how to catch a man in a cravat

*This post was partially inspired by Qui's post.*

caution! Several spoilers included. If you haven't seen BBC's North and South, but plan on watching it sometime, I strongly recommend against reading this post. However, if you've seen it already or don't want to see it, please continue. I suggest watching the program and then reading this post, because you'll understand it better. But it's not mandatory.

 Of course, it's a good idea to know the character-type of the gentleman you are wanting to grab. However, in this post, we'll be covering only one specific kind. Perhaps, another day, we'll review cravat-wearing-capturing-skills in general. After all, not all young ladies go for the same type.

So, map out your choices. Looks? I do like the Tall Dark and Handsome type. Personality? Let's go for brooding and serious. Trade? Hm...I think I'll go for cotton-mill owner. Residence? Somewhere in Northern England...northern accents are lovely. Let's say, oh, I don't know...Milton?

Well, there he is, ladies.

Now, let's get down to business. Without further ado, I hereby present...

How to catch that^ man in a cravat!
*this is going to be rather long. What can I say, it's a long series!

Step 1. Leave your beloved home in a sunny countryside and move to a smoky, crowded industrial town in the North.

Step 2. Take it upon yourself to go and meet some strange man (aka, your gentleman) who is helping your family get settled. Discover he owns a wealthy cotton mill, and march straight over there ASAP.

*sidenote; Be really shocked at all the cotton fluff everywhere. It sets the mood.

Step 3. Catch a glimpse of your gentleman, only to witness him chase down and beat up a miscreant cotton worker. Be horrified, and tell him off for terrorizing a "defenceless creature." Try not to be offended when he demands that you leave.

Step 4. Have you daddy tutor your barbaric gentleman. Be really surprised when you walk into your father's study room and see your father with him. Start scolding him some more about "beating a defenceless man who is not your equal." Pass off his excuses of hot tempers and mill fires with 300 dead. 

Step 5. Have him over for tea in the evening. Impress him with your apparent indifference to his piercing gaze, and ignore him when he tries to make peace by offering his hand. Feel a bit sorry when you find out that his father killed himself, and that your gentleman spent his childhood working to take care of his mother and sister.

Step 6. Walk out late at night with your father, and come upon your gentleman shoving and yelling at the same cotton miscreant. Listen to your father berate him and him saying that he will not be dictated to. Glare at him icily, and make a sarcastic remark about how they do things differently in this industrial town, then walk off haughtily. Don't worry about offending him. It'll do his pride a world of good, and he'll become more determined to win your heart.

Step 7. Chat with him about mill working conditions and the like. Ask him about the strike that is rumoured to happen soon. Make sure that his crabby dragon mother can see you two getting all chummy.

Step 8. Get yourself invited over to his mother's annual dinner party. Shake his hand as you say hello. He'll go speechless. Be sure to impress your gentleman with your wit and charm, as you defend the workers in the strike. Try to keep your dignity intact when he reprimands you. Don't be too embarrassed when your father tries to change the subject by complimenting the dragon lady's table settings.

Step 9. Pop over to the mill one morning, under the pretence of wanting to borrow a water mattress for your mum. Make sure you're conveniently there at the same time that the angry mill workers come to the mill to riot. Stand out in front of the crowd and yell at them about behaving violently and if they go home they'll have an answer to their problems. Get them angry enough to throw stones. When one of them chucks a rock at your gentleman, fling yourself heroically in front of him and get yourself knocked out.

Step 10. Act all "oh I'm fine, it's just a scratch" and go home without letting your gentleman come to see if you are well. 

Intermission. Wait a bit. Your gentleman is now desperately in love with you. Be patient. He'll come a-calling any moment...

Step 11. The moment has arrived. In a fevered confusion, your gentleman has professed his undying love for you (albeit somewhat unromantically, and he has wounded your pride).

*note: If you get super lucky, he'll chase you around a table, protesting that he doesn't want to posses you, he wants to marry you because he LOVES you.

 You now have a choice before you. You may accept his affections, say yes, and live happily ever after with the man of your dreams, or you can wait a bit, refuse him and make your story more interesting. If you choose to say yes, stop right here and good luck to you. If you want to continue, please keep reading...

Step 12. Pass him on the street, but ignore him. Unless, that is, your nosy godfather deliberately tries to get the two of you talking. Try (unsuccessfully) to nonchalantly go about your business.

Step 13. Coincidentally run into him at a big fancy exhibition. Be impressed with his big ideas, and have him notice you as you start to walk away. Engage in a semi-heated argument, then stomp off. When he chases you to ask you a question, don't be irritated when you're interrupted by his annoying little sister.

Step 14. Invite your criminal brother to come visit your dying mother. When he leaves, go see him off at a trainstation in the dead of night. Make sure your gentleman notices you two embracing. Since he doesn't know you have a brother, he'll immediately assume something scandalous is going on, and he'll be angry and upset all at once.

