Dido Elizabeth Belle: Princess Of Kenwood House

I came across a video on Twitter. It is a very interesting and moving story of a young girl who was brought up in a wealthy family. Born circa 1761 and died 1804. This is the story of her life at Kenwood House.

I visited Kenwood House in May 2008.  A very nice house and a listed building.  The surrounding manicured gardens were just great. I couldn’t help wondering what it was like growing up in England in a house like this and what were her favourite pastimes? Apparently hers was a very interesting life.

Kenwood House
Home of Dido Belle

Her father was a captain with the British Royal Navy but little is known about her mother.  Dido was sent to live with her uncle the Earl of Mansfield at Kenwood House, Hampstead, England when she was very young. Despite being brought up like one of their family and member of the household, she was never treated as an equal and would be made scarce when guests were around for dinner.

Walking down to the house...home of Dido Belle

Little is known of her later life. Her father did not leave her any money when he died however Lord Mansfield did leave her about £500 in his will when he died.

In 1793 Dido married John Davinier and had three sons. She died in July 1804 and was buried in the St George Hanover Square (off the Bayswater Road).

There are lots of places where you can read about Dido Belle which I’ll be doing. The video tells Dido’s story so well. Don’t you wish that we had video cameras, camcorders, Youtube etc at that time.

I only learnt about Dido Belle because I met a few people who make it their business to preserve these histories and to continue to honour the memories of people who through no plan or design of their own found themselves in countries like England. They benefited some, but mostly suffered all kinds of injustices and untimely deaths. May God forgive through His everlasting mercy.

I am really pleased to learn about Dido Elizabeth Belle. Such courage, such honour. RIP.

‘The Novelist’, a Jason Young film

Jason Young, a young Londoner has ventured into the world of film making and films. The Novelist is Jason’s first ever feature-length film. It has recently been short listed for the 11th bfm International Film Festival.

CD soundtrack cover
CD soundtrack cover

Synopsis

Jerry Downing is an aspiring writer who wants to publish his novel. His flatmate, Julia Wells, who is a closet writer herself, encourages him to get a full-time job to find his other half who will help him to get published. He dismisses her suggestion because of previous experiences in the workplace. When he bumps into his father, Nicholas Downing, who is on his way to the jobcentre to sign on the dole, Jerry changes his mind and decides to follow Julia’s advice in order to put an end to the cycle of unemployment in his family.

Whilst contemplating his next moves to find gainful employment, Jerry’s other flatmate, Kerry Cerberus, who has romantic feelings for him, begins reaching out to him socially. She is disappointed when her three attempts are unsuccessful thus  turning her into an enemy.

Now, in employment in the publishing industry, Jerry finds an ally in his line manager, Karen Glinda. Simultaneously, Kerry begins to have a hard time at work and takes it out on Jerry in a series of misunderstandings that forces her to interfere in his personal life. He confides in Karen about his dilemma and his struggles, and she provides him with an attractive alternative that will increase his chances of publishing his novel. He is uncertain at first, but when he is served notice by his landlord Jerry decides to move out of the flat he shared with Kerry and Julia and take up Karen’s offer of accommodation so that he can complete his novel. Simultaneously, Kerry is sacked from her job and realises her worse fear of being unemployed as Jerry once was.  Karen’s tutoring pays off, and Jerry’s novel is finally accepted for publication. But there is one more thing left for him to do.

A confident and self-assured Jerry returns to his old flat to remove the rest of his stuff. He sees Julia who informs him that he has inspired her to realise her childhood ambition of writing stories. He then seeks Kerry out to apologise to her for his behaviour towards her and to ask her forgiveness. She feels an emotional release and goes on to fulfil her ambition to become an accounts manager.

Free to live as a newly published novelist, Jerry and Karen face the future together.