Friday, September 7, 2012

My Dear Miss Elliot

Langford Hall
Whitley, Wiltshire
May 18, 1815

Miss Anne Elliot
Camden Place, Bath

My Dearest Miss Elliot,

Oh Anne, please know that I will be arriving in Bath shortly after you receive this missive.  Upon reading your most informative letter, I put an order in for my carriage to be ready for an immediate departure for Bath.  There is nothing that could keep me from your side at a time like this.  You must be in quite a state!  If I were in your position, I know that my mind and my heart would be all at wrong ends of one another and I would not know which way is up.

I see, from your missive, that your parent and sibling have not changed as much as their scenery has.  One would suspect that having to retrench would put one in mind of greater economies, but it seems that is not the case, and I do feel sorry that you have to witness this avarice behaviour in one’s own family.  To go on about Lady Dalrymple and her daughter, that must have been a sight to see as when one’s own parental figure get in a dither about a cousin, simply because she has a title.  From what I remember of your father, I could see the potential for him to ‘froth at the mouth’ as you say when he was speaking of the local nobility.  I am sure you have already thought of his elevating himself (and hopefully his daughters) in society simply by association.

I understand that you had a great disappointment when visiting Uppercross and your sister, Mary Musgrove.  I know how difficult it is to be faced with one’s past, especially when there are younger and less-reserved females on the scene.  It was unkind of Mary to put you in that position, to be so near the man you had wanted to marry.  Did Mary not know of your connection with the infamous Captain Wentworth those many years ago?  To put you, my Dear, in such a position was without feeling and rude, indeed.  Though, I know you, Anne, and I wish that I were there so you need not have suffered in silence.  Why did you not write to me sooner?  You know that I would have been by your side in an instant, had you but asked.

However, it seems as if things took an interesting turn.  This Captain Benwick sounds like an interesting young man.  It is not often you find one that can quote the various poets of our times so well.  Though, the melancholy could have been too much to bear if was any bit worse than what you had alluded to.  If he had served with Captain Wentworth, then he too must have an enviable position in which a small manor in the countryside, or even near the sea would not be out of the question.  Miss Louisa Musgrove, I am sorry to say, precipitated her own injury by being so very uncautious as well as displaying behaviour unbecoming to a young lady of her age and station.

I am saddened to hear that she did not fare well from her fall.  I do hope that she does recover in a timely manner.  I always knew that you had a cool manner about you, Dear Anne.  If not for you and your quick mind, Miss Louisa may not be recovering at all.  How you must have suffered on that journey through the countryside with that blathering captain who could not stop blaming himself for the incident.  How were you to bear hearing your past love go over the situation for those many hours in one ear, and your sister’s histrionics in the other?

Then to be well received in Bath, especially with a young gentleman of fortune who not only happens to be connected to your family, but seems to have intentions to be even further connected to your family through your hand.  From your own account, Mr. Elliot seems to be all genteel and not unpleasant to watch move about a room.  Has he walked by your side whilst you partake in the mineral waters of the Pump Room?  Did he ask for a prime spot on your dance card when you attended the Assembly Room?  I must know more about this young man that had you speaking so profusely of his intelligence and good manners.  I know that he must be of good sense to have singled you out above your elder sister, Elizabeth.

You have such an even temper, a pleasant manner, and a sweet look about you.  Please do not go on any longer about your age and position.  You will most assuredly not spend your years simply as an aged maid who attends your sister Mary’s children.  Does not having two men paying homage to you through poetry or sweet words on the dance floor prove that?  Please know that I am rushing as quickly as possible behind this note to be by your side to see how the rest of the story unfolds.  My Dearest Anne, rest assured that your dear friend is on her way to walk with you through the streets of Bath to distract you from all that troubles you.  I have a mind to walk along the Royal Crescent and take tea with you at the Assembly rooms so that I can learn all of the details of these past months that you were not able to put in your too short note that was recently sent to me.  Have no fear, my Dear Anne, I will be there in a trice to help you choose which gentleman is worthy of my dearest friend.

I am always at your service,
Katherine Maxwell

Thank you for reading my letter to my favorite Jane Austen character, Anne Elliot of Persuasion.  

It was wonderful to be asked by Meredith of  Austenesque Reviews to partake in her Austen Extravaganza.    Gentle Reader, you might also like this post I did on Persuasion, which includes "The Letter" from Captain Wentworth.  Please let me know which Austen character you would write a letter to if you could.

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