Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Miss Charlotte Smith's Diary - Part 6

Regular blog readers will know that Miss Charlotte Smith's Diary started out as Miss Bridget Jane's Diary, which began life as a Regency satire of Bridget Jones's Diary
in a winning competition entry on the All About Romance website.

Somewhere along the way, Miss Bridget Jane became Miss Charlotte Smith, and so here she is, in all her glory.

If you haven't read the preceding entries in her diary, then reading them first is probably a good idea. You can find the links on the sidebar to the left.

January 6th

Put on my bonnet and stout walking shoes and went to see Melissa. Melissa is my best friend, and has been ever since we went to the seminary together and decided we were in love with the dancing master. Melissa has lost her thing for dancing masters, but now has a thing for curates.
‘How did the ball go?’ she asked me, as we went into the drawing-room.
‘It was awful.’
I told her all about Lord Rotherwell, and The Rude Man in the Anteroom, and that I've decided to become an old maid.
‘You can’t do that, Charlotte.’
‘Why not?’ I asked.
‘Because if you do, you'll be penniless. You won’t be able to have hot rolls and chocolate for breakfast, you’ll have to live on gruel.’
Have decided against becoming an old maid. Do not have the sort of constitution that thrives on gruel.

January 10th

3 o’clock
‘Really, Charlotte, I don’t know what to do with you,’ said Mama, looking at me sorrowfully, as though I was a big disappointment to her, which I probably am.
‘I do,’ said Susan.
Susan, as I’ve mentioned before, is my beloved sister. She has a bottom the size of the Gower Peninsula, but she can afford to have a huge bottom, because she is married. She doesn’t have to wear silver gauze, or throw back her shoulders and stick out her chest, or be nice to widowers with seven children. She can eat like a horse, and Mama never says to her, ‘Now, Susan, no more meringue, or you’ll never get a husband. A man wants a mistress for his home, not a mattress,’ and then follow it up with a silvery laugh.
‘Charles and I are expecting another baby in the summer —’
‘Oh, Susan, how wonderful,’ cooed Mama. ‘Are you sure you’re comfortable, dear? Can I get you another pillow? Or perhaps a piece of cake?’

‘Don’t fuss, Mother. As I was saying, Charlotte can come and live with us. She can make herself useful and look after the older children. A maiden aunt is just what we need. So much cheaper than a governess. There’s a nice room in the attic she can have, right next to the schoolroom. She can keep the children out of our way.’
Had a vision of disappearing into Susan’s attic and never being seen again. Or perhaps going in there at twenty-five and coming out at eighty-five, with hair down to my ankles and long nails trailing on the ground.
‘I am not cut out to be a nursemaid or a governess,’ I said.
‘Face it, Charlotte, what else is there for you? Lord Rotherwell was your last hope,’ said Susan. ‘Mama, I think I will have a piece of cake after all.’
Mama rang the bell and ordered two pieces of cake.
‘Both for Susan, dear,’ she said to me. ‘She’s eating for two. You know, your sister does have a point. You’re not getting any younger, and this was rather your last chance. Perhaps you should go and live with her after all.’

4 o’clock
I will not go and live with Susan, even if she owns the last house on earth. I would rather run away to sea.
I retired to the library and picked up The Earl’s Secret. I’d only just opened it when I remembered I am meant to be reading improving books. I took up a copy of Kings and Queens of England and started reading that instead.

5 past 4
Am bored with the Kings and Queens of England.

10 past 4
Have decided that The Earl’s Secret is an improving book, because it gets better as it goes along.

January 11th

3 o’clock
Have had a marvellous idea. I will look for a job and become a companion! The lovely Phoebe in The Earl’s Secret is a companion. She’s interviewed by the son of the sweet old lady who needs a companion and falls madly in love with him. After thinking he is in love with a thin-as-a-rake beauty who has a dowry of twenty thousand pounds she realizes he is in love with her because she has Titian hair and green eyes. In a good light, with a following wind I, too, have Titian hair and green eyes, and I, too will marry an earl.

Amanda Grange


Anonymous said...

I missed Bridget Jane's transformation into Charlotte Smith, but glad to see she is still out there.....

Anonymous said...

I'm waiting for the return of the Rude Man. Question is, is he a Rude Nobleman? And will he fall in love with Charlotte, her sort-of-titian hair and possibly green (in the right light) eyes?