Date of this Version
The George Eliot Review 18 (1987)
ROSEMARY MARTIN was our Guest of Honour. She had been invited because of her very sympathetic portrayal of Dolly Winthrop in the BBC Television film of 'Silas Marner' - a much loved character with a special place in George Eliot's novel.
After she had placed the Fellowship chaplet of laurel and white carnations on the Memorial Stone which had been unveiled exactly six years earlier by Gordon S. Haight, Miss Martin admitted that, prior to the invitation to play Dolly Winthrop in the film, she had read no George Eliot. She was interested in the part and then read 'Silas Marner', first the novel and then the BBC script.
It is her usual practice to wait untiI she begins to rehearse before starting to form the character she is to play, and this is often affected by the person she is playing her principal scenes with - in this case, Ben Kingsley, whose work she greatly admires. However, as soon as she began to rehearse, she discovered that the character of Dolly had, much to her surprise, already got under her skin. Miss Martin admits she is not normally a patient person, but suddenly found herself imbued with an unusual patience in relation to what she was doing and to the other actors. She found herself 'protecting' Ben Kingsley in the same way that Dolly protected SiIas.