I think today’s visitor is my youngest ever. She’s only thirteen and comes from Victorian London and the pages of Harriet of Hare Street by Angela Rigley. Harriet has brought a letter to her father, who has just died. I believe she wants some answers.
Dear Papa in Heaven,
I miss you so much. Why did you have to die? Mama has not told me how it happened. Not the real circumstances. She just said that you fell off a bridge. Well, dear Papa, why did you not hold on tighter? I am sorry William Henry died. We all are. But were you so upset that you jumped off? I am sure that is not the case, but some people seem to think that was what happened. Anyway, Father Lane would not have given you a Catholic burial if he thought so. I would hate to think of you burning in Hell.
What is Heaven like? I wish you could tell me. I wish… but anyway, dear Papa, I hope you are happy up there with Jesus. Say hello to him from me and tell him I vow to be a better person.
I am sure you know about the twins. Mama says William Thomas is a glutton, and she is hopeful that little Winifred will thrive, although she is still very weak. Please look after them for us, and put in a good word with God and the Virgin Mary. Have you met her yet?
Well, dear Papa, I must go. I have a job now, but you must know all about it. Do you like my window arrangements? I don’t suppose you remember teaching me how to make stars. Well, I do, and that is how I made the hanging one, covered in shiny paper, so when the light catches it, it sparkles like a real one. Just for you.
I will write again soon,
Love and kisses,
Your dutiful daughter,
Oh, you poor girl. I do hope things turn out well for you.
About Harriet of Hare Street
Living in a run-down area of the East end of London in the late nineteenth century is hard enough, but when thirteen-year old Harriet Harding opens the door to a stranger, who thrusts a baby into her arms, she cannot imagine how her life will change. How can she cope with a baby? And what will her parents say when they return?
You can find Harriet of Hare Street on Amazon UK or other Amazons.
About Angela Rigley
Married to Don, with five children and nine grandchildren, Angela lives in Derbyshire. Her hobbies include singing in her church choir; genealogy, having traced ancestors back to 1520; gardening; flower arranging; playing Scrabble; Sudoku; meals out; family gatherings; and, when she has any spare time she loves to read. She is the treasurer of Eastwood Writers’ Group.