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|Letter 64 (Brabourne 51)
Written by Myretta
(8/14/2011 7:58 a.m.)
This chatty letter is written as the family is preparing to move from Southampton to Chawton (which move does not take place at the time planned due to Mrs. Austen's illness).
There is a lot of talk of friends and relatives. Cassandra's godmother, Elizabeth Leigh (Mrs. Austen's cousin) has been ill and Jane is anticipating news of her from Bookham.
Brother Frank is back in England, in command of the St. Albans. Jane anticipates that it may soon be off to Portugal to "help bring home what may remain by this time of our poor army." This is in reference to the the army's retreat to Corunna under Sir John Moore. Here is more on the Battle of Corunna.
Le Faye suggests that the Regency Jane Austen refers to in this letter is the Portuguese Regency of John of Braganza, later John VI of Portugal(not a very prepossessing looking character, is he?) who would effectively appoint Wellington Principal Member of the Regency and commander in chief of all forces in October of 1809. There seems to have been some rumor of this intention already circulating.
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