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Rowan Tree Manor
Hampshire
England

April 1912

Dearest Father,

I writing to ask you if I could possibly get another horse, sadly Spinner died. He was so old and he got very ill in late March. We had him put down last week. I hadn’t got round to writing this letter until now because I was so upset. As you know I’ve had him since I was a child and he’s almost like another brother to me. I do miss riding so much. I rode Mother’s new horse Belle but it is not the same as having a horse of my own. I would love it if you could hunt a wonderful new horse out for me.

How are things going in London? I miss you so much. It’s not the same here without you. Mother never comes riding with me and it’s not so fun going on my own. However Arthur and I sometimes go together but he’s got to study most of the time! It’s a shame, for me, that he’s so keen on becoming a doctor but he will make a good one, don’t you think?

I am so excited about my birthday. I am going to be seventeen, like you didn’t already know! It will only be a year till I will be an adult and able to go out into the world. Most people would think of getting married but I’m not going to think about it for ages.

You’re Loving Daughter
Rosanne Eva Collins
36 Strand
London
N3 5FR

2nd May 1912

Dear Rose,

Why did you sign your full name, you funny girl. You are getting old; it seems to me only the other day that you were a tiny baby!

Of course, you can get a new horse. But I feel for you about Spinner. He was wonderful horse and it would have been good if we could have taught Sophia to ride on him as he was so gentle. Anyway, I shall hunt you out a wonderful mare, she will be young because you never rode Spinner young and it will be a challenge.

London is wonderful; I think you would love it. Perhaps in the summer or you might come and stay. Arthur might want to come to. He could meet some highly trained London doctors. He would like that wouldn’t he? You’re right about him becoming a good doctor. But you know the funny thing is that he said the exact same thing about coming seventeen to me as you did and now he’s completely grown up at twenty-one!

How are you doing at school? The tutor still comes in everyday? Is it still the old scientist gentleman? He was very old and probably quite boring! Is your favourite subject still English and have you done any Shakespeare? When you have you must tell me because I think I have an old copy of his complete works somewhere in the library.

Love Father




Rowan Tree Manor
Hampshire
England

18th May 1912

Dearest Father,

The old tutor died ages ago, now we have a young man called Edward. He’s awfully clever and only two or three years older than Arthur. Arthur doesn’t do school with me anymore but him and Edward get on very well all the same. They discuss the principles of physics and how to make things explode. I don’t do science. We do English and history and French and Latin mostly. Sometimes we do art. Edward is very good at drawing. We are doing Shakespeare but I don’t need your book because Edward gave me one of his four copies!

My new horse is wonderful. I called her Arina after that woman who used to come and do dancing with me! Arina is so fast. She never seems to be tired. It is lovely riding on her. I don’t even mind not having anyone come with me.

London sounds so exciting. Mother says we should all come, she could go shopping, Arthur could go and see some famous doctors and you could take me to see all the city things like huge shops and cafes and restaurants and huge terraced houses with big steps leading up to them.

I am glad you are enjoying your job in London, but you have been away so long. Don’t you think you could come back home for a week or something? We all miss you so much. It would mean a lot to us.

Love Rose


36 Strand
London
N3 $FR

29th May 1912
Dearest Rosanne,

I am sorry but I think it would be so much more fun if it was just me and you in London. I like having time that is just you and me. We get along very well, much better than me and your mother. Your like my friend as well as my daughter where as she is just my wife and nothing more. I do still love her but not the same way as I love you!

I do not like the sound of this new tutor at all. It sounds like he’s filling your head with a load of complete nonsense! I am going to find a new tutor. But, on the other hand, I am glad he and Arthur get on. Arthur never really had friends before. Too intent on studying! Do they go hunting as well as discussing things that you don’t understand?

You know what happened the other day? Well, a lovely lady asked if I would have a drink with her after work to discuss our children. She’s very rich and has got a son who’s 20! She said it would be good if you married. I said that I thought it was a fantastic idea. I accept you don’t think it’s a good idea to get married for a while but I think it’s important for the rest of your life and you need to get married before you turn 18 and that’s only a year.

I hope you have a fantastic birthday and that you like the present I sent for you. Please write and tell me if you like it.

