declared as perfect or excellent.

From the Old English nan,  from ne (not) + swelce/swylce. Earliest documented use: 290.

If I were trying to create my very own Perfect Celebrity Crush from scratch, what would I include in the mix?

Stunning good looks, fab physique and sex appeal to spare?


Talent–multi-faceted, versatile, amazing–to spare?



A dedication to his craft that brings such intensity to his performances?



Intelligent, articulate and insightful, a pleasure to see/hear/read in interviews?



A wonderful sense of humor?



An endearing  boy-next-door vibe, gentlemanly, polite, modest, humble, well-grounded and generous of spirit?


A celeb who truly appreciates his fans and treats them well?

courtesy of awkwardcelebencounteres


And that, ladies and gents, are some of the reasons Richard Armitage is my choice of the absolute nonesuch of a celebrity crush.

Splendiferous Armitage: TAE Word for the Day


This is one of my favorite words in the English language. So I was completely delighted to see it arrive in my inbox this morning.

Splendiferous (adj.) magnificent; fine.  Splendiferous is an elaboration of the word splendid (gorgeous, sumptuous, dazzling) but owes its roots to the Latin splendere “to shine” and ferre “to bear.”

Surely, amongst the adjectives we have found so appropriate to describe our dearest RA, we must include the word “splendiferous?”

Porter, a splendiferous hero–brave, resourceful, relentless, yet tender, too. Who would not wish for such a courageous soldier to come to their rescue?

Dearest Harry Kennedy–funny, sweet, sunny-natured, and a man who knows a good woman when he meets her. Simply splendiferous as the handsome stranger we’d all like to move into our neighborhood.

Sir Guy, so regal on horseback as he solemnly rides through the gates of Nottingham to meet Jasper and the prince’s men. Sir Guy, knowing the city is about to be burned and that he will return to almost certain death rather than leave Marian’s side. I’d call that splendiferous.

That kiss? Oh, nothing less than absolutely, positively–splendiferous.

Lucas–our splendiferous spy, no matter what TPTB tried to do to this wonderful character so beautifully crafted by Richard.

Of course, there’s the man himself–intelligent, multi-talented, insightful, versatile, good-humored, modest, humble, gentlemanly, charming, drop-dead gorgeous and sexy as all get out. Such a splendiferous example of masculinity, is he not?? An all=around splendiferous human being.

I know everybody’s probably seen this one, but it is one of my most viewed, most liked videos and you might say it has a touch of the splendiferous in it–after all, who is the focus of it? And Elizaveta’s song is so infectious . . .

The course of true love . . .


The course of true love never did run smooth.~William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Oddly enough, ever so often the Centurylink DSL gods smile down on me and allow me to load a video in less than two hours. Combine this with a certain degree of annoying pain interfering with rest and here you have it: the remake of “To Make You Feel My Love.” This one’s for Judit.