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Who's Who [imagemap with 8 links]

Who's Who

Christopher Newman
Claire de Cintré
Madame de Bellegarde
Marquis de Bellegarde
Henri de Bellegarde
Valentin de Bellegarde
Mrs. Bread
Noémie Nioche
Armand Nioche
Tom Tristram
Mrs. Tristram
Marquis de Cintré
Le Chevalier



Christopher Newman
Matthew Modine

Matthew Modine, who plays the rich young American Christopher Newman, recently appeared in Any Given Sunday and Notting Hill. Of his successes on the small screen, Modine earned a Golden Globe nomination for his role in What the Deaf Man Heard in 1991 and received Golden Globe and Emmy nominations for his performance in HBO's And the Band Played On. As a director, his three short films -- When I Was a Boy, Smoking, and Ecce Pirate -- all debuted at the Sundance Film Festival to critical acclaim. Modine recently released his first feature, If... Dog... Rabbit, a film he wrote, directed, executive produced, and starred in. Modine has also been active on the stage, directing Twelve Angry Men at the New Mercury Theater. An acclaimed actor and veteran of 30 films, he has also appeared in Married to the Mob, and has starred in the award-winning Birdy, Short Cuts, and Full Metal Jacket.

The gentleman on the divan was a powerful specimen of an American. But he was not only a fine American; he was in the first place, physically, a fine man. He appeared to possess that kind of health and strength which, when found in perfection, are the most impressive -- the physical capital which the owner does nothing to "keep up." If he was a muscular Christian, it was quite without knowing it. If it was necessary to walk to a remote spot, he walked, but he had never known himself to "exercise." He had no theory with regard to cold bathing or the use of Indian clubs; he was neither an oarsman, a rifleman, nor a fencer -- he had never had time for these amusements -- and he was quite unaware that the saddle is recommended for certain forms of indigestion. He was by inclination a temperate man; but he had supped the night before his visit to the Louvre at the Cafe Anglais -- some one had told him it was an experience not to be omitted -- and he had slept none the less the sleep of the just. His usual attitude and carriage were of a rather relaxed and lounging kind, but when under a special inspiration, he straightened himself, he looked like a grenadier on parade. He never smoked. He had been assured -- such things are said -- that cigars were excellent for the health, and he was quite capable of believing it; but he knew as little about tobacco as about homeopathy. He had a very well-formed head, with a shapely, symmetrical balance of the frontal and the occipital development, and a good deal of straight, rather dry brown hair. His complexion was brown, and his nose had a bold well-marked arch. His eye was of a clear, cold gray, and save for a rather abundant mustache he was clean-shaved. He had the flat jaw and sinewy neck which are frequent in the American type; but the traces of national origin are a matter of expression even more than of feature, and it was in this respect that our friend's countenance was supremely eloquent. The discriminating observer we have been supposing might, however, perfectly have measured its expressiveness, and yet have been at a loss to describe it. It had that typical vagueness which is not vacuity, that blankness which is not simplicity, that look of being committed to nothing in particular, of standing in an attitude of general hospitality to the chances of life, of being very much at one's own disposal so characteristic of many American faces. It was our friend's eye that chiefly told his story; an eye in which innocence and experience were singularly blended. It was full of contradictory suggestions, and though it was by no means the glowing orb of a hero of romance, you could find in it almost anything you looked for. Frigid and yet friendly, frank yet cautious, shrewd yet credulous, positive yet skeptical, confident yet shy, extremely intelligent and extremely good-humored, there was something vaguely defiant in its concessions, and something profoundly reassuring in its reserve. The cut of this gentleman's mustache, with the two premature wrinkles in the cheek above it, and the fashion of his garments, in which an exposed shirt-front and a cerulean cravat played perhaps an obtrusive part, completed the conditions of his identity. We have approached him, perhaps, at a not especially favorable moment; he is by no means sitting for his portrait. But listless as he lounges there, rather baffled on the aesthetic question, and guilty of the damning fault (as we have lately discovered it to be) of confounding the merit of the artist with that of his work (for he admires the squinting Madonna of the young lady with the boyish coiffure, because he thinks the young lady herself uncommonly taking), he is a sufficiently promising acquaintance. Decision, salubrity, jocosity, prosperity, seem to hover within his call; he is evidently a practical man, but the idea in his case, has undefined and mysterious boundaries, which invite the imagination to bestir itself on his behalf.

