Home » blog » Classic Romantic Moment of the Week: The Inheritance’s Edith and James Percy

Classic Romantic Moment of the Week: The Inheritance’s Edith and James Percy


Edith and James
Edith and James

The Movie: The Inheritance

The Pairing: Edith Adelon (Cari Shayne) and James Percy (Thomas Gibson)

The Moment: Edith asks James to stay.

Old-fashioned romance will never grow tiresome. No matter how many times I see it conveyed on screen or vividly told in a book, everything about it is what real romance is about. Not every romantic scene has to involve a kiss. Sometimes a touch, a glance or a word is enough. As I sat down to recently re-watch The Inheritance, I sincerely forgot how well this film answers to that sort of romance.

The Inheritance Screencap31 The Inheritance Screncap29

Edith and James

Based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott, the story follows the Hamilton family and their ward, Edith Adelon. Edith is a companion to their daughter, Amy, and quite inexperienced in society. That all changes when the Hamilton’s guest, James Percy arrives. From their first meeting to dancing lessons, a quiet spark ignites between the pair. James admires Edith’s quiet grace, her passion for enjoying everything life has to offer and living it to the fullest, as she bends a few of society’s rigid rules. Edith sees in James a gentleman who is a romantic (he doesn’t love easily, but when he does, it’s deep) and honorable man. For a little while, Edith allows herself the luxury of believing she could be a part of James world until she experiences the price of being a part of his world means. This inspires her to push him away and following unexpected events that change so much, Edith’s choice to risk her heart.


The Romantic Moment

Following an unpleasant situation only moments before, Edith leaves to collect herself, feeling confused after being accused of something she didn’t do. She’s torn between keeping a confidence and knowing a secret that would change everything in the Hamilton household. Having been witness to her shame, James follows behind her. He finds her standing, gazing out the window (the staging of this scene is as beautiful as the scene that follows). Having fallen in love with her, he tells her he needs no explanation for the accusations laid at her door – he knows she wouldn’t betray the Hamiltons. Instead, he pleads with her with his heart. “Edith, let me take you away from here. I could make you safe and… if you let me, I might even make you happy again.”

The Inheritance Screencap1 The Inheritance Screencap4

Turning around, Edith retains her defense mechanisms, holding back tears. “You’re being a true friend…” she continues, “This isn’t a kindness I deserve.”

The Inheritance Screencap5

“This isn’t the kindness of a friend you hear…” As Edith turns away from him, he follows, forcing her to face him again as he grasps her hands. Softly James proceeds with the confession he’s kept quiet. “I’m trying to tell you I’m in love with you.”

The Inheritance Screencap6 The Inheritance Screencap9

Wonderment crosses Edith’s face, yet she persists in insisting on dealing with her turmoil privately as she tells him there is nothing she could give him. He doesn’t see it that way. Continuing, he asks for only one thing. “Only your heart. Which is more than I could ever hope for.” He pleads with her, “Edith… come away with me.”

With a bittersweet resolution, she replies, “Had you said these words even an hour ago, I could’ve told you I’ve loved you from the moment I saw you. But you can’t take me away from the shame that goes with me now.” She’s certain what she feels will follow her wherever she goes. She refutes any final pleas he wishes to make, leaving him standing alone as she leaves. Ever the gentleman, he stays behind and watches her walk away.

The Inheritance Screencap5

Following this conversation, the Hamiltons discover the secret Edith had been carefully guarding. It’s this secret that changes the truth of the Hamilton household and gives Edith the thing she wants most: the forgiveness and loving acceptance of those she loved most.

The Inheritance Screencap12 The Inheritance Screencap13

The next scene shows Edith standing at the window, watching as James gives final instructions to the driver of his carriage. He’s preparing to leave.

The Inheritance Screencap15 The Inheritance Screencap16 The Inheritance Screencap18

Watching this from above, Edith’s face speaks of regret. Is this really what she wants? Picking up her skirts, she allows herself freedom (for the first time) to pursue what she wishes for, down the winding staircase she runs and out the front door.

Hearing someone coming up behind him, James turns as Edith comes to a halt, standing in front of him. The music slows and the two speak no words. Edith looks about to speak, and instead, hesitantly she reaches her hand up to caress his cheek. Gentle and quiet as her gesture is, it leaves no room for doubt: she is telling James she wants him to stay… she chooses him.

The Inheritance Screencap21 The Inheritance Screencap22The Inheritance Screencap23

Still no words are exchanged, but with joy, James’ gently takes her fingers in his hand and kisses her fingertips. Ever so slowly, he leans down and gently, kisses Edith, sealing their love and what is, the start of a happy future.

The Inheritance Screencap25

Have you seen The Inheritance? What is your favorite scene between Edith and James? Comment down below with your thoughts!

Photos: CBS

Silver Petticoat Review Logo Our romance-themed entertainment site is on a mission to help you find the best period dramas, romance movies, TV shows, and books. Other topics include Jane Austen, Classic Hollywood, TV Couples, Fairy Tales, Romantic Living, Romanticism, and more. We’re damsels not in distress fighting for the all-new optimistic Romantic Revolution. Join us and subscribe. For more information, see our About, Old-Fashioned Romance 101, Modern Romanticism 101, and Romantic Living 101.
Pin this article to read later! And make sure to follow us on Pinterest.


By on September 26th, 2015

About Rissi JC

Rissi is a self-diagnosed Bookaholic and TV fandom addict. She’s currently an avid blogger and reader who enjoys interacting with readers, and often dreams about finishing her first novel. When not writing or reading, she can be found working as an INSPYs advisory board member or contributing to e-zines. Her scribbles are housed on her blog Finding Wonderland (https://www.rissiwrites.com).

More posts by this author.

2 thoughts on “Classic Romantic Moment of the Week: The Inheritance’s Edith and James Percy”

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.