Took MRK up on her very generous offer to write to Jane or Vincent, and mailed a letter to Jane today! Had so much fun working on my historical character and using my dip pen and sealing wax (which when I was a kid I *swore* was ‘ceiling wax’ thanks to Carroll’s Walrus).
Here’s the letter text:
Sunday 16th February, 1817
To Lady Jane Vincent
I hope you will forgive the presumption I have made in writing to you without an introduction or mutual acquaintance, but I found I simply must express my deep admiration and near boundless curiosity about your remarkable work with glamour.
My name is Miss Margaret Carter, of Boston, Massachusetts. Being fortunate enough to have parents who deem travel imperative for a lady to be considered accomplished, I have been touring Great Britain and the Continent with my cousin, Miss Millicent Townsend, as extensively as events have allowed. Though I am myself but a garden variety artist – a lily of the valley, perhaps, quite far from an heirloom rose or tulip varietal – I can appreciate exemplary work when I see it. Your work on the Prince Regent’s underwater mural quite took my breath away when Minnie and I had the opportunity to view it. I could almost believe we were standing in a glass dome under the waves while the fish performed a gavotte around us.
Until such marvels are possible, which I sincerely hope they may be one day, the work you and your husband do stands in most admirably.
And here we come to my curiosity, which I hope you do not find burdensome to satisfy. First, what manner of study did you need to undertake to portray the light and movement underwater? For the fish at the market look nothing like their living counterparts, and a set of scientific prints is equally dead. And secondly, might I inquire as to the kind of knotwork you employed for their schooling? I have been attempting a small sort of glamural that incorporates moving lines of poetry, but have yet to make the words scroll as I wish, and would appreciate some hint in that direction if it is not a secret between Sir Vincent and yourself.
My thanks for the time and attention you have already given to a stranger, and please accept my best wishes for the success of your future artistic endeavours.