Friday, December 16, 2011

A Missive from Margaret

Those who are experts about such things tell us that Jane Austen may have written Elinor and Marianne, the early draft of Sense and Sensibility, as an epistolary novel (one written entirely in letters).  Melody and I have teamed up to recreate some of those letters (alas, no early manuscript survives!).  We shall present to you four epistles, all written by different characters and all taking place over the winter when Elinor and Marianne were in London.  (Dramatic music please.)  I must admit that in this letter I overstepped bounds a little and based Margaret's "voice" on the Margaret of the 1995 movie.  I know, I know, but she's not very interesting in the book. *covers head and ducks* (The picture, however, is from the 2008 movie... just because I like the way it looks.)

Barton Cottage, January

Dear Elinor and Marianne,

I hope you are enjoying your stay in London! I wish I could go.  It simply is n't fair that I have to stay at home.  Mamma says that I may go when I am old enough to be Out, but I do n't want to wait that long.  I want to go now, and I think that if you talk to Mrs. Jennings, Elinor, she will surely let me come and visit with you. I like Mrs. Jennings; she talks about things & we NEVER talk about things.

Edward still does not come to visit.  It's been weeks since he last came, & even then his last visit was so short! It was really of no signiff signef importance.  Has Marianne seen Mr. Willoughby?  Elinor, do tell me when they are to be married.  Will I get a new dress for the wedding?  Did he kneel down? They always kneel down, you know.

I want Mamma to shew me how to play Cassino, so that I can play with all of you when you & Mrs. Jennings return from London, but she says I am not old enough.  I hate being the youngest.  Elinor, do write to Mamma and say I may learn.  I am quite old enough, I'll be twelve soon!

Oh! I just had a thought! Is Edward in London? Do tell him to come and see us, Elinor.  You know he will if you ask him.  I am dying for the chance to play at swords with someone.  I am planning another expedition to China, and he has promised to go as my servant.  He'll be swabbing the decks of course; I couldn't afford to do it myself as I shall be quite busy with my captainly duties.

Hurry back, Elinor and Marianne.  I miss you dreadfully, and I will go on all the walks you like, Marianne, when you return.

Your loving sister,
in great haste &c,
Margaret Dashwood

(Read the other letters in this series here)


Anne-girl said...

Giggerty-Geggerty! Lovely!

Melody said...

"I will go on all the walks you like" - haha!

Mine soon.

Hayden said...

Imagine a huge smile on my face just now :)