Have you ever, as you read Jane Austen’s letters to her sister Cassandra, wished that we also had the other side of the correspondence, the letters she received by way of return? I know I often do so, and none so strongly as when I read ‘today’s letter (which is actually yesterday’s) from 1st September 1796 — when I read lines like the post quotation above. A letter full of family news – I could have chosen any number of lines to quote – still that one is the one that ignites my curiosity.
Also posted today is a letter from 2nd September 1814, written to Martha Lloyd as that lady visited with friends in Bath. Jane Austen, writing from Henry’s house in London, is full of news of the latest fashions, artwork and descriptions of her brother’s new house —