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I know I shouldn’t do this BUT…

16 July 2021

…I'm going to post something I literally just wrote in its most raw, unpolished form, aaack!

I'm not sure why I had the sudden urge, but here it is! It's a letter from Roman Dryden to Lydia Barrow. If you've read The Portrait, then you know who Lydia is. If not, well, it's okay. All you need to know is that this is a Regency period historical novel. Here goes.

Letter from Roman Dryden
c/o Mrs. Dwight, Fenchurch Street, London
To Miss Leslie Lydia Barrow, Claverton House, Grosvenor Square, London

My dear Miss Barrow,

Please do not apologize. I understand that you may have had a change of heart—or indeed, perhaps you were not as decided on the matter as I had been, and if so, I understand.

I am, however, surprised that you are in London? I am in between joy and disappointment, not knowing in which direction my heart should settle, as I would have been so very happy to see you. Alas, I suppose that is not to be? Or—would you be agreeable to meeting with me? I promise I will not say anything to make you uncomfortable, or to press my suit. The truth is that I wish to make a clean breast of some matters which I fear you may have misunderstood. It is selfish of me to wish that we part on honest terms, but there it is. If it is anything I dislike, it is when no one tries to undo a misunderstanding, for the pain that follows may torment one for years. Do not ask me how I know this.

So as much as I know that what I ask is selfish, I would like to have an honest conversation with you, so that we may each go our own separate way without a painful memory of what passed between us.

I will be at this address, if you would be so good as to write to me here. I have been afflicted with a chest ailment—mild, I assure you—and have not been able to make my arrangements to return to my properties in the north. As such I fear I will be here into the new year and perhaps some weeks beyond. I am grateful to you for your letter, and beg you grant me the indulgence of one last meeting.

About the ring, which you very kindly offered to return. I hope you will wear it in good health and consider it a token of affection and respect from one who admires you greatly.

Your most ob’t,
ROMAN DRYDEN

I'm imagining Roman as a rugged-looking rough-hewn type. Not a well-dressed Regency buck by any means! He's a farmer from somewhere up north. I don't dare tell you any more for fear of spoiling the story!

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