Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Responce From Mrs. Elton

Miss Elizabeth Bennet is hosting a lovely Period Drama Advice Event at her blog Elegance of Fashion. She has posted some lovely tips about writing as Period Drama characters and this week posted the first challenge letter for which advice letters can be written. 

All week I've been trying to find time and inspiration to write a response letter. Here is my "silly sad" attempt at a response. It's not terribly interesting but if there are characters I know very well it is Jane Austen characters! :)

Here is Miss Elizabeth's letter from Jane Eyre asking for advice:

"Dear Period Drama Advice Column,
I am the governess at Thornfield Hall, the home of Mr. Rochester. When I first met him, he seemed to be very harsh, eccentric, and unconventional, but I now find myself falling in love with him. He has been the only person who I could talk to as an equal. I had not intended to love him: I tried to fight it. He made me love him without looking at me, but he is to be shortly married to a Miss Ingram, a beautiful but subconscious person. I cannot help but love him. I've said that my pupil, Adele, should go to school and that I should seek a new situation, but I cannot bear to leave Thornfield: I have not been trampled on there; I have not been petrified; I have not been buried with inferior minds, and excluded from every glimpse of communion with what is bright and energetic and high. What shall I do?
Jane Eyre"

And now for my response to Jane Eyre's letter from a character we all know and loathe. :)

 My dear Miss Eyre, 
You silly sad girl! I feel sorry for you but the truth must be told: gentlemen such as Rochester do not marry their governess even though I dare say he teased you a great deal. If Rochester is to marry then you must be on the look-out for a new situation - and quickly for here is April come and soon it will be June! My dear you cannot begin too early! Are you very aware of the difficulties in procuring a desirable situation? I assure you that the best places soon have hundreds of applicants for the spot. Why a cousin of my brother-in-law at Maple Grove, a Mrs. Bragge, once had as many as thirty applicants for the post of governess, but then there are wax candles in the school-room so you can imagine how desirable it is! 
  I know what a modest creature you are, and what humble ideas you have of yourself, but I am not so nice. I shall personally be on the look-out for a situation such as your superior talents deserve. Do you play? I used to play but have quite given up music, as so many of my married friends have. When one is married there really is little time for music! I had thought of forming a musical club but the ladies of Highbury seem hardly equal to it. 
  Now my dear Jane, I will begin to make inquiries for you directly. I shall write to Mrs. Partridge and give her strict instructions to be on the look-out for anything eligible. She moves in the first circles and will know of the best situations in Bristol or Bath. I shall also make inquiries with dear Mrs. Weston for I feel certain that she will very soon be in need of a governess at Randalls for dear little Anna. Randalls is a fine house, though not at all in the style of Maple Grove - but such a superior style is rarely met with. The Westons are very genteel people which surprised me at first for Mrs. Weston was herself governess to Miss Woodhouse - the present Mrs. Knightley I should say. Mr. Weston is a great friend of Mr. E. and I must do my caro sposo the justice to say that he need not be ashamed of his friends. Dear Mr. E. is much respected here as the shepherd of his flock, which phrase always puts me in a mind to carry pink ribbons on my basket! 
  My dear the last part of your letter quite surprises me! All this talk of being "trampled on" and being "petrified" sounds like you mean to make a fling at the slave trade and if that be the case I must tell you that Mr. Suckling was always rather a friend to the abolition! You must take care of yourself! Aye, never fear, before I rest you must and shall be delightfully, honourably and comfortably settled. A line from me to any number of my friends will settle it all.
  I will write again when I have any news but now I needs-must attend to some matters and will probably be closeted up with my housekeeper for the better part of the afternoon. My dress for the ball next week is also in need of new trimming - though I have quite a horror of finery - but I am to lead the way at the ball. I must say I am quite ashamed of always leading the way!

Your's etc., 
Mrs. Augusta Elton
Vicarage, Highbury, Surrey

Here are some photos that were of great inspiration to me!


Thank you Miss Elizabeth for putting together this event! It was fun writing this letter but I hope next round to have a bit more time on my hands.

Thoughts on Mrs. Elton's letter? 
Too many quotes and ideas from the book?


Alexandra said...

How fun! :-)

I do find it funny that Christina Cole (Mrs. Elton in Emma 2009) plays Blanche Ingram in Jane Eyre 2006. I find humor in odd things like that. :-P

Anyway, great letter! Enjoyed it immensely!

Miss Elizabeth Bennet said...

Thanks for the entry! I didn't think you had too many quotes from the book. I never would have thought about Mrs. Elton using "trampled on" and "petrified" in relation to the slave trade: it worked very well!

Ella said...

Ha ha!
That sounds perfectly like Mrs.Elton.

Anonymous said...

That was so funny! =) Well done.

Charity U said...


Miss Dashwood said...

What *I* find really funny is that Mrs. Elton seems to take delight in advising Janes. :P
This was so well-written, Miss Laurie! I could hear her voice in my head as I read it, and all the little quotes and references had me giggling!

Miss Laurie of Old-Fashioned Charm said...

Thank you for your kind comments everyone!

That's funny about Christina Cole, I didn't remember that. :)

Miss Dashwood,
Yes the "Jane" connection was really what inspired this letter. At first I thought about answering as Jane Fairfax but Mrs. Elton was easier and a lot more fun! :)

Jemimah said...

Christina Cole playing Mrs. Elton = awesomeness
I just LOVE Mrs. Elton with her 'caro sposo' , Mr E and so forth, she truly is a character.
I love the photo in the right column 3 down, of the E's together, they are SO funny.
Quote the famous Mr. Churchill: "Happy couple. How well they suit each other."

Mimi Foxmorton said...

Such a perfect, perfect capture!

Collage Pirate

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