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Archive for August 31st, 2009

Oh my ladies,

I was so grateful to read both our Mrs. Tilney and Elliot’s letters, because I too have been feeling a bit like Atlas: that the world has been conspiring to crush me!  And the care and keeping of a husband has surely contributed!

My dear Mrs. Elliot, I know all too well the feeling of isolation you speak of.  I only wish I had known how keenly you must have been feeling it recently!  I dined with Miss Wollstonecraft some weeks ago and we both commiserated over your relocation to the North, but reasoned that you must be both busy and happy since we heard so little from you and trusted that soon you would reemerge into Society your cheerful self.  Please be assured that you have been in no wise ‘driven from our minds’ as you say, quite the opposite.  So many ladies of our set have of late been married, gone into gentle employment, or are abroad or in the country for the summer that I venture to say Town is feeling the loss of society rather sadly…but for myself, I have been so encumbered with setting up our house (to say nothing of the horrid political machinations at my own place of employment) I have hardly gone out at all this summer.  Lord Rivenhall and myself would be all to happy to wait upon at any time you feel convenient, or indeed as Lord R. is himself occupied in business I will invade your charming newly made up west drawing room myself if necessary!  And though our beloved Miss Wollstonecraft is much engaged with her political causes, educational energies, and generally turning the world to rights, I dare say I can drag her from her latest male conquest (you have heard of this, have you not my dear?) or reforming project to accompany.  A little planning is all it will take to resurrect the perfect satisfaction of our friendship, despite the distance!

And as for our dear Mrs. Tilney, good heavens!  The things I could say about my own workplace!  It has been my pleasure to be acquainted with many men of import, prestige, or influence…but truthfully I have never come across so many men puffed up with (entirely misplaced) self-importance as I have here.  Sir Isaac Newton was mistaken I am afraid, the cosmos are held together entirely by the combined gravitational force of egos located in Knight Buildings!  If I hadn’t been raised a lady, I shudder to think of the language I could employ to describe them.  At least you are dealing with beings who cannot be expected to behave other than what they are…children of 50 and 60 years are quite another matter. 

If it’s any consolation, you have managed in the last three months to complete what seems to me to be a Labor of Hercules!  I know few ladies equal to the task!  As you say, once the novelty has worn off I suspect you will be the tour de force that will put the rest of us all to shame.

My own troubles seem much less serious that yours, my friends, but I cannot help but feel them all the same.  Adjustment to marriage, especially for one with such a reputation and taste for independence as I, has been a strange journey.  Some days I worry that I will lose that part of myself that is wholly me, apart from anything else in the universe, if I am not careful.  Integrating one’s life with another is no easy business.  Make no mistake!  Lord Rivenhall is peerless (in my eyes, of course, you ladies are welcome to agree and I shan’t grudge you your own matrimonial preferences!) but I have not yet grown accustomed to sharing myself, my mind, actions, fortune, and indeed happiness with another person.  But even I will admit that my happiness has increased tenfold, it is still a novelty. 

Unfortuneately, Rivenhall has had to bear the brunt of my impotent rage since I am unable to direct it towards the objects of my frustration (the lords and gentlement who govern my place of work).  The sheer amount of idiocy I have had to shovel in the past two weeks would make you grind your teeth on my behalf, dear friends! 

Writing to you always makes me feel cleansed!  Adieu, my dears.  RSVP.

Lovingly yours,
Lady Rivenhall

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