Friendship Estate

Lynda R Edwards

Book Cover

GENRE

ADVENTURE DRAMA EPIC FANTASY POLITICAL HISTORICAL FICTION

    Core Theme

    PAIN IS OFTEN NECESSARY TO AFFECT SUBSTANTIVE CHANGE

    TIME PERIOD

    17th Century or Earlier,18th Century

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    OUTLANDER

    CHARACTER LIST

    BRIXTON: 20S. LEAD. NOBLE, PRINCIPLED, BRAVE.

    DEXTER: 20S. ELOQUENT, INTELLECTUAL, BRIXTON'S BROTHER.

    SABINE: 20S. BRIXTON'S WIFE.

    ANNE: 40S. SABINE'S MOTHER AND NEW LANDOWNER.

    NANA: 50S-70S. THE CARETAKER OF FRIENDSHIP ESTATE.

    HARRY: 40S. DEXTER AND BRIXTON'S VILLAINOUS FATHER.

    Logline

    If only…the legacy of bitterness and resentment that poisoned the politics of future generations had taken the road less traveled. By showing us what might have been, Friendship Estate points the way to what might still be.

    Target Audiences

    Age: 18-34,35-54,55+

    Target Gender: Universal

    Setting

    Jamaica, London

    Based on a True Story

    No

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: self-published

    Publisher: TL Edwards & Company Inc

    Year Published: 2020

    Starting Description

    Jamaica in the late 1700s was at a crossroads. The abolition of slavery was on the horizon. In the colonies, the white and black races had been mixing for generations. They had formed a new society harboring a deep desire to mix freely by taking the reins of freedom into their own hands.

    Ending Description

    From the plantations of Jamaica to the gilded halls of Georgian England, a captivating array of characters inspire us to share their dreams, their passions, and their intimacy.

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available

    Yes

    ISBN

    978-1736163306

    Mature Audience Themes

    Nudity,Sexual Abuse, Language/Profanity

    Plot - Other Elements

    Meaningful Message,Twist

    Plot - Premise

    Quest,Rebellion Against 'The One',Voyage and Return

    Main Character Details

    Name: Brixton Dunbarton

    Age: 25

    Gender: Male

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Adventurous,Masculine,Charming,Sexy,Patriotic,Blunt,Decisive,Empathetic,Selfless,Engaging,Faithful,Visionary,Romantic,Heartthrob,Heroic,Seductive,Honorable,Sophisticated,Strong Moral Code,Leader

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Dexter Dunbarton

    Age: 25

    Gender: Male

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Adventurous,Underdog,Aspiring,Masculine,Modest,Charming,Patriotic,Decisive,Blunt,Empathetic,Selfless,Engaging,Faithful,Gracious,Visionary,Romantic,Heroic,Educated,Seductive,Honorable,Sophisticated,Strong Moral Code,Leader

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Sabine Holborn

    Age: 20

    Gender: Female

    Role: protagonist

    Key Traits: Adventurous,Modest,Charming,Complex,Confident,Sexy,Patriotic,Blunt,Empathetic,Selfless,Engaging,Faithful,Skillful,Gracious,Romantic,Heroic,Seductive,Honorable,Sophisticated,Strong Moral Code,Leader

    Additional Character Details

    The author has not yet written this

    Development Pitch

    I think this book would work as either a TV series in the format of Bridgerton or Belgravia or a full-length movie like Pirates of the Caribbean. This story is based on what could have/should have happened at the end of slavery. There is documented evidence that Colonials, (those born in the colonies of European descent), wanted slavery to end and wanted to accept brown/black people as equals. However, the almighty pound dictated the outcome of slavery and what resulted was the economic devastation of the Caribbean still being felt today. Racial tensions in the Caribbean were not as divisive as they are in the United States because West Indians had to work together to survive. As Patrick Chung, a Jamaican-born football player with the New England Patriots, articulated when he decided to sit out the 2020 football season because he didn’t want to endanger his family by taking the chance of infecting them with the virus. He put family over anything else, a decidedly Jamaican tradition, but he said something that resonated with me. I am paraphrasing, but he said, “Growing up in Jamaica, it’s all about how you act and how you carry yourself, and that’s what really defines a person. Jamaicans don’t see themselves as anything but Jamaican.” As I write in the book, “The 7th Duke of Ergill is in a unique position. Lord Dunbarton can influence the course of history because of how he has lived his life on the tiny island of Jamaica.”