-- The American, Chapter I


...Exertion and action were as natural to him as respiration; a more completely healthy mortal had never trod the elastic soil of the West. His experience, moreover, was as wide as his capacity; when he was fourteen years old, necessity had taken him by his slim young shoulders and pushed him into the street, to earn that night's supper. He had not earned it but he had earned the next night's, and afterwards, whenever he had had none, it was because he had gone without it to use the money for something else, a keener pleasure or a finer profit. He had turned his hand, with his brain in it, to many things; he had been enterprising, in an eminent sense of the term; he had been adventurous and even reckless, and he had known bitter failure as well as brilliant success.... It must be admitted, rather nakedly, that Christopher Newman's sole aim in life had been to make money; what he had been placed in the world for was, to his own perception, simply to wrest a fortune, the bigger the better, from defiant opportunity. This idea completely filled his horizon and satisfied his imagination. Upon the uses of money, upon what one might do with a life into which one had succeeded in injecting the golden stream, he had up to his thirty-fifth year very scantily reflected. Life had been for him an open game, and he had played for high stakes. He had won at last and carried off his winnings; and now what was he to do with them? He was a man to whom, sooner or later, the question was sure to present itself, and the answer to it belongs to our story. A vague sense that more answers were possible than his philosophy had hitherto dreamt of had already taken possession of him, and it seemed softly and agreeably to deepen as he lounged in this brilliant corner of Paris with his friend.

-- The American, Chapter II
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Claire de Cintré
Aisling O'Sullivan

Aisling O'Sullivan is one of Ireland's most exciting new talents. Trained at the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin, she has appeared at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin and on the London stage. She has enjoyed critical acclaim in The Cripple of Inishman, Hysteria, The Seagull, Slavs, and The Playboy of the Western World, as well as for her roles in The Cavalcades, The Famine, The Honeyspike, and Silverhands. She has recently made the leap to film with featured roles in The Butcher Boy and Michael Collins, both directed by Neil Jordan. Her television credits include Medical Ethics (BBC).

"I happen to number among my friends the loveliest woman in the world. Neither more nor less. I don't say a very charming person or a very estimable woman or a very great beauty; I say simply the loveliest woman in the world."

"The deuce!" cried Tristram, "you have kept very quiet about her. Were you afraid of me?"

"You have seen her," said his wife, "but you have no perception of such merit as Claire's."

"Ah, her name is Claire? I give it up."

"Does your friend wish to marry?" asked Newman.

"Not in the least. It is for you to make her change her mind. It will not be easy; she has had one husband, and he gave her a low opinion of the species."

"Oh, she is a widow, then?" said Newman.

"Are you already afraid? She was married at eighteen, by her parents, in the French fashion, to a disagreeable old man. But he had the good taste to die a couple of years afterward, and she is now twenty-five."

"So she is French?"

"French by her father, English by her mother. She is really more English than French, and she speaks English as well as you or I -- or rather much better. She belongs to the very top of the basket, as they say here. Her family, on each side, is of fabulous antiquity; her mother is the daughter of an English Catholic earl. Her father is dead, and since her widowhood she has lived with her mother and a married brother. There is another brother, younger, who I believe is wild. They have an old hotel in the Rue de l'Universite, but their fortune is small, and they make a common household, for economy's sake. When I was a girl I was put into a convent here for my education, while my father made the tour of Europe. It was a silly thing to do with me, but it had the advantage that it made me acquainted with Claire de Bellegarde. She was younger than I but we became fast friends. I took a tremendous fancy to her, and she returned my passion as far as she could. They kept such a tight rein on her that she could do very little, and when I left the convent she had to give me up. I was not of her monde; I am not now, either, but we sometimes meet. They are terrible people -- her monde; all mounted upon stilts a mile high, and with pedigrees long in proportion. It is the skim of the milk of the old noblesse. Do you know what a Legitimist is, or an Ultramontane? Go into Madame de Cintre's drawing-room some afternoon, at five o'clock, and you will see the best preserved specimens. I say go, but no one is admitted who can't show his fifty quarterings."...

