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A British woman recalls coming of age during World War I - a story of young love, the futility of war, and how to make sense of the darkest times. A mousy governess who softens the heart of her employer soon discovers that he's hiding a terrible secret. Elizabeth and Darcy, now six years married, are preparing for their annual ball when festivities are brought to an abrupt halt.
A young queen, who is married to an insane king, falls secretly in love with her physician - and together they start a revolution that changes a nation forever. In the aftermath of World War II, a writer forms an unexpected bond with the residents of Guernsey Island when she decides to write a book about their experiences during the war. Day in , as peace extends across Europe, Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret are allowed out to join the celebrations.
It is a night full of excitement, danger and the first flutters of romance. Two talented landscape artists become romantically entangled while building a garden in King Louis XIV's palace at Versailles. Raised by her aristocratic great-uncle Lord Mansfield Tom Wilkinson and his wife Emily Watson , Belle's lineage affords her certain privileges, yet the color of her skin prevents her from fully participating in the traditions of her social standing.
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Left to wonder if she will ever find love, Belle falls for an idealistic young vicar's son bent on change who, with her help, shapes Lord Mansfield's role as Lord Chief Justice to end slavery in England. Written by Fox Searchlight Pictures. This movie is most likely not playing at a theater near you, but it is so worth traveling to see. The acting was superb!
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I don't remember a movie in recent times that I enjoyed so much. The story touched my heart as a person of mixed African descent. It showed how then and now too much emphasis is placed on skin color. It showcased people both white and black that were willing to stand up for what is right. I don't find this kind of movie to be controversial as it will do so much to enlighten people to historical facts that cannot be denied. The costumes were so beautiful and some were on display at the Landmark Theater in Los Angeles. The audience clapped and cheered at the end of the movie and were raving about the movie as they left the theater.
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IMDb More. Keep track of everything you watch; tell your friends. Full Cast and Crew. Release Dates. Official Sites. Company Credits. Technical Specs. Plot Summary. Plot Keywords. Parents Guide. External Sites. User Reviews. User Ratings. External Reviews. Metacritic Reviews. Photo Gallery. Trailers and Videos. Belle, quite apart from her race, was illegitimate, in a time and place when great social stigma usually accompanied such status.
Lady Mansfield died tragically early in and her husband never got over her loss.
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After his retirement, he withdrew to the first floor apartments at Kenwood. According to the novelist, Fanny Burney, writing in her diary at this time,. Elizabeth and Belle had been friends and companions since they were small children. They shared everything, but now Elizabeth was to embrace the life she had been bred for, as a wife and mistress of Eastwell Park in Kent.
She would bear five children and their son George would become the tenth Earl of Winchilsea and fifth Earl of Nottingham. Now more than ever she would have been aware of her peculiar position in the family. It was inconceivable that she could hope to make a similar marriage to Elizabeth, not merely because of her skin colour but also because she was illegitimate. It seems he was worried about what would become of her after his death.
Over the years he added more codicils increasing her inheritance. The phrasing here is astonishing: for a lord to have stated in his will that he honoured a young black woman would have been remarkable enough, but for Mansfield to say that Belle honoured him with her confidence and friendship gives an intimation of the deep affection and respect in which he held her.
Historian Gene Adams believed this suggested that Lindsay referred to his daughter as Elizabeth, and she may have been named Dido by his uncle and aunt after they took charge of the girl.. A contemporary obituary of Sir John Lindsay, who had eventually been promoted to admiral, acknowledged that he was the father of Dido Belle, and described her:. When Lord Mansfield died in , Belle lost her friend and protector — but she had become a woman of some means.
Belle was in her 30s and no doubt considered herself past marriageable age at this point but this was to change very shortly.
Her father was in line to inherit his father's title and more money. Five months after her great-uncle's death in March , Belle married John Davinier, a Frenchman who worked as a gentleman's steward. They were both then residents of the parish. He was the son of the local Reverend in Hampstead, and they had known each other, at least by sight, for many years.
Dido Elizabeth Belle
They moved to what is now Ebury Street in Belgravia. Belle died of natural causes in at the age of 43, and was interred in July of that year at St George's Fields, Westminster, a burial-ground close to what is now Bayswater Road. In the s, the site was redeveloped and her grave was moved. Her husband later remarried and had two more children with his second wife. Nash, Esquire, of Kensington. At this time, he held the rank of captain in the 30th Native Infantry.
In August , Captain Charles Davinier was relieved from his former duty and was "to have charge of Infantry recruits" in the headquarters at Fort St. He retired from service in , still being with the 30th Native Infantry. After his retirement he lived with his wife, children and servants at Lansdowne Villas in Notting Hill, where he died on 24th January Belle's last known descendant, her great-great-grandson Harold Davinier, died childless in South Africa in The first was that of James Somerset.
A slave who had been brought to England, Somerset escaped, was caught and then forced onto a ship bound for the West Indies. Mansfield set him free, judging that colony slave laws were not binding in England. The state of slavery is of such a nature, that it is incapable of being introduced on any reasons, moral or political; but only positive law, which preserves its force long after the reasons, occasion, and time itself from whence it was created, is erased from memory: it's so odious, that nothing can be suffered to support it but positive law. Whatever inconveniences, therefore, may follow from a decision, I cannot say this case is allowed or approved by the law of England.
Mansfield's ruling that slavery did not exist in common law and had never been introduced by positive law was taken by abolitionists to mean that slavery was abolished in England.
Dido Elizabeth Belle - her story
He left her a large inheritance and granted Dido her freedom when he died at the age of 88 in She died in July at age Dido was buried in the cemetery at St. George's Fields, Westminster. Much of Dido's unusual life remains a mystery. It was David Martin's portrait of her and her cousin Elizabeth that initially stirred so much interest in her.
The painting inspired the film "Belle," a speculative work about the aristocrat's unique life.
Biography of Dido Elizabeth Belle, English Aristocrat
Some historians believe she may have influenced her uncle in making his historic anti-slavery rulings as Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales. Share Flipboard Email. Government U. Foreign Policy U. Liberal Politics U.