Her First Letters from New Britain

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Dear Mother,

The airship was a marvel, and though I’ll not say much considering the fiasco with my paper on tectonic plates, I fancied that when I looked very hard there was a curve to the horizon. But we did not go high enough to tell.

I slept well, and the cabin was private as they had promised, and quite secure. I was not disturbed in any way. We landed in Providence a trifle early, so I got to organize myself before getting on the train to go west. I bought some new clothes. Seeing what people were wearing I realized that what I had was not quite suitable, and now I am much more comfortable, writing to you from my train compartment. This is also private, and also secure. The bed is very nice.

The conductor was a talkative sort and when I answered her enquiry as to what sort of business I travelled on, she was only surprised for a moment. I was probably more surprised at seeing my first lady conductor. She was so kind as to let me know that there is another District Official on this train, and that I would probably be able to recognize him in the dining car by his wide hat and practical footwear.

I must go to the dinner cart now, and given the opportunity I will ask my senior Officer if he has any advice. The Conductor said that the food is not really excellent, “but by all means fresh and wholesome”.

Your daughter,



Dear Irene,

It occurs to me that your insistence on separate letters for yourself, full of “ever more detail” than I put in mother’s, is going to be very hard on my wrist.

Are you having fun with Dean? There are one or two young gentlemen on the airship, and now on the train, that you might think handsome, but I am sorry to say that I did not, and probably will not, speak to any of them. Looking out of the airship, my view of the heavens did not incite any poetry in me but I saw a dog-shaped cloud over the horizon. I am sure that you would have had many more profound and lyrical observations at such a boundless, airy pinnacle.

The airship echoed most queerly, for it has to be as light as possible and so the walls and floors are thin even though they are strong. Still, I think I like it better than the train. It was so smooth.

You would like the uniforms which the train staff wear, since they are in your favourites of black and white and are very dashing indeed. I have only been in New Britain for an afternoon and an evening and my sense of how to dress is charting a new course. So my mad scheme has been pleasant so far, and if there is any good shopping here I will be sure to get you excellent presents. Or, regardless of how good the shopping might be, perhaps it would be better to just send you some money, that you might choose something of your own taste? Do let me know. I have the sense that I fudged your last two presents.

I’m going to dinner, and maybe I will meet another District Official there.

Your loving sister,


P.S. Dinner most delicious, especially the fruit afterwards. Fresh oranges! District Official from faraway Denver, but most informative about what general duties I can expect. Not young. Not handsome. And most assuredly married.

14 thoughts on “Her First Letters from New Britain

    1. Her sister would certainly be mildly disappointed – as I imagine it, said sister would be tired of hearing only about Edward whenever she sees Georgia!

      Sorry for such a late reply, I’m finishing up my MA essay and I’ve got a few other things on my plate 😀


    1. Thank you! Sorry for being away, I’m finishing up my MA essay/thesis/thing 🙂 And also moving, and also getting ready to go to Japan!

      Excuses, excuses, haha


      1. You’re going to Japan? Permanently? Oh how wonderful! Wait no, I think you meant you’re moving, somewhere in the city, and with that you’re going to Japan. Right?
        And you’re welcome.

        1. I’ll be visiting Japan for two weeks, and then I’ll be back in Canada for work at my new job! I wish I could travel for more than two weeks but there’s always next time 😀


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