-- The American, Chapter III


...If she was beautiful, it was not a dazzling beauty. She was tall and moulded in long lines; she had thick fair hair, a wide forehead, and features with a sort of harmonious irregularity. Her clear gray eyes were strikingly expressive; they were both gentle and intelligent, and Newman liked them immensely; but they had not those depths of splendor -- those many-colored rays -- which illumine the brows of famous beauties. Madame de Cintre was rather thin, and she looked younger than probably she was. In her whole person there was something both youthful and subdued, slender and yet ample, tranquil yet shy; a mixture of immaturity and repose, of innocence and dignity. What had Tristram meant, Newman wondered, by calling her proud? She was certainly not proud now, to him; or if she was, it was of no use, it was lost upon him; she must pile it up higher if she expected him to mind it. She was a beautiful woman, and it was very easy to get on with her. Was she a countess, a marquise, a kind of historical formation? Newman, who had rarely heard these words used, had never been at pains to attach any particular image to them; but they occurred to him now and seemed charged with a sort of melodious meaning. They signified something fair and softly bright, that had easy motions and spoke very agreeably....

-- The American, Chapter VII
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Madame de Bellegarde
Diana Rigg

Diana Rigg was born in Yorkshire and trained for the Stage at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. After appearing in repertory in Chesterfield and York, she joined the Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-Upon-Avon, in 1959 and made her first appearance in London at the Aldwych in January 1961where in repertory she played Philipe Trincante in The Devils, Gwendolen in Becket, Bianca in The Taming of the Shrew, and Madame de Tournel in The Art of Seduction. Returning to Stratford-Upon-Avon in April 1962, she played Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Lady Macbeth, Adriana in The Comedy of Errors, and Regan in King Lear.

After a year of appearing as Emma Peel in The Avengers, she rejoined the RSC in 1966 to play Viola in Twelfth Night. She followed that with Heloise in Abelard and Heloise and joined the National Theatre in 1971 to play Dottie in Tom Stoppard's Jumpers, Lady Macbeth, and Celimene in The Misanthrope. She played Eliza Dolittle in Pygmailion, returned to the National Theatre in 1976 to play Phaedra in Phaedra Britannica, appeared in Tom Stoppard's Night and Day, Heartbreak House, Little Eyolf, Anthony and Cleopatra, Follies, All for Love, Medea (for which she received The Evening Standard Best Actress Award and won the Tony Award for Best Actress). She played the title role of Mother Courage at the Royal National Theatre. Her most recent role in theatre was in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. Her films include The Hospital, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, A Midsummer Night's Dream, A Little Night Music, Evil Under the Sun, and A Good Man in Africa. In 1988, Rigg was decorated as a Commander of the British Empire and, in 1994, was named Dame Commander of the British Empire.

Dame Diana Rigg has been host of PBS's MYSTERY! since 1989 and counts among her many television credits Hedda Gabler, Witness for the Prosecution, Bleak House, and Mother Love, a WGBH Boston-BBC co-production which was broadcast on MYSTERY! in 1990. She also starred as Mrs. Danvers in Masterpiece Theatre's Rebecca, a performance for which she earned the 1997 Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries. Rigg recently wrapped filming on two new installments of The Mrs. Bradley Mysteries.

... Newman walked up to the old lady by the fire and shook hands with her. He received a rapid impression of a white, delicate, aged face, with a high forehead, a small mouth, and a pair of cold blue eyes which had kept much of the freshness of youth. Madame de Bellegarde looked hard at him, and returned his hand-shake with a sort of British positiveness which reminded him that she was the daughter of the Earl of St. Dunstan's....