    Genre

    ROMANCE, DRAMA

    Brief

    Brixton and Dexter are two brothers born on different side of colonial racism rules. However their strong family support allows them to use the colonial rules for their benefit. Brixton is allowed to stay in Jamaica with his love Sabine and Dexter is allowed luxuries as a Scottish lord that black men weren't usually afforded in society at the time. Together they are able to show how the end of the Atlantic slave trade could have ended in an idealistic re-imagining of history.

    Overall Rating

    GOOD

    Point of View

    THIRD PERSON

    Narrative Elements

    Authors Writing Style: GOOD

    Characterization: GOOD

    Commerciality: GOOD

    Franchise Potential: EXCELLENT

    Pace: GOOD

    Premise: GOOD

    Structure: FAIR

    Theme: GOOD

    Accuracy of Book Profile

    The short summary described the narrative accurately as does the logline but both may be too vague. The development pitch does a great job enhancing the vision of the story in how it could be successfully adapted through thematic analysis. Sabine is described as the protagonist but she mainly reacts to others so it seems like Brixton and or Dexter are the protagonists. By describing the actual plot and not just philosophies of the narrative, the logline and short summary could be more specific to the narrative.

    Draw of Story

    The setting is lush and the concept is noble in that it is a reimagining of colonial history both recognizing and trying to fix racism in the era. The two brothers are good foils to one another and the advanced philosophies of the Jamaicans depicted in contrast are intriguing.

    Possible Drawbacks

    The romance takes center stage but philosophically the heart of the book is about colonial racist practices. By focussing more on the relationship and conflicts between Brixton and Dexter or deeper issues in the mixed marriage between Sabine and Brixton in colonial Jamaica, the story may feel more unique. There is a lot of talk about rebellion and yet there is very few perspectives or chapters from actual slaves. By adding more diverse perspectives , the rebellion and ending of colonial racism might feel more of an external threat with increasing tension.

    Use of Special Effects

    THE STORY RELIES A LITTLE BIT ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

    Primary Hook of Story

    The hook is that Dexter and Brixton have the same father in colonial Jamaica, but one was born the son of a slave. This leads them to share a childhood but have different places in society as far as they can tell. Also just when Brixton is told he must follow his duty to Scotland and return to govern his ancestral lands is around the same time he realizes he's in love with Sabine who would remain in Jamaica.

    Fanbase Potential

    Given the lush setting, provocative social/ historical issues and central romance this could have a steadily large streaming audience.

    Awards Potential

    This is an alternative history as opposed to a historical drama so it might be a tough sell to the academy or other serious nominations. This might win popular awards.

    Envisioned Budget

    MEDIUM BUDGET

    Similar Films/TV Series

    BRIDGERTON, BELLE, BELGRAVIA, PIRATES OF THE CARRIBEAN, BITTER TROPICS

    What’s New About the Story

    The romance and premise of mixed brothers on a plantation are less unique than the colonial politics of ending slavery on a Carribean island. This part is fascinating and while racism is well- explored, focusing on the particular power dynamic between England and the decision to outlaw slavery on Jamaica is more enticing in its rarity.

    Lead Characters

    Brixton is loyal and kind hearted but only when things are going in his favor otherwise he can be spoiled much like his father despite thinking better of himself. Dexter is ambitious and curious; the one to excel at school and take advantage of every extra privilege he was given growing up a supposed house slave in colonial Jamaica. Sabine is graceful and strong but somewhat sheltered and quick to judgement.

    Uniqueness of Story

    This has the potential to become very philosophical and address the issue of colonial racism and the ending of slavery, but gets tied down in the personal politics of the two brothers and Sabine's love interest in Brixton.

    Possible Formats

    Film - Indie, Film - Streaming, Film - Studio, TV Series - Cable, TV Series - Network, TV Series - Streaming

    Analyst Recommendation

    WORK IN PROGRESS

    Justification

    While the story has many positive points, it has room for improvement (see possible paths below). If you can't change the story at this point, my suggestion is using your notes as a guide to highlight the best aspects of it when taking the next steps, either putting a pitch page together, a treatment, or a presentation.

    Tips for Improvement

    Sabine as one of the protagonists has a father who did everything right, so all of her conflicts seem to be in her head rather than reality. By giving her real external threats in her society and an internal conflict outside of unfounded insecurities over Brixton, she will feel as three dimensional as Brixton and Dexter and have more tension outside of her romantic subplot.

