Finding Damian Lewis in The Love Book: Celian’s Story

Hello all! Damianista welcomes you to a NEW Fan Story Tuesday!

We have found out, thanks to the fantastic stories you have shared with us, that while many “discovered” Damian through his iconic roles like Major Dick Winters in Band of Brothers or Nicholas Brody in Homeland, the others found him through  a news quiz show,  an interview, or his better half. This week’s story comes from Celian who definitely falls in the latter category.

copyright: Celian

Celian was first intrigued by Damian thanks to Allie Esiri’s wonderful The Love Book project, a brilliant collection of classic and contemporary love poems that vary from Shakespeare to E.E. Cummings to Maya Angelou coming together in a book as well as in an app. And she could not have sent her story at a better time since this is a perfect story for Valentine’s Day. Massive thanks go to Celian for sharing her fabulous story with us. Cheers!

Unlike many of the fans who came across Damian through his characters in televisions or films, I first came across Damian through an app call The Love Book. As we know both he and his wife – the Great Helen McCrory – had been involved with reading love poetry from great poets in the app, and my favourite ones on the app happened to be the ones  Damian and Helen read: Helen for Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s sonnet (“How do I love thee?”, she reads in such a loving sound!) and Damian for a poem written by Ben Jonson. You may ask how Damian and Ben Jonson together drew me to them. It was all thanks to the poem which involved my namesake – “To Celia”. Ben Jonson wrote it and Damian read it.

Damian Lewis and Helen McCrory reading poems from The Love Book at Cheltenham Literature Festival, October 2014

To Celia by Ben Jonson

Drink to me only with thine eyes,
And I will pledge with mine;
Or leave a kiss but in the cup,
And I’ll not look for wine.
The thirst that from the soul doth rise
Doth ask a drink divine;
But might I of Jove’s nectar sup,
I would not change for thine.

I sent thee late a rosy wreath,
Not so much honouring thee
As giving it a hope that there
It could not withered be.
But thou thereon didst only breathe,
And sent’st it back to me;
Since when it grows, and smells, I swear,
Not of itself, but thee!

(Note: Celia in my hometown is a rather popular English name due to its easy to remember nature, so I have to add “n” at the end of my name just so people would be able to find me in Facebook in the first place.)
The poem itself was a simple poem of love sure, but I always felt the poem – whenever read by Damian, from the title to the end of the line – was read as if he was addressing it to me, or addressing the poet’s love to me! I got to admit I couldn’t help feeling romantic over the poem, and I would get so ecstatic that I would play it over and over again like a teenage girl!

Damian Lewis reading poetry on Newsnight Review

In a matter of curiosity, I looked up Damian Lewis and had a read of his history, hence coming across with the Damianistas. In an observer’s gaze I read through the stories of fans and people who came across him and his wife, he seemed to me a good man who cares deeply of his family, people who are in need of help in some ways (e.g. Sohana, I doubt I would’ve known the condition if not through Damian) and he seemed always a man of positivity from what I could see.

source: Sohana Research Fund

I also enjoyed deeply of the fact that the Damianistas seemingly adored Helen too, as not many fanbase accommodate the other half of their favourite star very well (just look at Benedict Cumberbatch’s!). Helen is a pretty awesome actress in my opinion, I definitely can say so, having watched her performances as Medea in National Theatre (23rd July 2014).

I feel I still need to earn the right to say I am a fan, because I am still getting round to watch his films or going through the tv series he was involved in, but here I presented my so-called research notes of Mr Lewis.

Author: Damianista

Academic, Traveler, Blogger, Runner, Theatre Lover, Wine Snob, Part-time New Yorker, and Walking Damian Lewis Encyclopedia :D Procrastinated about a fan's diary on Damian Lewis for a while and the rest is history!

6 thoughts on “Finding Damian Lewis in The Love Book: Celian’s Story”

  1. Celia(n) what an unique story! I’m so glad you shared it. His voice is remarkable and yet Bobby does not sound like Henry VIII, does not sound like Brody etc. etc. Always Damian though. I would love to hear you progress through his work. Happy Valentines Day!

    1. Hi Notlinda, thanks for taking time to read! His voice indeed have a kind of flexibility where he can travel from one character to another, even just flipping through his clips in YouTube!

  2. Celian, this is such a wonderful and unique story. I will tweet your story to Allie Esiri who is the creator of The Love Book project. I am sure she will love it, too! She is an amazing lady and hearing some of the most wonderful love poems every written from Damian is very special. I was EXTREMELY lucky to see Damian and Helen read some of those poems together at Cheltenham Literature Festival more than three years ago. It was a real highlight of that year! Looking forward to seeing your progress with Damian’s characters. I wonder what works you have seen so far and what you plan to see next.

    Oh, and I would like to thank you for your observation about our relationship with Helen! I have always found ridiculous that some fans never liked the significant other of an actor/actress they adored. I have never been able to comprehend that. if you really like someone, you want that person to be happy, right? You are right, we absolutely adore Helen. She’s such a brilliant actress (LOVE Polly in Peaky Blinders) and a down to earth woman. So my kind of person that I know we could have been friends in another life.

    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us. Cheers!

    1. Hi Bahar, I already watched Wolf Hall and I have a feeling Henry VIII would be just like him (Well DL is better looking lol) in the tv series. Not sure of Homeland yet because I was never very keen on terrorism theme stuff, I might go for DreamCatcher because I like anything supernatural-related. As for the app, I enjoyed it very much but it seemed quiet down after having Emma Watson reading some poems, I would love to see it active again with more diverse actors reading all kinds of poetry on love!

      I like Helen too – I think one of the arguments the BC’s fan got (from what I read), was that unlike Helen who is an actress of her own right, BC’s Wife according to them seemed to have no accomplished career of her own. Some of the fan gone as far as writing e-mail asking about a particular opera piece of work written by the wife and apparently they claimed that they found out she faked her extent of involvement. It’s all complicated but I guess some fans have a “standard” of who is worthy of the love from someone we care deeply of, theirs are very very strange. Lol

  3. Celia (n) this is a wonderful story, It is indeed the first one that gets to love Damian thru his voice as he always comes across more from his charisma and stunning looks. I have to say I love poetry too, but in English I do prefer to follow the book, or the voice plus the book as some words I am not so familiar with them.
    So far I have heard some recording that Gingersnap and Damianista have shared for the George Orwell, the Land Rover and some of James Bond and I truly love them.
    Those pictures are adorable of Damian and Helen!! (perfect together)

    Welcome to the fandom and hoping to read you more often around the wonderful story comments of this blog!

  4. Great story Celian! Always a treat when new fans find Damian in fresh new ways. I hope you to get to watch his stuff. Even in cases where the story doesn’t sound like it’d be interesting to you, Damian on screen will hold your attention no matter what, guaranteed!

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