These stories are developed from the novels of The Trilogy of Remembrance [The Drawing Lesson, The Fate of Pryde and Night Crossing] and are designed to entice you to read them. Alexander Wainwright, Britain’s finest landscape painter and visionary artist, is the star. Think of them as delightful appetizers. Enjoy and respond!
Good evening. We’ve met here before. I’m Alexander Wainwright. Shall we take another stroll along the Embankment this evening? If you liked my story about Daphne and The Drawing Lesson, you will be interested in a truly enigmatic character named Jonathan Pryde.
http://maryemartintrilogies.com/stories-mystery-drawing-lesson/. I have another one for you, but not about her. In fact it is about a strange and complex man who devoted part of his life to charity. It’s about a fascinating man named Jonathan Pryde—a most charitable and generous person but one with innumerable dark secrets. By the time I got to know him, I wondered this—how can the very best and the very worst of mankind simultaneously thrive in one human breast? A true Jekyll and Hyde character!
About a year ago, he commissioned me to create a stained glass window for his residence near Vence in the south of France. At first, I was nervous about undertaking the project because I had never worked with stained glass. I could not say just why, but when I visited him at that home, my sense of unease mounted swiftly to alarm. Jonathan Pryde, a very wealthy man, was extremely knowledgeable about art. With his great wealth, he had made many charitable donations of cash and also works of art which would make the National Gallery or the British museum drool in anticipation. I must tell you of about my visit to his residence, which was really a very elegant refuge for once brilliant philosophers, physicists, painters and writers. They were all under his care for a variety of forms of dementia He and his staff treated them with respect, care and compassion. In many respects, he sought many outlets for his sense of charity. The residence was an ancient castle-like structure. Parts of the building dated back to Roman times. When I entered I was confronted with an immense great hall dimly lit with a wall of high Gothic windows. Throughout, it was a somber and august construction with an overall impression of slightly tattered grandeur. And yet—it was strangely welcoming. Much like Jonathan Pryde himself. In the few days I was a guest, I chatted with a number of residents. Professor Bollen, a physicist, rolled up his sleeves and played ragtime tunes on the piano in the Games Lounge. Then he spoke eloquently about the cosmos and our perceptions of our so-called reality. Even though Bollen greatly praised Pryde for his charity, I sensed some underlying hesitation and concern. Next there was Dr. Kamura who appeared mysteriously at my door one evening. When I asked his name, all he would say was “Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall!” After his visit, I had an odd but persistent sense that he was trying to warn me of something. The renowned chemist Madame Curie [obviously not the original one] was a tiny, fragile resident. Although she seldom spoke, she was the one who tried the hardest to warn me of what lay beneath the surface appearances of the home. I’m afraid I was slow to catch on. I won’t tell you more of the story—except that the secret activities of Jonathan Pryde took place in a bunker at the foot of the garden. To find out you will have to read the story yourself. MaryEMartin Trilogies on Amazon or if you prefer an e-book Mary E Martin on Smashwords On the one hand, the man did great good for the residents by helping them to retain their faculties. In that, his heart was pure. But what transpired in that bunker truly showed the depths of his depravity. When one has shared a love for art with another, it is disillusioning, to say the least, to find such darkness. I do hope we can meet some other evening for a stroll along the Embankment. .