Your Loving Father



Rosanne Eva Collins
Rowan Tree Manor
Hampshire
3rd June 1912

Dear, father,

I am writing this letter on my birthday. It is the evening now and Auntie Celia has just left. I am sitting in my room and writing with the wonderful fountain pen you gave me. As you must have known my old pen broke and I was using mothers. But now I have a wonderful new one with green ink. It’s the perfect present. The personalized writing paper is wonderful too. I don’t even have to write the address at the top!

Me and Edward (the tutor) are to go on an outing to the forest to see the birds, he has got real binoculars. He uses them and I just look through when he’s found something. We’re studying why birds have different marks on them depending on the type of bird. It’s very interesting.

Mother got me a new gown for my birthday. It’s green silk and has green pearls round the neck. It is quite tight at the top and then if whooshes out at the bottom. It’s lovely and I wore it to dinner this evening!

Everything I got was green! Edward got me a gramophone and some records. I am going to the record shop tomorrow and buying same more!

Yours truly, Rose





London
June 1912

Dearest Rose,

I am in a bit of a hurry, so I can’t write very much. But one thing I can say is that I really don’t think you and this Edward should be spending so much time together. He is just meant to be teaching you not taking you to watch some silly birds.

Also I am very glad you had a wonderful birthday and that you liked your present. When you come down here in the summer bring your new dress. It sounds lovely. Also we will dance the tango and the waltz at a real dancing place!


Father.















Rosanne Eva Collins
Rowan Tree Manor
Hampshire
24th June 1912

Father,

Me and Edward are good friends that are all, nothing more will ever happen between us. How could you think such a thing? Anyway I’m not going to marry for years and years especially not some man you pick out for me. I want to fall in love.

Mother is going away for a week at the beginning of July because of her heart. She’s going up to Edinburgh to a doctor there. So I will have to write to two people. Good thing that Edward got me a refill of ink for this pen. I don’t use it on my school work because it smudges. I use one of Edwards’s fountain pens with the proper cartridges! It is lovely to write with!

As well as birds Edward is teaching me dancing so when I come to London I will be an expert! He’s fantastic. You’re good at dancing aren’t you?

My dress in lovely. I wear it every dinner time!

Love Rosanne








Strand
London

29th June 1912

Dear, my wonderful daughter Rosanne,

Although you are still adamant that it’s a bad idea I think it’s a good one and I’m your father. My work friend’s son is going away till September. He’s going to study archery in France. After that we will start thinking about your wedding. You must also get to know him. I’ll give you the address he is going to be staying at. Then you can write to him.

Please, I want no more talk of this Edward. I think he is telling you a load if nonsense. I don’t think you should get taught by him anymore. It is not good. Every paragraph of your last letter had Edward in it.

I do hope your mother gets better. It is a shame she is ill, who is looking after you and Sophia?

Darling, I have the most wonderful news. Instead of coming to London I have booked us a room in a hotel in Cornwall. Right by the sea! Isn’t that wonderful? I hope you can come!

Can you speak French well now? If you can we might go to France one year in the holidays. Would you like that?

Yours, Father


Rosanne Eva Collins
Rowan Tree Manor
Hampshire

3rd July 1912
Dearest Mother,

I hope you are feeling better after your operation. I am really missing you. I didn’t want to write to father again because he just ignores everything I say and only moans about how I am spending too much time with Edward and tells me of the oh so wonderful trips he is going to take me on. I am thoroughly sick of it. So I thought I would write to you instead.

I have a bit of very good news and two bit’s of bad news. Shall I start with good or bad? I think good because the bad leads on from it. By the way I could never tell father this.

I have found my true love; Edward. When he was teaching me “lover’s waltz” he leant over and kissed me just like that! I love him so much and have never realized it before. I am asking your permission to let him court me. Please, darling Mother?

Now for the bad news. Edward has to go away because his grandmother is ill. He doesn’t have a mother or a father so he is her only relative. She might not live so he has to go and nurse her.

Second bit of bad news. Father has found me a husband. Apparently some colleague of his has a son “the perfect age” to be my husband. But the really bad thing is that he is away in France and comes back in September. Unless Edward comes back before then, and I doubt he will, I will have to marry a man who I don’t love and barley even know!

