Writing 101, Day Five: The Letter.

Today’s prompt (well, yesterday’s I’m overdue!): You discover a letter on a path that affects you deeply. Write about this encounter. And your twist? Be as succinct as possible.

The sun stroked my cheeks as I sank lazily on the deck chair at the Bankside Café, facing Richmond Park. I indulged in this small luxury every Friday, before checking in at the library. As I sipped my cappuccino, a grey weightless bubble caught my attention, rolling along the pavement. The torn page, which had been crumpled furiously into a ball, and discarded carelessly onto the floor, stopped by my surprised feet. I unraveled it and read the highlighted words…

I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever.’ I gasped, trying to shock my lungs back to work, before continuing, ‘I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago.’ My heart was now racing uncontrollably, ‘Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you.’ I wiped away the tear that burst out of my eye, while I read the rest of the message, ‘Call me’, followed by nine numbers firmly engraved over the typewritten words on the back of the page.

End of the 101 Challenge.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_assignment/writing-101-day-five/ Why not have a look at the other entries?

 

The letter quoted in this entry is one of the most famous love letters in English literature. It was written by Captain Wentworth to Anne Elliot in Jane Austen’s last completed novel, Persuasion, written in August 1816, a year before she died, and published posthumously in 1818.

Persuasion has a simple plot, although there are important subplots. Frederick Wentworth is a brave, handsome and wealthy captain, who has returned from maritime victories in the Napoleonic Wars. He is staying with his sister and brother-in-law, who have leased Kellynch Hall, which was estate owned by the family of Anne Elliot, who had broken their engagement eight years earlier. He publicly declares that he is ready to marry a suitable young lady, creating great expectations among the marriageable women of Bath.

Jane Austen, who died the year before Queen Victoria was born, is one of the best-loved authors of romantic fiction involving the landed gentry of the early 19th century. ‘Persuasion’ refers to the pressures employed by society on women regarding love and marriage, and deals with the conflicts they face between free will, duty and responsibility.

I will be writing a fuller review called ‘Rereading Persuasion’, soon, meanwhile here’s the whole letter, which I hope will encourage you to read this wonderful novel.

I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never incon¬stant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone, I think and plan. Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes? I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine. I can hardly write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me. You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice when they would be lost on others. Too good, too excellent crea¬ture! You do us justice, indeed. You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating, in F. W-

About LucciaGray

Writer, blogger, teacher, reader and lover of words wherever they are. Author of The Eyre Hall Trilogy, the breathtaking sequel to Jane Eyre. Luccia lives in sunny Spain, but her heart's in Victorian London.

Posted on June 7, 2014, in Writing101 and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. I had read “Persuasion” almost ten years back and after reading this I think I am going to read it again..thanx 🙂

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  2. That’s a very nice take on the prompt. Persuasion would be probably the only Austen’s novel I haven’t read…

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  3. Put It Together 4 U

    I have chosen YOU as a nominee for the “Very Inspiring Blogger Award”. I truly enjoy reading your blog postings and hope that you will click the following link to acknowledge the nomination. I encourage you to keep being the AWESOME writer that you are. I look forward to your future blogs!

    ~ Angela

    http://putittogether4u.wordpress.com/2014/06/08/what-an-honor-thank-you-for-the-very-inspiring-blogger-award-nominations/

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  4. For someone such as you who appears to have a great love for the classics, this ‘letter’ would most certainly have you dialing the number. This was great. It made me smile and wish it was a little longer.

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