Step 15. Whoops! Seems your gentleman wasn't the only one who saw you at the train-station. You were seen by a grocer's assistant, who also witnessed a fight your brother had with a drunk. Seems the drunk died afterwards, and they blame your brother. An inspector is at your house, asking you questions. DENY EVERYTHING. You must protect your brother, and make your gentleman think you're a liar. Don't worry, it'll all work out.

Step 16. Well. Your gentleman has saved you. Being the local magistrate, he has officially closed the case, and you're safe. I hope you're now seeing just what kind of man he is! When he comes over for his weekly lesson with your father, make sure to thank him for what he has done. Try not to be upset when he snaps at you, saying that what he did was not for you, and that "any foolish passion for you on my part is entirely over."

Step 17. Your father is now dead, as well as your mother. Since you now have nothing holding you in your industrial town, leave and go stay in London with your aunt and cousin. Before you go, bid goodbye to your gentleman and his dragon mother. When you get in the carriage and depart, do NOT, repeat NOT look back. 

Step 18. Go for a walk with your godfather and visit your old home. Realize how much you miss the industrial town, and be surprised when your godfather informs you that he is dying and intends to leave his vast fortune to you, now. Accept it. This is important.

Step 19. Get your lawyer friend to help you learn the ins and outs of being a rich heiress. Find out that unlike you, your gentleman is flat broke, and his business has gone under. He'll be living in the streets if you don't do something, so hurry back to him!

Step 20. Go back to the industrial town. Don't be too disappointed when you don't find him there. Get back on the train and head home. When your train stops to allow a northbound train to pass, get out to stretch your legs. This is very important!

Step 21. It may be a dream, but your gentleman appears to be emerging out of the northbound train, and heading straight towards you. Don't faint with shock when he presents you with your favourite yellow rose, the same ones that grew outside your old home. Lead him over to a nearby bench, and explain your plans. Explain to him that you plan on giving him your money to restart his mill, but it'll benefit you in the long run. Assure him that this is simply "a matter of business."

Step 22. Give in to his deadly gaze and let him kiss you already.

Step 23. Get onto his train, and head north, to your new life with your cravat-wearing gentleman (ignore the fact that right now, he appears to be cravat-less). Try not to worry too much about the dragon lady's reaction when she hears the news -- you know how much she can't stand you!

So there you have it! Enjoy your new husband-to-be!

*Note: I don't mean any of this. All of these steps are based on the ones Margaret Hale "took" in order to win the heart of her Mr. Thornton. Characters and events are copyright Elizabeth Gaskell and BBC. Screencaps are off of Richard Armitage Central.

How do YOU recommend catching a man in a cravat? Love to hear your thoughts!

God bless!


  1. Tall, Dark and brooding? Love'im!

    Love the plan too.

    Why are men nowadays SO unfashionable? They were the MOST annoying things.
    I personally would like to see them all go back to jackets, beaver hats and gloves.

  2. Right with you there, Ashley! Give me waistcoats over jeans any day!

  3. LOVE LOVE LOVED this post Gwenea!!! I see you too are a John Thornton fan... as am I... an avid fan, I must confess! *smile* Isn't the most handsome guy you have ever seen??? And with such a strong character too..... *swoon*

    Thanks for the fun post... The only thing that I would have changed about it would be calling Johns Mother, the 'Dragon Lady'... I know she does seem harsh at times.... but truly, she just loves her son SO very much.

    Thanks again!
    ~Johanna Rose~

  4. Hi Johanna! I'm glad you liked the post! Yes, I agree...he is probably the most handsome man I've ever seen! I swoon every time I watch this program.

    Haha, the Dragon Lady thing was a joke. I actually like, and even admire Mrs. Thornton very much. The mother/son
    scenes are a couple of my favourites.

  5. I am grinning from ear to ear! I LOVE it! It would be so nice to find a tall, dark, cravat wearing gentleman! *sigh* :)

  6. Okay, you have officially convinced me that I need to see this! You made me giggle the whole way through, even during the sad parts. I loved this post... 'twas very Gwenea-ish. :P

    Love and Blessings,
    Elizabeth Rose

  7. Oh my word...
    Restrain myself?!
    A lady is always capable of restraining herself in matters of attraction. Well not always.. But most of the time!
    I love this post,
    I miss you!

  8. Haha, what a fabulous post! :D North & South is a wonderful, if little known, novel and the adaptation in question is magnificent. This put a smile on my face - thank you!

  9. Gwenea, you're so.... now what are you?......not really sure how to put it.................
    I know! you're cute!
    Yes, you're cute.
    Not like a baby cute, like a girl who is so sweet and funny that she is (somehow) cute.

    Yes I know makes sense doesn't it?

  10. My friend's Dad looks a LOT like John Thorton. Even has an accent (basically) identical to Thorton. LOL!

    ~Johanna Kautt

    Proverbs 16:3


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