Mother what on earth am I going to do? I’ve found a wonderful man who I want to spend the rest of my life with. Except my horrible interfering father has already found me “the perfect man”. I hate him I really do!

Please, please get better so you can come and tell me what to do. I really need my mother to tell me what to do. Please mother.

Love, Rose























Edinburgh hospital
Edinburgh

18th July 1912

Darling Rose,

It does sound like you have a problem and my first bit of advice is don’t let on to father that anything is wrong. If you do he will figure out that you don’t want to marry the man he has chosen. It is lovely that you have found Edward. He is handsome and kind and caring and clever. You two go well together.

As well as that you might want to write to Edward telling him what has happened. Hopefully, if he is as nice as he lets on, he will understand. Tell him exactly what you told me. Make sure he knows that you don’t even know this man in France.

Thirdly, you might want to write to this man in France just so father thinks that you are taking an interest. Make sure he knows you. But maybe you could do the exact opposite of flattering yourself, whatever that may be.

Also, keep writing to Father. As I said before you mustn’t let on that anything is wrong. And don’t say you hate him; he is trying to do what he thinks is best and I know that it’s not but we must persuade him out of it carefully. I know him. You need to continue to write to him. Write about what you have been doing at home. Write about riding competitions you hope to enter. Write about anything that will make him happy.

Lastly, I am recovering well and the doctor said he hopes I will be home by the end of this week.

All my Love
Mother

Rosanne Eva Collins
Rowan Tree Manor
Hampshire

26th July 1912
My Darling Edward,

Something awful has happened. My father wants me to get married at the end of September. You won’t be back by then, will you? But he can’t know about us. He can’t.

The man I’m to be married to is called Phillip Banks. He’s away in France at the moment studying fighting methods. He went to school but got expelled because he beat up another boy. He’s a perfect idiot. He’s 20 and that is meant to be the perfect age for me to marry into. He sounds vile.

Edward, do you have any idea when you will be back? If it before September that is the most wonderful news since the invention of the wheel. But I doubt you’ll be back by then.

I really, really hope you understand that if I don’t ever see you again I will still always love you. My father is a cruel, hard man who I used to think was wonderful, but I’ve grown up since then. I love you Edward and I’ll never, never stop loving you.

Yours for ever and ever

Rosanne Eva Collins



Rosanne Eva Collins
Rowan Tree Manor
Hampshire

26th July 1912
Dear Phillip,

I am writing this letter only because my father told me to. I have no desire what’s so ever to meet you or ever marry you. I never want to have a stupid, ignorant idiot living under the same roof as me. I have found my true love and it is NOT you!

My name is Rosanne Eva Collins, but you can call me Rose or Rosie. I am 17 years old. I love history and reading. I also like writing stories and poems. I ride everyday. My horse is called Arina and she is dark brown. I love her more than I could ever love you. My mother is 51 and at the moment is in hospital in Edinburgh. My father is in London. He works there. I have a little sister called Sophia. She’s 9. I also have an older brother called Arthur. He’s 21. He is training to be a doctor. I used to have school in our front room, but now I don’t. The tutor had to go away and nurse his grandmother. He’s the man who I am in love with, and don’t say “oh but he’ll never be in love with you,” because he is and he’s told me he loves me and I love him.

Just so I know it is firmly ground into you head I am saying this one more time. I do not love you, I never will. And I certainly won’t be marrying you in September.

Yours Rosanne Eva Collins






Rosanne Eva Collins
Rowan Tree Manor
Hampshire

26th July 1912
Dearest father,

I have written to Phillip but he hasn’t written back yet because I only wrote the letter today. It is sitting next to me as I write this letter. I also wrote to mother. She hopes you are well and said I should tell you that she is much better and is coming home at the end of July.

I am entering a competition with Arina tomorrow. It is a cross-country event and is being held in the wood. I am sure that I have a chance of winning.

Edward has left to see his ill grandmother so there is to be no school for the time being. His grandmother fell sick back in March but is worse now and she has no family except for Edward so he has to go and look after her.

I think going to Cornwall would be lovely but could we go to London as well. I was so looking forward to it. Cornwall would be lovely. I love the seaside. Do you remember when we visited Auntie Mary in Edinburgh and we went to a beach there? The dogs simply adored it!

