November 1794


When the winds buffet about Plas Uchaf, high up here on the Famau Mountain, I shiver in my heavy shawl, for all the generous fires in so many of the countless rooms here, which would so shock my sister- in -law Harriet.

At present I am wriggling my toes by the fire in my bedroom (and such a bedroom, for a Poor Relative and Companion) and reading Mr Richardson’s ‘Clarissa’.

220px-Renoir23It being Sunday, I should be at my bible instead, I am fully aware; yet  the rascally charms of Lovelace lure and the Dowager Countess (as she likes to be called, though her son the new Count of Ruthin is as yet unmarried) is far from strict about observing the Sabbath.

On such days as today,  as dusk falls – so much later here than down in the valley – I think that this would be rather a good setting for a Gothic tale; on such days, too, I long for romance and adventure, but for all Agnes’  absurd predictions, that is as likely to happen to one in my position  as being struck by lightening – perhaps, high as we are, and given the frequency of the thunderstorms, less likely.

It is unfortunate for me that I am pretty rather than lovely, or the handsome Lord Ynyr might possibly – by a wild stretch of the imagination, look in my direction, for all my lack of dowry and dismal  status as his mother’s companion. After all, he has deigned to dance with me on several occasions at social functions.

I will confess a shocking, immodest thought; I was disappointed that I felt nothing at his touch.

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