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1807, and all its joys

I wish it were 1807.

Think about it, I could compose a circular letter to all my relatives (rather in the manner of Flora Poste from Cold Comfort Farm, only a hundred-twenty years earlier and less poor), asking for brief asylum. I imagine my relatives would be spread all over the English countryside, with perhaps a few exotic Welsh or Scottish cousins.

My Dear [insert name of relative/s] here,
As Mama has mentioned in her letters, I have recently been very unwell. You will be pleased to hear that the danger has passed and that Doctor Hodges informs us I am likely to make a full recovery.
However, the noise and bustle of London is proving extremely damaging to my constitution. I hope it is not presumptuous to ask a few months respite with you at [insert name of wealthy estate here]. Father will pay my upkeep of course, and I am largely self-sufficient, so I will be little trouble to you.
I would be very grateful if I were invited to stay even for a few weeks of my convalescence. I am sure that the [country/sea/mountain] air will do me the world of good. It has been so long since we've seen each other, and this will be an excellent opportunity for me to see my little cousins [insert names of young relatives here] again. How they must have grown since last [insert time frame here]!
I do hope that [insert name of relative here] is doing well at [Oxford/Cambridge]. We read his latest letter with great interest.
Yours, etc.

A little presumptuous perhaps, but I'm sure I'm very popular in my 1807 extended family and that they will forgive any breach of etiquette, so relieved are they that I am recovering from this terrible illness that has had Mama so worried.

I expect I would get nice letters back (although perhaps I would only send one at a time, until I got a yes from someone). As I said to rigel_7, when I first had this Georgian fantasy, the letters would read something like this:

Dearest Kathryn,
Father and myself were so relieved to recieve your letter dated the seventeenth. It seems an age since your mother first mentioned to me that you were ill. While I am sure that being in town has the advantage of the best physicians, it does not suprise me that you are finding it unpleasant. You are very welcome to stay with us at Moorings Manor as long as you wish. It has been so long since we last saw you. Elizabeth has not seen you since the wedding, and I am sure you will enjoy meeting the baby. He is such a lively child. I know that the air in Somerset will do you much good, if you feel you are up to the journey. Edward is coming back from Cambridge next month, and I'm sure he would very much like to see you. He will be coming back through town. Perhaps he could escort you to Moorings.
I do look forward to hearing from you again, and hope we can arrange to see you here in Somerset. Do give my regards to your mother and father, and write as soon as possible to say you will come, so I can write to Edward with the arrangements.
Yours, etc.
Daphne Ogilvy-Moncrieff.

I daresay my cousin Daphne's son Edward is quite a dishy fellow. And he's been to Cambridge, so he's got a jolly good education under his belt. I shall go to Somerset, where there is seaside air to be had, and go for long walks in the hills. Might even have a holiday fling with Edward.

Of course, it being 1807, they haven't got any idea whatsoever how to treat cancer in the first place, so I'm probably better off where I am. It was a nice idea, though. Distracts me from the practicalities of actually choosing a destination for respite once my surgery is over. Stupid decisions. Stupid practicalities.

1807, cousin Daphne and dishy Edward would have been fun.

EDIT: Perhaps Edward is cousin Daphne's STEPSON. Try and stop me NOW, Cat!!! You haven't got a leg to stand on.


( 12 comments! — Make Remark! )
Jul. 1st, 2006 03:51 am (UTC)
...How close a relation to Edward are you? :P

I do like the idea of a country holiday, although I'm intrigued to know how they know you're sick in the first place. If you had brain cancer and were throwing up and suffering extreme headaches all the time, sure, they might realise something was wrong, but I doubt in 1807 they look at your neck and go 'Aha! Cancer!'

However, should you be too close a relation to Edward to have the fling, I'm more than willing to tag along and do it for you :P

Jul. 1st, 2006 03:55 am (UTC)
Edward is my second cousin. Given that it's 1807, I can have a fling with my first cousin if I want. So get your grubby hands off Edward! I saw him first!

As to them being able to diagnose me as sick, I daresay the cancer has spread by the time they identify that I'm sick in 1807. But, like I said, they probably won't be able to identify or remove it. But then, we've already seen that my immune system can just fight a tumour if it wants (go team!). So maybe I'm a very lucky 1807 woman.

Perhaps the thought of dishy Edward has kept me going.
Jul. 1st, 2006 03:58 am (UTC)
So it's been going on longer in 1807 than it has now, interesting to know :P I wonder if they think you're insane since they don't know what's wrong with you :P

...You sat there in hospital thinking of your cousin which kept you alive? Oh the incest... :P
Jul. 1st, 2006 04:03 am (UTC)

Ah, but perhaps if we go back exactly 200 years, I'd be as sick as I am now, ie: not very. That would put us a year further along come 1807.
Jul. 1st, 2006 04:09 am (UTC)
Yeah, but you're probably more closely related to him than you think, what with all your ancestors doing the same thing :P
Jul. 1st, 2006 04:10 am (UTC)
You just want dishy Edward for yourself. I'm onto you!
Jul. 1st, 2006 10:19 am (UTC)
You know, aren't you a bit of an old spinster in 1807 now? What are you, 20? *gasp* Not married!

I should be getting dishy Edward while you hang around with your 3 young children and serve your not-as-dishy-as-Ed husband :P
Jul. 1st, 2006 06:33 am (UTC)
Those letters are so cute :)
Anyway, if Edward is your second cousin/step-cousin, couldn't he also have an equally dishy older/younger brother? Then there could be a boy for each of you :)
Jul. 1st, 2006 06:48 am (UTC)
He mightn't even bring a friend home from Cambridge.

I daresay the friend isn't as dishy as Edward, but I imagine he's a very nice fellow, all the same.
Jul. 1st, 2006 12:15 pm (UTC)
Stepson? In 1807? How many people have stepsons do you suppose in 1807?

Get back to your kids, you housewife you :P
Jul. 1st, 2006 01:13 pm (UTC)
Lots of people have stepsons in 1807. Women died in childbirth a lot, and if that happened, her husband had to remarry post haste so the remaining young children would have a mother figure.

So, Edward is still mine. Hands off.
Jul. 1st, 2006 01:28 pm (UTC)

not a fan of the whole mortality rate in 1807. Could just be me though ;)

and you can keep Edward ;)
( 12 comments! — Make Remark! )

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