Welcome to Read Along Wednesday. Feel free to brew yourself a cup of tea and come sit with us while we read and chat about the next few letters in Lady Susan.
Last week, we learned that Frederica has tried to escape from her boarding school and has thus come to stay with Lady Susan at the Vernons’ home. Lady Susan’s schemes are definitely starting to catch up with her, and she’s scrambling to put out all the fires. Mr. de Courcy, though he seems under her spell, demands explanations for all her actions, and Frederica is winning over the Vernon household with her gentle personality.
As if this all weren’t bad enough, now Lady Susan must put a spin on yet another mishap–Sir James arrives at the Vernons’ home and announces that he plans to stay. Meanwhile, Frederica is growing fond of Reginald, much to her mother’s chagrine and Mrs. Vernon’s delight. We also find out a little more about why Frederica tried to escape from her boarding school. What happened to make Frederica want to leave? Is Reginald starting to develop feelings for Frederica? What is it about Sir James that makes Frederica dislike him so much?
Lady Susan to Mrs. Johnson
You will be eager, I know, to hear something further of Frederica, and perhaps may think me negligent for not writing before. She arrived with her uncle last Thursday fortnight, when, of course, I lost no time in demanding the cause of her behaviour; and soon found myself to have been perfectly right in attributing it to my own letter. The prospect of it frightened her so thoroughly, that, with a mixture of true girlish perverseness and folly, she resolved on getting out of the house and proceeding directly by the stage to her friends, the Clarkes; and had really got as far as the length of two streets in her journey when she was fortunately missed, pursued, and overtaken. Such was the first distinguished exploit of Miss Frederica Vernon; and, if we consider that it was achieved at the tender age of sixteen, we shall have room for the most flattering prognostics of her future renown. I am excessively provoked, however, at the parade of propriety which prevented Miss Summers from keeping the girl; and it seems so extraordinary a piece of nicety, considering my daughter’s family connections, that I can only suppose the lady to be governed by the fear of never getting her money. Be that as it may, however, Frederica is returned on my hands; and, having nothing else to employ her, is busy in pursuing the plan of romance begun at Langford. She is actually falling in love with Reginald De Courcy! To disobey her mother by refusing an unexceptionable offer is not enough; her affections must also be given without her mother’s approbation. I never saw a girl of her age bid fairer to be the sport of mankind.
Continue reading and join our discussion at the Writer’s Block. Letters 19-22