“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax….-Lewis Carroll
In the BBC film version of Pride and Prejudice (1995), Mr. Darcy stays up all night writing a letter to Elizabeth Bennet in an effort to clear himself of unjust charges by Mr. Wickham. He seals the envelope with sealing wax stamped with his signet ring. This letter writing scene was not in the original book by Jane Austen. In Pride and Prejudice, letters were the way of conveying information from a distance. Or in Darcy’s case, a way to speak from the heart without speaking face to face. The people in the story had to wait to find out what was happening with their friends and family. There was no texting, emails, or phone calls. I remember, not so long ago, this was the way we communicated. There was something special about receiving a handwritten letter. There was the anticipation built up of when the letter would come and the excitement of its arrival. There was noting the choice of stationary and the handwriting of the sender. Sometimes it could be hard to read some of the words depending on the penmanship. There could be cross outs. You saved special letters in a box. I remember I liked my writing to be clear and hated to cross out words so I would end up throwing out cards or paper and starting over. You wanted your lines to be straight inside and on the envelope, and you might pick out special postage stamps. I remember my mother in law, my husband’s aunt, and I addressing my wedding invitations by hand. For my daughter-in-law’s rehearsal dinner I picked out special postage stamps with images of wedding bands. I have a Montblanc fountain pen that I have to fill with ink. Texting or emails just can’t compare. How romantic to receive a handwritten letter sealed with wax with impression of a signet ring. I miss letter writing and receiving handwritten letters.
Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G Hill. The prompt words are sealing/ceiling. Featured image of illustration from Pride and Prejudice by C. E. Brock via wikimedia. Image of letter with wax seal by Charlotte Gilhooly via Flickr.