My dearest Lydia,
La, I meant to write sooner, but the social whirl has me thinking of nothing but dresses and balls and handsome officers! To be sure Brighton is nothing like this time of year, but one would never know it for all the parties and dances we have been invited to attend. My mama has had the seamstress make up three new ball dresses, and I am simply dying to show them to you.
Sir William Lucas has written my papa another letter. Is it true? Is Charlotte Lucas to be married? Goodness, but Meryton is a more exciting place to live than I once thought. Please, do tell me what has happened, and if there is a gentleman waiting in the wings for you. Oh, and do tell - is your sister Jane engaged to Mr. Bingley? When are they to be wed?
Your loving friend,
It seems such an age since you last wrote - I cannot tell you how jealous I am to hear of your new ball gowns - you are very lucky to have a family who spoil you. I've told you before - I quite despair of mine; though perhaps if my name were Jane or Lizzy I would enjoy more frippery.
Anyway, what can I say in reply to your queries? You think Meryton exciting but you do not know the half of it! We have had high drama and laughs to last us six months together - you cannot imagine. My cousin Collins, (the rattling rector I call him, because he never ceases prattling,) came for a visit and made such a song and dance about making eyes at Lizzy to the point of even proposing! Lizzy would not have him, my mother was livid and threatened to disown her, but papa said he would never see my sister again if she did consent to the match. Lord! How Kitty and I laughed, I thought my sides would split.
Then - what do you think happened next? My cousin bumped into Charlotte Lucas in the lane and before Lizzy had drawn breath with the relief of a lucky escape, Collins proposed to Miss Lucas and she accepted him!!!! I could not believe it and thought Sir William was having a joke when he came with the news! Everyone in the village is excessively diverted by the 'Lovebirds of Longbourn' as Kitty and I have taken to calling them - I cannot help feeling sorry for Charlotte - you and I will never be so desperate for a husband I am sure!
But - that is not all - my poor sister Jane who had such high hopes of becoming engaged to Mr Bingley has been left high and dry! He has gone to town and if you ask my opinion, that is the end of it. No doubt, his nasty sister Caroline will throw floozies in his path - I am so sorry for Jane - she will end an old maid!
As for myself, there are several young men who are intent on catching my eye - Mr Denny, Mr Pratt and Captain Carter to name but a few. However, there is one particular officer I am very partial to or would be if my sister Lizzy would let me have my share of conversation and dancing. Mr Wickham is one of the most handsome men you ever saw - Oh! Lucy, he looks so well in scarlet! Kitty and I are just going into Meryton, Write again soon, not forgetting to tell me of your beau,
Affectionately yours, Lydia
Read Lydia Bennet's Journal here, and click here to read Lucy and Lydia's first exchange of letters.
Find these pretty illustrations by Jane Odiwe in Lydia Bennet's Journal and look for her lovely cards in Austen Effusions.