Dear Aunt Augusta,
My father is unreasonable! I’ve been living with my aunt’s family since my mother died almost two years ago. I’ve only seen him a handful of times since then, and I figured he didn’t want to be bothered with me. In any case, he’s a solicitor who is never home. I really didn’t mind, because my aunt and uncle are kind and I love their children as though they are my own younger siblings. So now they are going to live a fabulous life in St. Petersburg and asked me to accompany them, but my father says no. Why should I have to stay at home when I could be dancing with princes in Russia? I AM the granddaughter of a French comte, you know. It’s not fair that I have to die of boredom in St. Albans just because my father is so provincial. Please, Aunt Augusta, can you not help me persuade him to allow me to go? If my mother were alive, SHE would certainly do so. But since she is dead, I must depend on you to do it.
Granddaughter of a French comte, a heroine in Valuing Vanessa of Holly and Hopeful Hearts by Susana Ellis
Dearest Granddaughter of a French comte,
My dear, I am so sorry for the loss of your mother. It is always so very tragic when a child loses a parents, and for that, I wish I could give you a hug and a large cup of tea and some biscuits.
I am also sorry that you have not had the chance to spend much time with your father. Do you think it possible that your father might wish to right the wrong he has done you? That he does not seek to destroy your happiness, but to create happiness with you? Men can be a little slow at times to realize when they have wronged up. Not all endeavor to correct their past mistakes, and if he is being forthright and seeking your attentions and trying to make you happy, than perhaps you can forgive him.
If that does not prove to be the case, however, then you have my permission to show him this–that I, Aunt Augusta, ask him to be truthful with himself as to why he will not allow you to go.
But, granddaughter, I also ask you to be truthful to yourself when trying to uncover your father’s motives.
I wish you the very best, and that you may find a charming dancing partner soon, whether or not he be a Russian prince,
Facing a dim future as a spinster under her mother’s thumb, Vanessa Sedgely makes a practical decision to attach an amiable gentleman who will not try to rule her life. The last thing widower George Durand thinks he wants is another wife, but his difficult daughter is proving difficult to handle. In any case, the admirable Miss Sedgely is far too young for him. A love match is not even a remote consideration for these two. Or is it?
Dear authors, if ever you should find that one of your characters has found him or herself in a rather trying position, whether in matters of the heart or matters of fashion or any matter at all, do be a kind soul and write to me. I will endeavor to answer your questions, if you but pen them for me.