Here is another wonderful example of young Jane Austen’s writing, of her natural genius for the surreal, where her earnest letter writer’ Elizabeth Johnson’, reveals her mother’s proclivities for a ‘fast’ moving ‘poney’ and the difficulties this poses for achieving any artistic ‘resemblances’– not to mention the ensuing ‘fine perspiration’!
Maybe mother was endeavoring to escape her maternal duties.Maybe mother had a secret desire for the turf. Maybe mother was a covert highway man! At any rate the ‘blue sattin slippers’ were a truly generous gift…
…and what a beautifully arch use of the word ‘contiguous’ by the way!
I have been so long on the ramble that I have not till now had it in my power to thank you for your Letter–. We left our dear home on last Monday month; and proceeded on our tour through Wales, which is a principality contiguous to England and gives the title to the Prince of Wales. We travelled on horseback by preference. My Mother rode upon our little poney and Fanny and I walked by her side or rather ran, for my Mother is so fond of riding fast that she galloped all the way. You may be sure that we were in a fine perspiration when we came to our place of resting. Fanny has taken a great many Drawings of the Country, which are very beautiful, tho’ perhaps not such exact resemblances as might be wished, from their being taken as she ran along. It would astonish you to see all the Shoes we wore out in our Tour. We determined to take a good Stock with us and therefore each took a pair of our own besides those we set off in. However we were obliged to have them both capped and heelpeiced at Carmarthen, and at last when they were quite gone, Mama was so kind as to lend us a pair of blue Sattin Slippers, of which we each took one and hopped home from Hereford delightfully—
I am your ever affectionate
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