Newman felt that taking her measure was not easy; she was a formidable, inscrutable little woman. She resembled her daughter, and yet she was utterly unlike her. The coloring in Madame de Cintre was the same, and the high delicacy of her brow and nose was hereditary. But her face was a larger and freer copy, and her mouth in especial a happy divergence from that conservative orifice, a little pair of lips at once plump and pinched, that looked, when closed, as if they could not open wider than to swallow a gooseberry or to emit an "Oh, dear, no!" ... Madame de Cintre's face had, to Newman's eye, a range of expression as delightfully vast as the wind-streaked, cloud-flecked distance on a Western prairie. But her mother's white, intense, respectable countenance, with its formal gaze, and its circumscribed smile, suggested a document signed and sealed; a thing of parchment, ink, and ruled lines. "She is a woman of conventions and proprieties," he said to himself as he looked at her; "her world is the world of things immutably decreed. But how she is at home in it, and what a paradise she finds it. She walks about in it as if it were a blooming park, a Garden of Eden; and when she sees 'This is genteel,' or 'This is improper,' written on a mile-stone she stops ecstatically, as if she were listening to a nightingale or smelling a rose."

-- The American, Chapter X
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Marquis de Bellegarde
T.P. McKenna

The Irish actor T.P. McKenna is well versed in film and TV adaptations of classic novels. Prior to his current role in The American, he was in adaptations of Charles Dickens's Bleak House, Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse, and James Joyce's Ulysses.

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Henri de Bellegarde (Urbain)
Paul Hickey

Primarily a stage actor, Paul Hickey has most recently appeared in Deep Blue Sea at the Manchester Royal Exchange, and Halloween Nights and Pentecost at Dublin/Donmar (London). His film credits include Moll Flanders, Michael Collins, and Saving Private Ryan.

"Your brother," said Newman reflectively, "must be a very nice young man."

"He is very nice, though he is not young. He is upwards of fifty; fifteen years my senior. He had been a father to my sister and me. He is a very remarkable man; he has the best manners in France. He is extremely clever; indeed he is very learned. He is writing a history of The Princesses of France who never Married." This was said by [Valentin de] Bellegarde with extreme gravity, looking straight at Newman, and with an eye that betokened no mental reservation; or that, at least, almost betokened none.

Newman perhaps discovered there what little there was, for he presently said: "You don't love your brother."

"I beg your pardon," said Bellegarde ceremoniously; "well-bred people always love their brothers."

"Well, I don't love him, then!" Newman answered.

"Wait till you know him!" rejoined Bellegarde, and this time he smiled.

-- The American, Chapter VIII
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Valentin de Bellegarde (M. de Bellegarde)
Andrew Scott

Andrew Scott got his start in Dublin theaters, most recently appearing in A Long Day's Journey Into Night. He had a role in Saving Private Ryan and was featured in the made-for-TV movie Longitude.

Decidedly, there was something in his visitor that he liked. M. de Bellegarde was a foreigner to his finger-tips, and if Newman had met him on a Western prairie he would have felt it proper to address him with a "How-d'ye-do, Mosseer?" But there was something in his physiognomy which seemed to cast a sort of aerial bridge over the impassable gulf produced by difference of race. He was below the middle height, and robust and agile in figure. Valentin de Bellegarde, Newman afterwards learned, had a mortal dread of the robustness overtaking the agility; he was afraid of growing stout; he was too short, as he said, to afford a belly. He rode and fenced and practiced gymnastics with unremitting zeal, and if you greeted him with a "How well you are looking" he started and turned pale. In your well he read a grosser monosyllable. He had a round head, high above the ears, a crop of hair at once dense and silky, a broad, low forehead, a short nose, of the ironical and inquiring rather than of the dogmatic or sensitive cast, and a mustache as delicate as that of a page in a romance. He resembled his sister not in feature, but in the expression of his clear, bright eye, completely void of introspection, and in the way he smiled. The great point in his face was that it was intensely alive -- frankly, ardently, gallantly alive. The look of it was like a bell, of which the handle might have been in the young man's soul: at a touch of the handle it rang with a loud, silver sound. There was something in his quick, light brown eye which assured you that he was not economizing his consciousness. He was not living in a corner of it to spare the furniture of the rest. He was squarely encamped in the centre and he was keeping open house. When he smiled, it was like the movement of a person who in emptying a cup turns it upside down: he gave you the last drop of his jollity. He inspired Newman with something of the same kindness that our hero used to feel in his earlier years for those of his companions who could perform strange and clever tricks -- make their joints crack in queer places or whistle at the back of their mouths....

