New letters have just been discovered giving evidence of a correspondence between our lovely Miss Lydia and what appears to be a close acquaintance, Miss Lucy. The first must have been sent just at the time two certain gentlemen, a Mr Bingley and his friend Mr Darcy, were visiting Meryton.
My dearest Lydia,
La, it is uncommonly hot today and not at all the sort of weather for this time of year! I am so glad we are arrived at Brighton, for the sea breezes are refreshingly cool. I am writing to you on the scent of a RUMOUR! My mama’s lady’s maid heard from the footman, who heard from the valet of a visiting gentleman, who had stopped by to deliver a letter from Sir William Lucas to my papa, that your eldest sister Jane is practically engaged to a man of great good fortune. They said your mama said so, and that Jane had met him not a fortnight ago!
When last we spoke, we were lamenting the lack of eligible and handsome young men in Meryton. Indeed, your mama was always wondering aloud how she would manage to marry you all off.
How did Jane find anyone so well connected so soon? What is his name? What is he like, and where is he from? My mama begs me to ask you if he came alone or with a friend. And if so, what is HE like?
Do write me as speedily as you can. And, pray, tell me EVERYTHING! We are all agog with excitement.
Your affectionate friend,
My dearest Lucy,
La! I am so diverted to hear from you again but monstrous vexed to hear you are in Brighton where I should like to be. However, for all your unseasonable fine weather and seaside entertainments, I must tell you that I cannot envy you. Meryton was certainly very dull the last time we met but I write to you now with exciting news and gossip.
An entire regiment of soldiers are wintering here - can you believe it? Such dashing officers - such wonderful visions in scarlet! One can hardly step out into the High Street for bumping into a redcoat and they are most obliging!
However, I digress. You are quite right in supposing my mother to have been at her wit's end with regard to finding my sisters a husband, but the arrival of a Mr Bingley to the neighbourhood may soon put mama and Jane out of misery. He is from the North, is very rich and gentleman-like but not really to my taste, so I am very happy to see my sister quite smitten. Mr Bingley has taken Netherfield Park, which my mother thinks will do very nicely indeed - we have not known him a fortnight yet my sister danced four times with him at the Meryton assembly and has dined in company with him at least the same number. But for all this amusement I have to tell you his society is blighted not only by his horrid sisters but by the presence of his vile friend Mr Darcy, the most disagreeable man you ever beheld. Mama says he has ten thousand pounds but it seems to me that his money has not been of any help in making his disposition happy. I have never seen such a sour-faced countenance!
I must dash - Denny and Chamberlayne have just called -
Write again soon with your news,
'Lucy' is perhaps better known as Ms. Place from Jane Austen Today and Jane Austen's World. We've had a lot of fun putting these together. I hope you enjoy them!