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dark Gothic style landscape, man walking in storm, long coat, winter trees
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dark Gothic style landscape, man walking in storm, long coat, winter trees
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Historical Fiction
ROBERT STEPHEN PARRY
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Video trailer to The Testament of Sophie Dawes

Victorian-era Gothic novel

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In keeping with the dramatic background to the novel, I wanted a suitably dark and foreboding kind of atmosphere for the video trailer. Consequently it's based upon an image of antique and somewhat damaged Chantilly lace through which we see, intermittently, a scene of the causeway at St Helens, a fishing village where the narrator of the story has temporarily taken up residence in the year 1862. Sophie Dawes, though having been born in humble circumstances at St Helens, later became known, not altogether flatteringly, as the 'Queen of Chantilly' due to her having allied herself with the nobleman whose family owned much of that part of France, including the famous Chateau.

The music is contemporary with Sophie’s life, Frédéric Chopin’s delightful but also, in the middle section used here, slightly sinister prelude no.15 (known as the Raindrop Prelude). It was written during the 1830’s and, considering that Chopin usually performed at informal gatherings in Paris, such as the Salons, it is just possible Sophie might have encountered the composer himself at some stage.