Archive for the ‘letters from gentlemen’ Category

Miss Beeton and Miss Wagner were most surprised to receive such a dramatic letter from Sir Walter Really.  They had previously assumed that Sir Walter was leading a life of luxury in some inner-suburban mansion.  They had no idea that he was in such dire circumstances.  This letter further illustrates the supreme comfort that can be found by communicating with others through carefully crafted correspondence.

Dear Miss Ethel May Beeton and Miss Dolores Wagner

First I must thank you both for reacquainting me with the simple art of hand-written correspondence.  The pleasure it has afforded me in recent days has been, at once, effortless and sublime.

A lonely candle dispels a chilly night, and my hands are unsteady from exhaustion.  It is nearing the eighth month, 1618, and the night air has already turned to chill.  Another month and the roads will be nothing but frost and I fear I will not survive a full winter in this place…if I am afforded that opportunity.

But, silly me, I race ahead too fast and you must be nauseous with confusion.  For I think it is the case that I did not convey to you the gravity of my current predicament in previous correspondence.

Suffice it to say that my situation is not good.  Simply put, had I not caused outrage to arise in the Honourable Spanish Ambassador at the culmination of my last voyage, I would, right this minute, be beside a fire place cradling an exotic cognac and coveting the company of my darling wife.  Yes!  That is where I would be and not in this prison cell.

Shall I like a hermit dwell

On a rock or in a cell

Tarry not on the darkness of my disposition.  I have not decided to write to you of my woes.  I write to recount my glory days.  To rejoice and to savour fond memories rekindled at the end of this quill.  To distract myself from the inevitability of my future and to give me something meaningful to do while I enjoy the world’s finest tobacco – smuggled in, my dears, from my private stash by guards easily bribed.

I shall write again before my time is up.

Sincerely Yours

Sir Walter Really


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Responding to the curiosity of her fellow Dead Letter Office employees, Miss Beeton reveals the humble mini- miniature portrait provided to her by Mr Ebenezer Fortescue Lawrie.

Portrait of E Lawrie

Self-portrait of Mr Ebenezer Fortesque Lawrie

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A reply from Frederique to Elizabeth, also recovered from the archives of the Perth library. Unfortunately Elizabeth’s entreaty to Frederique, to ask her to marry him, has been declined. Miss Wagner suggests that the letter does not paint a favourable picture of Frederique’s character  – he comes across as somewhat self serving. And one might question the quality of his declared friendship loyalty to Elizabeth given that he has actually spelled her name wrong. But as always, Miss Wagner will allow the readers to decide for themsleves.

My dear Elisabeth,

I must apologise for my tardiness in replying. If I were but half the gentleman that you are a lady, I would have rushed to reply to your urgent post.  But I have an excellent excuse. I have been involved in a horrific car accident.  Elisabeth – I know you will draw in your breath sharply at this – I narrowly escaped death. Of course, it was the other driver’s fault.

It meant a lot to me that you think I am similar to honeycomb. I definitely prefer a crunchie over a violent crumble, although I’m not sure whether that’s relevant.

Elisabeth, you are a treasured friend, which is why I invariably seek out your wise counsel at times of need. Of which there are many.  I had thought you might appreciate the Freudian analysis of my relationship with my mother.  Had I known that it would bore you, I would never have raised it.

Please consider this a grateful and dignified rejection of your generous offer for me to ask you to marry.

I am not ready. There is no better woman than you (at the moment), but I am simply emotionally unavailable.

I hope we can continue to be friends, to drink coffee by candlelight, and to smell the scent of ambrosia together, but without any romantic undertones.

And of course, I understand if you wish to look for another suitor.

I am ever your loyal (but platonic) friend,

Frederique Von Trapp.

PS. I cannot help but admire your passion, as I too, am an artistic and passionate person. But please do not do anything rash.  

**Miss Wagner is pleased to announce that she has almost finished her research findings in Perth and will begin the long trip home tonight. Sadly, much of her research was stolen just before she was about to leave. As was her money, a book, some lipstick, a SkyBus ticket, and her cell phone. But as the Honourable Miss Gillard would say – ‘moving forward’!

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