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Isabelle Thomas to Sylvia du Maurier - 1890

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Letter to Sylvia from a friend (unknown to Peter) who makes reference to Sylvia's possible "exile" to India had she married a former suitor. [No original available]

Could this be he?


47, Great Cumberland Place,
27 May 1890.

My dear Sylvia,
We have only just heard from Bunch of your engagement, and I write now to tell you how delighted I am to hear of your happiness. We all think your young man is very lucky, and as I don’t know him, I should find it easier to congratulate him than to write the same to you. But I hear from all sides how charming he is, and I wish you joy with my whole heart. Anyhow it is a consolation you won’t have that horrid India hanging over your head. You don't know what a horrid place it is so you can’t feel as sorry as I do for the poor people exiled there. I hated it so.
I should like so much to see you if there is a chance of your having any time to spare, if only to remind you of that day at the F. Mill. Have you a slight recollection of it?
With my love, I am
Your affectionate
Isabelle Thomas.

I don't know who Isabelle Thomas was, or Bunch, or anything about "F. Mill." I have really only inserted this letter on account of the reference to India, which seems to suggest some previous engagement, or near-engagement, of Sylvia to someone – a soldier, or perhaps an Indian Civil Servant – which might have led to her having to live in that country. This is the only indication I have of any other affair of the heart involving S., who, at 23, so pretty as she was, must have had many suitors.


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