Dorothy Osborne, the daughter of a staunch Royalist, met William Temple, whose father favoured Oliver Cromwell, towards the end of the English Civil War. Despite strong opposition from both families, the couple embarked on a seven-year courtship, mostly through letters – many now found in the British Library. When they eventually married, William went on to achieve a place in history as a diplomat and gifted essayist. But along with worldly success there was private tragedy.
Told from two female perspectives, `Trust’ explores the complicated relationships within the Temple household. Despite being a diplomat of integrity and honour, Temple was a man of his times. There were rumours that he was the father of Esther Johnson, his housekeeper’s daughter (and Jonathan Swift’s `Stella’).
The marriage of Dorothy Osborne and William Temple has gone down through history as a celebrated love story. Rita Dallas’s research suggests there may have been darker aspects.
In a blend of fact and fiction, `Trust’ poses the question: “What if?”