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Jane Austen’s Summer Newsletter, 4 June 1798

Posted in Uncategorized by cesco7 on June 9, 2011

O, Dearest Friends, Confidents, Kindred Spirits and Compeers:

What dreadful hot weather has been upon us, forever keeping us in a state of inelegance and gracious indignation. With the house staff still tending to whatever their kind do at our principal house–and the Lady Heathcote’s gloriously diverting daily tea dances regrettably deferred due to a most unfavourable outbreak of rickets, consumption and Spaniards–we have had to make our own merriment at the country estate with all manners of rebuses, whist and impeccably delivered character slights (alas, I would be most remiss if I did not take this moment to extend my condolences on the passing of the Bertramsworths’ youngest child, Abigalia, due to that most fearful of childhood horrors, spine rot).

Of course, we have had our opportunities to dispel the summer malaise. The pleasingly handsome Mr. Tom LeFroy invited us to his father’s “Pheasant and Vole Brawl,” but his unrefined disposition made me wish he would profit from further social edification or at the very least a sound thrashing, as such has often proved a strong tonic for the four humours. And the less said about Mr. and Mrs. Fowles’ “Mojito Mixer” the better (also, let me express how grievous it was for these ears to hear of the unscheduled passing of the Bertramsworths’ other youngest child, Timothford, due to that most common yet egregious of prepubescent afflictions, lupine attack).

So to pass the time we have conscripted our very selves to the duty of throwing a fete of such exuberance and conviviality forthwith hereto this coming week’s end. There shall be pointed yet diverting disquisitions of the predicament of unmarried decorous English women in these times. There shall be inumerable opportunities to demonstrate the purity of our secular spirituality. There shall be penetrating explorations of the uncertainty that forever rules our moral situation. And there shall be the revelation of a great love, presented with detached irony, hardy realism and pleasing results for who object to both wild abandon and great caculation (and please permit me to use this closing moments to utter my most deepest and refined regret on the passing of the Bertramsworths’ third youngest child, Hertfunshire–“Hertie”–due to that most displeasing of juvenescence ailments, being ensnared in a carriage axle for the duration of a three-day journey).

Toodles,
Jane

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  1. firedmyass said, on June 14, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    Spaniards marred my tea dance.


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