To Miss Edith Parkes
October 28th 1853
My Dearest Edith,
It has only been two months since we last saw each other, yet I must profess I have missed your companionship dreadfully!
I do wish you had not insisted on returning to Gloucester Manor so soon, particularly since Aunt Shaw had offered to take us along on her jaunt to Belgium.
Nonetheless, London life has been quite agreeable; I have had ever so many new garments made for me and attended such jolly picnics, balls and drawing parties! There is a gentleman in particular that I have conversed with numerous times on such occasions, who I hope you shall meet. His name is Mr. Barrack and he is perfectly splendid; handsome, charming and courteous. He is a close relation of Lady Margaret De Leon and Mother is simply delighted at the prospect of him calling on me.
It seems an eternity since we were together last, painting and having a jolly time. I know you had always wished to attend that college in Cambridge like your brother but it is just as well universities won't admit women or else we would have never met and Bedford Square Ladies College just would not have been the same without you.
Do come for a visit soon, I know we shall have such a lovely time! Sir Helton's Ball is soon and it shall be so grand, you know he only holds one thrice a year. I shall be wearing my new satin apricot ball-gown with a cage crinoline, not the ancient fashion of a mountain of petticoats and everybody important and respectable will be attending.
Lady Helton mentioned how she has sent an invitation to you, so you must attend and we shall be the belles of the ball!...