    Brief

    Jamaica in the late 1700s was at a crossroads. The abolition of slavery was on the horizon. In the colonies, the white and black races had been mixing for generations. They had formed a new society harboring a deep desire to mix freely by taking the reins of freedom into their own hands.

    What We Liked

    This story has the historical gravitas that transcends its romance and pretty scenery. The characters are compelling and the setting is magical. It takes us from an idyllic tropical island to the halls of world power in London. The future of a people is at stake, and a powder keg is about to be lit...drama at it's finest.

    Film: Colonialism has always been great drama. The characters in this story are on the cusp of something historical and epic. They're at the most crucial points in their lives and one of the most turbulent periods in the history of the Western hemisphere. This, coupled with wonderful scenery and strong, compelling characters would make a great film.

    TV: Lush settings and beautiful people enveloped in high drama make a good recipe for a TV show. Historical dramas are doing well, and this would make a fine addition. Instead of only the intrigue of a royal court, this also has the fascinating element of colonialism and slavery, giving it an additional setting and gravitas. There are plenty of characters and conflicts to hold a viewer's interest from episode to episode.

    Key points: Beautiful settings
    Strong characters
    Historical significance
    Good v. evil vis a vis slavery
    Attractive people

    Synopsis

    Lyndon Holborn lays on his deathbed. It’s 1786 and he’s the master of Friendship Estate in Jamaica. He’s sent his white family back to England so he could marry Anne, a black woman and a free Princess of Navarre living in Hati, and they have a child named Sabine. It was whispered that Anne and her mother practiced magic from deep in the heart of Africa. He raised Sabine with every advantage. The estate is under British jurisdiction so he’s afraid Sabine may not inherit it. He summons his friend Richard to his deathbed, and, with Anne present, says he wants them to marry after he dies to help ensure the estate goes to Sabine - then he takes his last breath. Gordon Dunbarton, the 4th Duke of Ergill is banished from England, but his son Harold stayed behind trying to restore their reputation and fails. Harrington (Harry) Dunbarton is the 6th Duke of Ergill and he is sent to England to find a wife. He manages to find a Scottish wife, Margaret McKenzie. Her father doesn’t realize Harry and his family have been banished and encourages the marriage - and Harry and Margaret leave for Jamaica with a large dowry. Margaret’s brother comes to visit, finds that Margaret has been abused, and thrashes Harry and tells him he will be cut off when he becomes Chief. The son, Brixton, is harvesting coffee with the slaves because they need every hand they can get since it’s the last day they can harvest before an impending storm. His father summons him, and Brixton almost attacks him when he tells him he may sell Mt. Sion. Mt. Sion was promised to Brixton, and he has plans for it. Sabine watches them from atop a hill on horseback, then goes back to Friendship. Sabine’s mother Anne and Richard decide they need to get the runaway slaves hidden at Friendship off the property. Flashback: Harry raids the slave quarters after a dinner party where he rapes anyone he wants to. This time he gets so drunk, he’s sick for weeks, but nearly kills a young teen girl who’s the granddaughter of Nana, the caretaker of the house. Richard stitches up the wounds between a young girl’s legs. They discuss how Jamaica has more runaway slaves than all the other islands combined. Luckily, they know of the cave system under Mt. Sion that delivers people to safety. Flashback: Margaret is beaten mercilessly, as is her slave Cotton, by Harry during sex. Anne gives Margaret a necklace to wear that is magic and will keep him away. When he tries to enter Margaret’s room, he can’t. Instead, he takes it out on Cotton. Cotton has a baby boy - no one even knew she was pregnant. She kisses her son goodbye and dies. Then, Margaret’s water breaks and her son is born as well. She names him Brixton, and names Cotton’s son Dexter.