Valentin was what is called in France a gentilhomme, of the purest source, and his rule of life, so far as it was definite, was to play the part of a gentilhomme. This, it seemed to him, was enough to occupy comfortably a young man of ordinary good parts. But all that he was he was by instinct and not by theory, and the amiability of his character was so great that certain of the aristocratic virtues, which in some aspects seem rather brittle and trenchant, acquired in his application of them an extreme geniality. In his younger years he had been suspected of low tastes, and his mother had greatly feared he would make a slip in the mud of the highway and bespatter the family shield. He had been treated, therefore, to more than his share of schooling and drilling, but his instructors had not succeeded in mounting him upon stilts. They could not spoil his safe spontaneity, and he remained the least cautious and the most lucky of young nobles. He had been tied with so short a rope in his youth that he had now a mortal grudge against family discipline. He had been known to say, within the limits of the family, that, light-headed as he was, the honor of the name was safer in his hands than in those of some of it's other members, and that if a day ever came to try it, they should see. His talk was an odd mixture of almost boyish garrulity and of the reserve and discretion of the man of the world, and he seemed to Newman, as afterwards young members of the Latin races often seemed to him, now amusingly juvenile and now appallingly mature. In America, Newman reflected, lads of twenty-five and thirty have old heads and young hearts, or at least young morals; here they have young heads and very aged hearts, morals the most grizzled and wrinkled....

To Newman, Bellegarde was the ideal Frenchman, the Frenchman of tradition and romance, so far as our hero was concerned with these mystical influences. Gallant, expansive, amusing, more pleased himself with the effect he produced than those (even when they were well pleased) for whom he produced it; a master of all the distinctively social virtues and a votary of all agreeable sensations; a devotee of something mysterious and sacred to which he occasionally alluded in terms more ecstatic even than those in which he spoke of the last pretty woman, and which was simply the beautiful though somewhat superannuated image of honour; he was irresistibly entertaining and enlivening, and he formed a character to which Newman was as capable of doing justice when he had once been placed in contact with it, as he was unlikely, in musing upon the possible mixtures of our human ingredients, mentally to have foreshadowed it. Bellegarde did not in the least cause him to modify his needful premise that all Frenchmen are of a frothy and imponderable substance; he simply reminded him that light materials may be beaten up into a most agreeable compound.

-- The American, Chapter VII
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Mrs. Bread
Brenda Fricker

Although born in Dublin, Brenda Fricker is no stranger to American film and television. Her performance in My Left Foot won her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1990. More recently, she has appeared in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, A Time to Kill, Swann, Painted Angels, and Resurrection Man.

One afternoon, on his calling on Madame de Cintré, Newman was requested by the servant to wait a few moments, as his hostess was not at liberty. He walked about the room a while, taking up her books, smelling her flowers, and looking at her prints and photographs (which he thought prodigiously pretty), and at last he heard the opening of a door to which his back was turned. On the threshold stood an old woman whom he remembered to have met several times in entering and leaving the house. She was tall and straight and dressed in black, and she wore a cap which, if Newman had been initiated into such mysteries, would have been a sufficient assurance that she was not a Frenchwoman; a cap of pure British composition. She had a pale, decent, depressed-looking face, and a clear, dull, English eye. She looked at Newman a moment, both intently and timidly, and then she dropped a short, straight English curtsey.

