Brave New World

My Dearest Friend Boo

I am beside myself with excitement – Oh, the things I have seen! I have been to another world, Boo, one with such amazing sights, I can hardly begin to tell you.

We waited for a long time with many others just as excited as me and oh, Boo, the building was tremendous. A glass palace from a fairytale. I thought the orangery at Blindingham was a beautiful setting, but this was a hundred times better. You could hardly see as far as the roof of it. And inside! Room upon room filled to bursting with clever contraptions and beautiful statues. I saw a weaving machine, a mechanical frame for roasting a pig, and carriages with springs in their wheels. Then in one room they showed us a device to do with laundering clothes that gets the job done in a fraction of the time. I must tell Villiers about it when we go home. There was music, the noise of machines and so many people shouting out in amazement. Oh, Boo – you should have seen it!

I confess to being a little shocked at the statues there were standing about. I am a married woman, as you know, but I felt a definite discomfort at being so close to an unclothed man, especially one in the act of kissing a woman. No matter that they were made of marble. Mr Hatherwick swept me past a few such pieces before we stopped for lunch.

I should think there were a thousand people there, and all with plenty to occupy their time. There were scientific men from other countries displaying their latest inventions and orchestras of players giving us the most beautiful music, some written especially for the Exhibition. I was filled with admiration for the imagination of the human mind, Boo, I don’t mind telling you.

I looked out for Mrs Doughty but I couldn’t see her. She evidently knows some wealthy men to have raised enough money to put on such a spectacle.

We came home tired but full of energy as well. The strangest feeling. Mr Hatherwick went straight to his study saying he had ideas for new investments or something. How exciting to think he might be involved in such industriousness again.

I must go now, Boo. Your boy is here to return my bonnet so I shall give him this and make his return journey worthwhile. I think I may have lost my earrings when I was last with you – the sapphire drops I had for my wedding outfit. Would you find a moment to ask your staff if they have seen them?

Kiss Little Bradstone for me

Effie xxx

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