In my last post I wrote I had the desire to retell the story of Wives and Daughters, I sat down to do a little free write and this is what came out. In Wives and Daughters, Molly is sent off to visit Mrs. Hamley as her father, Dr. Gibson, has learned one of his pupils is an admirer of his daughter. Like most dads he freaks out over his little girl, who is seventeen, having a suitor, so he sends her away. In that time she is away Dr. Gibson convinces himself he needs to get a new wife and new mother for Molly to protect her from men. This is kind of the telling of that.
|Not a screen shot from Wives and Daughters|
Dear Aunt Hen,
I hope you do not mind that silly nick name as you know it has quite stuck since my childhood days when I could not say Henrietta.
I write to thank you for the wonderful time I had with you and uncle at your home. It was so generous for you to take me in for the entire summer especially since I know you were quite distracted with all the anxiety of my cousin Ozzie's time at Harvard. I am sure he will do quite well and will come home as soon as his time with his friends in New Port is over. Please keep posted on any updates. How I long to hear from you. I wish I was there for I could write your letters for you as I know you have been so very distressed in not in the mood to write.
I do so miss you and the walks in the gardens and even picking flowers for you, I know they always cheered you up. I made uncle swear he would pick flowers for you in my absence, but you know men can never be left to do a woman's work. I miss sitting by your window and letting the summer breeze brush over us. Oh dear just thinking about it brings tears too my eyes, but I am an easier crier as you know.
Things are just not the same at home, since I left. Father had a pupil, who was preparing to go to medical school and he is now gone. I can't say Mr. Cox was a great conversationalist but he was pleasant and his wild red hair was quite an amusement. Now without him the house seems almost empty. But I keep busy, preparing the house for my new step-mother who is to come. I know her so little and yet I feel at odds with her already. Oh please do not tell that to anyone for I would hate someone to think I was uncaring. I do so try to do as you say and look for the good in others but it is rather hard sometimes. All I feel is a great separation between father and myself growing everyday. I guess that is what happens when a man is about to get married, a new woman has replaced me in his eyes and in his love for me.
I shall not write more I fear I have said to said too much. Forgive me Aunt Ham for my wicked thoughts. Please know I had an amazing time with you and uncle and I hope it can be repeated over and over.
All my love,
Do not hold back any emotions on my account. Your happiness is my happiness, your sadness is my sadness. I did say to try to find the best in people but I do understand it is hard when you feel so uneasy with the situation. I am sure your father has found a good woman to be your new mother, he is such a good sound man and he would never think of a woman in such a way unless she was completely honorable. But I do know how grieved you were over the suddenness of this all and I cannot blame you for that. Do try to remember your own father's happiness though and how saddened he will be if he thinks you do not like his wife-to-be. No matter what please write to me and tell me all your heartache, sorrows, and happiness I will forever be your confidant.
You are so kind, dear Molly, to ask after Ozzie, I do so hope his frivolity in New Port will end quickly. I do not wish to sound selfish but so much of my comfort relies on him, especially now that you are gone. Yes, while Arthur tries his hands at picking flowers, for my sake, he is not so nearly as clever at it as you
I am sorry I cannot write anymore I feel so weak, must rest.
I am sure this phase will pass and you will be ever first in your father's heart.