-- The American, Chapter XIII
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Noémie Nioche
Eva Birthistle

Eva Birthistle has recently appeared in several Irish film productions, including Making Ends Meet, Borstal Boy, and Saltwater. She is currently in production for Red Rum.

As the little copyist proceeded with her work, she sent every now and then a responsive glance toward her admirer. The cultivation of the fine arts appeared to necessitate, to her mind, a great deal of by-play, a great standing off with folded arms and head drooping from side to side, stroking of a dimpled chin with a dimpled hand, sighing and frowning and patting of the foot, fumbling in disordered tresses for wandering hair-pins. These performances were accompanied by a restless glance, which lingered longer than elsewhere upon the gentleman we have described....

-- The American, Chapter I


Her face was the oddest mixture of youth and maturity, and beneath her candid brow her searching little smile seemed to contain a world of ambiguous intentions. She was pretty enough, certainly to make her father nervous; but, as regards her innocence, Newman felt ready on the spot to affirm that she had never parted with it. She had simply never had any; she had been looking at the world since she was ten years old, and he would have been a wise man who could tell her any secrets. In her long mornings at the Louvre she had not only studied Madonnas and St. Johns; she had kept an eye upon all the variously embodied human nature around her, and she had formed her conclusions. In a certain sense, it seemed to Newman, M. Nioche might be at rest; his daughter might do something very audacious, but she would never do anything foolish.

-- The American, Chapter IV
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Armand Nioche
Joe Pilkington

An actor and painter, the late Joe Pilkington appeared in several theater, film, and television productions, but he was best known for his role as the traveler, Eamon Maher, in the RTÉ television series, The Riordans. Among his paintings was a controversial portrait of the former Bishop of Galway, Eamon Casey.

"And precisely, here is my father, who has come to escort me home," said Mademoiselle Noémie. "He speaks English. He will arrange with you." And she turned to welcome a little old gentleman who came shuffling up, peering over his spectacles at Newman.

M. Nioche wore a glossy wig, of an unnatural color, which overhung his little meek, white, vacant face, and left it hardly more expressive than the unfeatured block upon which these articles are displayed in the barber's window. He was an exquisite image of shabby gentility. His scant ill-made coat, desperately brushed, his darned gloves, his highly polished boots, his rusty, shapely hat, told the story of a person who had "had losses" and who clung to the spirit of nice habits even though the letter had been hopelessly effaced....

-- The American, Chapter I
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Tom Tristram
Ian Fitzgibbon

Ian Fitzgibbon is a British actor who has appeared both on television (Prime Suspect) and in feature films (Best).

At this moment, however, [Newman's] attention was attracted by a gentleman who had come from another part of the room and whose manner was that of a stranger to the gallery, although he was equipped with neither guide-book nor opera-glass. He carried a white sun-umbrella, lined with blue silk, and he strolled in front of the Paul Veronese, vaguely looking at it, but much too near to see anything but the grain of the canvas. Opposite to Christopher Newman he paused and turned, and then our friend, who had been observing him, had a chance to verify a suspicion aroused by an imperfect view of his face. The result of this larger scrutiny was that he presently sprang to his feet, strode across the room, and, with an outstretched hand, arrested the gentleman with the blue-lined umbrella. The latter stared, but put out his hand at a venture. He was corpulent and rosy, and though his countenance, which was ornamented with a beautiful flaxen beard, carefully divided in the middle and brushed outward at the sides, was not remarkable for intensity of expression, he looked like a person who would willingly shake hands with any one....

-- The American, Chapter II
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Mrs. Tristram
Alison McKenna

Alison McKenna is a British television actress who has appeared in The Ambassador and Pie in the Sky.

The truth is that circumstances had done much to cultivate in Mrs. Tristram a marked tendency to irony. Her taste on many points differed from that of her husband, and though she made frequent concessions it must be confessed that her concessions were not always graceful. They were founded upon a vague project she had of some day doing something very positive, something a trifle passionate. What she meant to do she could by no means have told you; but meanwhile, nevertheless, she was buying a good conscience, by installments.

