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|Re: Letter 64
Written by Rachel G
(8/14/2011 9:32 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Letter 64 (Brabourne 51), penned by Myretta
Well I'm here, ready for a week of JA's letters, but with a great deal of trepidation. I must confess I find the detail of the Letters very difficult to get to grips with, as I find it hard to keep track of all these people and their relationships, and I fear I'm likely to be asking more questions than making substantive contributions. Please bear with me - this is my first Letters GR.
Trying to understand what is going on in Letter 64, I have had to back track a little and rummage in the biographical index (Le Faye edition). As far as I can make out, Cassandra has been staying for the last three months at Godmersham with eldest brother Edward Austen and his family. She arrived shortly after Edward and his wife Elizabeth's 11th child was born. Elizabeth died suddenly twelve days after the birth. Elizabeth's fate - married at 18, bore eleven children in seventeen years, dead at 35 - makes me grateful for modern medicine and contraception!
Am I right in thinking that Fanny is Edward's eldest child, now aged 16? Presumably William who has been doing cross-stitch is Edward's son, a boy aged 10. It sounds as though he has been ill lately, but perhaps his need for comfort also relates to the loss of his Mother.
I cannot work out who are the people at Paragon (presumably in Bath) that JA refers to at the start of this letter. Can anyone enlighten me?
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