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9. Canterbury Belle

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Gwen is resolutely, ebulliently, arrogantly Welsh. She makes a visit to England to stay with an old friend near Canterbury. While on a visit to the Cathedral, she has a nasty mishap in the street with a rude and fancy fellow. On she goes to London at the invitation of her aunt to do the Season in the World of Fashion, where she repeatedly bites off more than she can chew – or does she? Worse, that visit to the Cathedral is repeatedly in the back of her mind for a good reason.

314,428 words

 First Page...


Anne Hauden ©


                        "Capitals.  All too many capitals.   Bad style."

            "Everyone uses capitals, bach.   They're for the using."

            "For proper nouns, aye, but not at random."

            "There be some as use 'em for all nouns, o' whatever kind, you know."

            "That's a German system.  It is not Brythonic."

            "If one uses them for all kinds of nouns, why have the distinction between proper nouns and the other ones, eh?"

            "Folk use 'em for emphasis."

            "Emphasis all my eye -,"

            "Well, I know not about any of that, but Ol' Urith uses them for nigh every third word."

            "Old Urith, ha!  Y' heard that, Morwy?"

            "Too many capitals make a script, a text, rather ugly, to mine eye."

            "O, ye have only one eye, then?"

            "Put that in capitals!"

            "Bunch o' goosies!"

            There was laughter and an additional person joined the assembled.

            "Oho, and what sort of coze is this, all giggling and guffawing?  Share the joke, children."

            "Capitals.  Gwenny has one llygad (eye) and don't like too many capitals."

            "Well, it all depends don't it?  M'self, I like the Ionian best - or should one say Ionic?  Can't always tell the difference between the Corinthian and the Composite Order when the capitals are at a great height - eh!  What are ye all braying wi' laughter like that, for, ye parcel of jenny-asses?"

            "She means capital letters, you blockhead."

            "O.  That kind of capital.  Now that's not very interesting."

            "Aha, look at her sulking, no?"

            "No!  I'm not sulking.  I'm just wondering what there can be to say about capital letters."

            "Well, take you a squint at this, Bloddy dear.  'Tis from Aunt Urith, and while we're still coming out with puns, 'tis a letter, althô not of the alphabetical kind."

            "A missive, Bloddy."

            "You keep mum; I'm not such a ynfytyn (dolt), Dee.  Another letter, eh?"

            "Ah, me, yet another, aye."

            "More instructions about your wardrobe and more balderdash about etiquette?  Iesu Mawr, from the way she writes one would think we live in a Godforsaken wilderness."

            "'Tis more like the place where she lives being God-forsook, no?"

            "Now she's asking that I should consider starting out for London about a fortnight sooner than was first decided.  Her arrangements are compleat, so I may as well take advantage of them - matertera nostra dixit." ...

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Anne Hauden’s Website for Historical Novels


Grateful thanks to The Yale Centre for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut,
The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.,
Michael Judkins, at Pexels.