It should be added, without delay, to anticipate misconception, that her little scheme of independence did not definitely involve the assistance of another person, of the opposite sex; she was not saving up virtue to cover the expenses of a flirtation. For this there were various reasons. To begin with, she had a very plain face and she was entirely without illusions as to her appearance. She had taken its measure to a hair's breadth, she knew the worst and the best, she had accepted herself. It had not been, indeed, without a struggle. As a young girl she had spent hours with her back to her mirror, crying her eyes out; and later she had from desperation and bravado adopted the habit of proclaiming herself the most ill-favored of women, in order that she might -- as in common politeness was inevitable--be contradicted and reassured. It was since she had come to live in Europe that she had begun to take the matter philosophically. Her observation, acutely exercised here, had suggested to her that a woman's first duty is not to be beautiful, but to be pleasing, and she encountered so many women who pleased without beauty that she began to feel that she had discovered her mission. She had once heard an enthusiastic musician, out of patience with a gifted bungler, declare that a fine voice is really an obstacle to singing properly; and it occurred to her that it might perhaps be equally true that a beautiful face is an obstacle to the acquisition of charming manners. Mrs. Tristram, then, undertook to be exquisitely agreeable, and she brought to the task a really touching devotion. How well she would have succeeded I am unable to say; unfortunately she broke off in the middle. Her own excuse was the want of encouragement in her immediate circle. But I am inclined to think that she had not a real genius for the matter, or she would have pursued the charming art for itself. The poor lady was very incomplete. She fell back upon the harmonies of the toilet, which she thoroughly understood, and contented herself with dressing in perfection. She lived in Paris, which she pretended to detest, because it was only in Paris that one could find things to exactly suit one's complexion. Besides out of Paris it was always more or less of a trouble to get ten-button gloves. When she railed at this serviceable city and you asked her where she would prefer to reside, she returned some very unexpected answer. She would say in Copenhagen, or in Barcelona; having, while making the tour of Europe, spent a couple of days at each of these places. On the whole, with her poetic furbelows and her misshapen, intelligent little face, she was, when you knew her, a decidedly interesting woman. She was naturally shy, and if she had been born a beauty, she would (having no vanity) probably have remained shy. Now, she was both diffident and importunate; extremely reserved sometimes with her friends, and strangely expansive with strangers. She despised her husband; despised him too much, for she had been perfectly at liberty not to marry him. She had been in love with a clever man who had slighted her, and she had married a fool in the hope that this thankless wit, reflecting on it, would conclude that she had no appreciation of merit, and that he had flattered himself in supposing that she cared for his own. Restless, discontented, visionary, without personal ambitions, but with a certain avidity of imagination, she was, as I have said before, eminently incomplete. She was full -- both for good and for ill -- of beginnings that came to nothing; but she had nevertheless, morally, a spark of the sacred fire.

-- The American, Chapter III
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Marquis de Cintré
Philip O'Sullivan

Philip O'Sullivan has recently appeared on stage in A Tale of Two Cities. His film credits include The Ambassadors, Glenroe, and A Quiet Day in Belfast.

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Le Chevalier (Lord Deepmere)
Alan Stanford

Alan Stanford is primarily a stage actor who has enjoyed a 15-year run as Pozzo in Dublin's Gate Theatre's much-heralded production of Waiting for Godot. He has also appeared both on television (A Secret Affair, Animal Farm) and in feature films (Educating Rita, Michael Collins).

Observation, however, as regards Lord Deepmere's person, had no great range. He was a small, meagre man, of some three and thirty years of age, with a bald head, a short nose and no front teeth in the upper jaw; he had round, candid blue eyes, and several pimples on his chin. He was evidently very shy, and he laughed a great deal, catching his breath with an odd, startling sound, as the most convenient imitation of repose. His physiognomy denoted great simplicity, a certain amount of brutality, and probable failure in the past to profit by rare educational advantages.

-- The American, Chapter XIII
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