    Brixton is sad to hear of Lyndon’s death and fondly recalls the conversations he had with his mentor, as opposed to the teachings of his father Harry. Dexter and Brixton waylay the messenger who’s carrying Harry’s secret document petitioning the king to give him Friendship. They go to the house of Enos Knowles. He is the only King’s council on the entire island of Jamaica, appointed by King George to his majesty’s council. Enos’ position as a legal scholar is recognized not only by the English court but also by the Privy Council. He takes an instant liking to Dexter. They greet Margaret’s brothers, Declan and Liam, who have just come over from Scotland. Harry shows up at Lyndon’s funeral, proclaims his ownership of Friendship since there is no will, and is thrown out by Richard - after being told that Richard has now married Anne, and there is indeed a will that leaves it for Richard to adminster. Sabine believes that Brixton is behind Harry’s machinations to deprive her of her inheritance. She follows him to his secret cave where he swims naked. When he sees her, they argue, then clear up their lifelong misunderstanding and they almost make love but he rejects her at the last minute. He’s afraid he would make her unhappy since he has to return to England as a Duke in the House of Lords and fight against slavery. She’s upset - she does not know why Brixon rejects her and assumes it is because he thinks her color makes her less than him - and runs off. At dinner, it’s announced that Dexter, not Brixton, will be Duke and enter the House of Lords. Brixton is relieved and begs Sabine to marry and accepts him and wants to do it that night. They rally their friends and family and are married that night, spending the night in the cave at Mt. Sion. Dexter and Brixton leave to find the people who grow the coffee beans, so they can build Bellevue Estate, which now belongs to Dexter, and, with Liam’s backing, they need to make enough money to finance freeing their slaves. They meet Queen Nandi, who is the head of the ferocious Maroons, who return slaves to their masters. She and Dexter have a conversation about this and she pledges to help his cause for the abolition of slavery.

    Brixton, Sabine, Dexter and Declan sail to London where Dexter will begin his new life as a Duke in the House of Lords. They arrive at their mansion and meet Sabine's cousin, Lady Collins, who has their schedule planned. They will attend parties, throw parties, and then make their presentation to Parliament. She and Lilliana know everyone’s names and introduce them to their new friends and enemies. They are treated as the lords and ladies they are, although they aren’t totally comfortable in their new roles. Dexter meets a Spanish princess, courts her and, with the blessing of King George, marries her. Dexter makes his abolitionist speech to Parliament and people are moved to tears. Even his enemies congratulate him. Brixton, Dexter, Princess Lilly, and Sabine host Lord Cavendish at their mansion. He’s the most resolute anti-abolitionist, but they are able to change his mind with their impassioned words on the abolishment of slavery and on implementing the new system. The King abolishes slavery in Britain and all the colonies. Sabine is given her property, she is appointed Governor General, and Enos Knowles becomes Chief Magistrate for the Caribbean. This leads to colonial rights and autonomy. Dexter is to speak for the king in all matters regarding abolition. They all receive an invitation to court.

    Brixton and Sabine sail back to Jamaica in the King’s own ship. They tell their families about everything that transpired. They build their house on Mt. Sion and start their coffee business with the Maroons. Sabine moves the capital of Jamaica from Spanish Town to Kingston. Dexter brings Lilly to meet his family and his country, and gifts one of the estates to Brixton. Sabine is pregnant, and promises to have her mother work her magic for Lilly, so that she may get pregnant as well.

    “There will always be a Dunbarton in Jamaica, Dex. Whether living in the Greathouse at Mount Sion or in a simple cottage at Treasure Beach. A Dunbarton will always call Jamaica home with roots buried so deep in the island soil that it will bind us to her shores forever,” Brixton said, looking out at the Caribbean Sea. The bright Jamaican sun kissed its surface, making it sparkle and shimmer before him.

    In fulfilling a destiny born of hate and degradation but nurtured by love, loyalty, and dedication, two young men changed the course of history. Their devotion to each other and the island that bore them prevented future generations of Jamaicans from suffering under the stunted economic growth of oppressive taxation resulting from the brutal response to rebellions that shook the foundations of a society in its infancy. There was no destruction of the Jamaican psyche to create deep resentment between the races, ignoring their shared heritage and culture, unable to work together to create a society of equals. British subjects did not lose their West Indian relatives. The British King formed a Commonwealth of Nations, rooted in brotherhood. Much admired for this ‘symbol of their free association,’ the member nations willingly accepted the king as their monarch. All because two men, endowed with love strong enough to move the heart of a king, made him recognize the benefit of representation, the promotion of democracy, and the individual pursuit of equality with opposition to racism.

    Two brothers stood together against deprivation, and promoted the creation of a culture based on friendship, loyalty, along with the shared desire for freedom and peace.

    About The Author

    Lynda Edwards was born in Mandeville, Jamaica in 1967, the beginning of a turbulent time in Jamaica's history. The island had just gained independence from Britain, with the colonial class and color divisions still firmly in place. Lynda now lives in Orlando with her husband of twenty-four years...who still says she is his most expensive souvenir.