Jane Austen had also made fun of the expression in (one of her Juvenilia): when a lady is caught in a steel trap on the estate of a handsome young man, another character exclaims "Oh!
cruel Charles, to wound the hearts and legs of all the fair".
Through letters, whatever of good or bad was to be told would be communicated, and every succeeding day was expected to bring some news of importance." Mr.
Bennet's "family knew him to be, on all common occasions, a most negligent and dilatory correspondent"; he "so little liked [Elizabeth's] going that he told her to write to him, and almost promised to answer her letter".
Go to index of references to letter-writing in Jane Austen's own letters One important rule of protocol of the period is that a correspondence between two unmarried and marriageable unrelated young people of the opposite sex is a sign that the two are engaged.This is intermediate in carrying capacity between a chaise and a coach.It has two rows of seats in the compartment, so that the passengers sit facing each other (unlike a chaise, in which all the passengers face forward).To save postage, letters were frequently "crossed": i.e.after a sheet of paper had been written on, it was turned 90°, and further lines were written crossing the original writing (there is a reference to this practice in ).So Elinor Dashwood in Jane Austen's novel , when she sees a letter from Edward Ferrars to Lucy Steele, thinks "a correspondence between them by letter could subsist only under a positive engagement, could be authorised by nothing else", and, when she is unsure whether or not Willoughby and Marianne are engaged, says "If we find they correspond, every fear of mine will be removed".