We must turn our black pelisses into new, for Velvet is to be very much worn this winter.

The conclusion today of a letter written over the last few days in 1808 from Southampton.   The weather has turned brisk enough to dine in a room with a fire, Martha has come for an extended stay… and of course, some mention must be made at the last about fashion (today’s title quote)

9th October 1808

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I found her …just what you describe, almost another Sister, & could not have supposed that a neice would ever have been so much to me.

Today’s letter is a continuation from the day before (and to be continued again tomorrow) from 1808 — there are family descriptions/impressions to be had, including Jane Austen’s growing attachment (per today’s title quote) to niece Fanny Knight, a young lady “quite after one’s own heart.”

8th October 1808 – continuation from previous day


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Our friends… were alarmed, but not out of their good Sense or Benevolence

We have a letter begun today in 1808 from Castle Square, Southampton that is interesting for its description of a fire that broke out in a shop in the town, and its effects on various people.  The letter is left unfinished at that news, to be completed the following day.

7th October 1808

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Everybody who comes to Southampton finds it either their duty or pleasure to call upon us

A letter from home in Southampton, written over the two-day period of 1-2 October 1808 as the weather is turning colder and damper… yet still there’s visiting to be done, news to report to Cassandra (in Kent) and solitude to be contemplated briefly —

1 Oct 1808

2 Oct 1808 (continuation)

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Walter Scott has no business to write novels, especially good ones.– It is not fair.

I dickered with myself over what letter quotation to use for today’s post-title, from a letter written to Anna Austen Lefroy in 1814.  It is another gem of Jane Austen offering her niece writing criticism/advice, most of the letter in fact taken up with that topic.  And I nearly used, “I wish you would not let him plunge into a “vortex of Dissipation”” — love the commentary on cliches — but that it is so well known a quote.  So instead I chose to go with the intro to Miss Austen’s commentary on some of the other authors of the day…  But do read the whole letter, a pleasure indeed for both writers and readers to enjoy!

28th September 1814

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Henry has probably sent you his own account of his visit in Scotland.

Today’s letter from 1813 is a lengthy one written to brother Francis.  We have so few of Jane Austen’s letters overall (in comparison to those it is believed she wrote) and so few of those are to one of her brothers — that I love them for the slight shift in tone and perspective they offer.

This letter offers many quotable lines, but I could not resist using the simple one I chose, for the coincidence that I have been watching the Outlander series on television the last few weeks, and wishing I could make a return visit to Scotland as a result.  And… lo and behold!… brother Henry and nephew Edward, it seems, have just made the trip themselves, appreciating (in varying degree) the wonders of its natural beauty!

25th September 1813

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I cannot close with a grander circumstance or greater wit.–

Today we have the conclusion to a letter begun the day before from Kent – continuing the family’s goings-on and tidbits of fashion (caps) and social events (a fair) and what-not… and lo and behold! Mrs Driver, being driven to the door as Jane Austen concludes her missive to her sister…

24th September 1813

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I am still a Cat if I see a Mouse.–

Today’s letter from 1813 was written to her sister while Jane Austen was staying at Godmersham.  One item of interest in this letter is a reply to some family occurrence Cassandra must have related, wherein the suggestion of Jane’s feelings towards her sister-in-law which has been present in other letters, is a bit more directly stated here in alluding to Mary Austen’s “professed” regard for Mrs Austen.   Also a few observances of human nature in this one, as when Jane speaks of a cap that Fanny bought but now does not like: “I consider it as a thing of course at her time of life — one of the sweet taxes of Youth to chuse in a hurry & make bad bargains.”  Enjoy —

23rd September 1813

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I should inevitably fall a Sacrifice to the arts of some fat Woman who would make me drunk with Small Beer.

One letter today, from 18th September 1796, and one addendum to a letter to niece Anna which was begun the prior week in 1804.  The post title quote is from the 1796 letter, which contains several quotables — and one more often quoted — but this line always tickled me.

18th September 1796

18th September 1804 (addendum to letter from previous week)

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Still catching up, but today I should become current again…

LOL, no — today’s post title is not a quote from one of Jane Austen’s letters as has been my habit in the past.  I’m sure she would have expressed herself with more wit than that!  But as I remedy my lapse of several days in posting letters in a timely manner, I hope you’ll enjoy these three from 1813 — one on 15th September, and two on the 16th (the first a continuation of the 15th, and the latter a second one on the day written that evening.)  There’s plenty to entertain as the family visits, shops and goes to the theatre in London!

15th September 1813

16th September 1813

16th September 1813 – 2nd letter of the day

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