Teaser Tuesday: Simon Montfort

The Other DaughterWith the release of The Other Daughter only three weeks away, my hero, Simon Montfort, has been conspicuously clearing his throat and adjusting his cuffs, wondering why he hasn’t had his Teaser Tuesday spotlight yet.

How to describe Simon?

He’s the scion of an old and proud family, but his upbringing has been anything but conventional. His mother, in the parlance of the time, was a bolter. As Simon’s friend Cece confides in Rachel, “…one must admit that Simon did have the most eccentric upbringing– villas in Italy and cattle ranches in America and heaven only knows what else. Brian has such stories– most of them likely only half true. But then, there is that other half….”

Although he had originally trained as a historian, the War put paid to Simon’s plans. Now, as he tells Rachel on their first meeting, he works as a gossip columnist for the Daily Yell. He attends the glittering parties of the Bright Young People not for pleasure (or so he claims) but for crass, commercial purposes.

But is anything about Simon Montfort as it seems?

Here’s Simon as Rachel first sees him, at the worst possible moment, just as her life is falling to bits around her:

A clipped, aristocratic male voice, rich with humor, drawled, “I hate to intrude….”

There was a man. A man standing just inside the doorframe.

No, not standing. Lounging. He leaned bonelessly back against the old oak, his pale gray suit molding itself to his long form, a miracle of expert tailoring.

The man looked just as expensively constructed as his suit, along the same long, elegant lines. Beneath close-cropped, curly black hair, a pair of high cheekbones slanted down across his face. His lips were red and sensual, lips for eating strawberries with, but his black eyes were alert and all too keen.

Right now, they were focused on Rachel.

I don’t usually base my characters’ appearance off actors. They tend to pop up in my head just as they are. From the very start, Simon, however, bore a marked resemblance to Benedict Cumberbatch. I didn’t plan it. That was just how he was.

So, yesterday, I appealed to you all for a visual that might help illustrate Simon Montfort a la Cumberbatch. I never expected such riches, including my personal favorite, Cumberbatch avec otters. (Not very Simon-ian, but oh such fun. Thank you, Pam!)

It was great hardship going through them all, but one makes these sacrifices in the interest of art.

But what to choose?

Cassidy provided this image , which looks just as I imagine Simon would while remonstrating with Rachel.

Trish provided photos from Parade’s End, which beautifully captured the war experience which still haunts the seemingly unflappable Simon.

If you want to see the whole batch, just click here and go through the links in the Comments section.

They’re all wonderful, but the one that really takes the palm is this image, from Joy:

Other Daughter Cumberbatch

Thank you, Joy! I will treasure this always. There is something so gleefully meta about the idea of the character reading his own book. (And Simon so would.) Not to mention, well, Cumberbatch.

Thank you all, so much! The winner of the Cumber-Contest, chosen at random from among all the entries, is Beth F, of Comment #16. Congrats, Beth!

I was only going to pick one winner… but, Joy, there’s a mug for you, too.

Congrats, ladies! If you email me at willig@post.harvard.edu, I’ll have those mugs winging your way.

Thank you all for the hours of amusement! More on Simon Montfort and The Other Daughter coming soon….

The Other Daughter appears in stores on Tuesday, July 21!


  1. Lisa on June 30, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    Love me some Benedict Cumberbatch!

  2. Miss Eliza on June 30, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    Oh my! Yes please!

  3. Joy D King on June 30, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    My sincerest thanks, Lauren. As much as I love the mug, I am anxiously awaiting the book.

  4. Jessica S. on July 1, 2015 at 10:57 am

    Oh, let’s start a campaign to get this filmed and BC to play Simon. Everyone wins, no one loses. He’ll win an Oscar, you’ll get to go to the ceremony, maybe you even get to adapt the screenplay and win your own Oscar!!!!!

    • Lauren on July 1, 2015 at 10:59 am

      I like the way you think!

  5. jocelyn wang on July 1, 2015 at 11:22 pm

    Simon’s description reminds me of Gataby.

  6. Tina on July 7, 2015 at 11:04 am

    Its funny that you said he resembles Benedict Cumberbatch in your mind. I read that description and saw Matthew Goode instead…Maybe I have been watching too much Downton Abbey but that screamed Matthew Goode in my mind

  7. […] we seem to have something of a Benedict Cumberbatch thing going with The Other Daughter, I made sure to include a Cumberbatch […]

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