Rosanne






Rosanne Eva Collins
Rowan Tree Manor
Hampshire
1st august 1912

Dear Mother,

I have written to all the people you said. None of them have written back yet. I said exactly what you said to say. Now all I have to do is wait.

When are you coming home? You said at the end of July. Where are you? I miss you so much and someone needs to come and tell cook that we don’t like venison. Since me and Arthur have been in charge she’s fed us venison eight times. Sophia has been counting!

I hate father so much. I know I shouldn’t hate him but what he’s doing is so mean. He knows I could never love Phillip Banks. All he can think about is himself. He is only making me marry Phillip because he is short of money and he doesn’t want to have to sell Rowan Tree. He is a stingy pig and I hate him more than anything in this world.

But I love Edward and I told him that. Please come home Mother, please. I miss you.

Yours, Rosanne







La maison belle
Paris
France

4th August 1912

Dear Rose,

You are a selfish pig. And you say you hate your father. You’re an exact copy of him. Saying there’s only one man for you in this world. Well, I’ll tell you something. I don’t want to get married to you either, but you know what? I am going to marry you anyway. And you know why? Because I love my mother. If I don’t she will be upset and I would rather marry a selfish pig like you than make my mother upset.

I told her all those things that you said about me, that I was stupid and ignorant. I may not be clever academically but darling, I know a lot more about this world and the people in it than you are ever going to know. Also I really could care less about you sister and your brother. As well as that I don’t care about you. I never will.

Please, don’t go all innocent the moment your father yells at you. You did say some cruel words about me and I am going to say cruel things about you. You are selfish, naive and arrogant. You couldn’t care less about your family and you only think about yourself. And you know what else. I loathe you.

Yours, Phillip David Reid Banks

London

7th August 1912

Rosanne,

You absolute idiot. When I said get to know him I didn’t mean tell him how you are in love with your tutor. I meant tell him that you are a wonderful, funny girl. His mother wrote to me and sent me your letter. She said that her son could never marry a selfish, tell tale pig like you. And you know what, Rosanne, you are an idiot. This was the one thing that could have made our family work. Make me and your mother love each other again. Draw us closer to each other. But you made a big mess of it. You are never going to marry. Never. And especially not that tutor. He will never set foot in our house again, never.

You know why I am in London? No, not my job. I could easily just go to London everyday. It’s because I don’t love your mother. I couldn’t bear seeing how upset you would be so we kept it from you. That is why I rejected your offer of everyone coming to London. I couldn’t bear seeing your mother. You ruined it for everyone Rose, everyone.

Now I am angry. I never want to see you do something like this again. As for falling in love with that Edward. You are a disgrace. You have disgraced the entire family. You are a very, very bad girl.

Father




Rosanne Eva Collins
Rowan Tree Manor
Hampshire

14th June 1912

My darling Edward,

I have made a mess. I have made the biggest mistake I have ever made in my life.

I wrote to the man I was to marry and told him that I could never love him because I was in love with you. He then told his mother what I’d said. He also sent me a letter saying some very awful things but that doesn’t matter. His mother told my father and then my father sent me a letter about how stupid I’d been and what a ness I’d made of everything. My mother and father don’t love each other anymore and my father thought this might make them become closer and start loving each other again but it’s all ruined. Now he is forbidding you ever to come into the house again. I’m never allowed to ever see you again.

Edward, it is awful. What am I going to do? Father said I am selfish but I don’t understand why. All I am doing is telling them how I feel.

My parents are getting a divorce. That is why my father is in London. Not because of his stupid job. Oh darling Edward I’ve made such a mess of everything. I can’t sleep. I am worrying about everything too much. When I do I have nightmares about never seeing you again.

Please write back,

Love forever, Rosanne
Juliet McCaughrean
Wayside Cottage
Inverness


My darling Rosanne,

I have some very good news. It goes with bad news though. My grandmother died (this is her writing paper). In her will she left me her house. It is small but we could live here until we find somewhere better. It is miles away from Hampshire and your family. You could some how sneak away in the night.

Is your mother supporting you or is she on your father’s side? If she is on yours it will be easier for you to run away. I hope you do not have some other man to get married to?

I miss not spending time with you. It is such a long time since the first time we kissed. I want to be with you till the day I die. I will never leave you. I will always love you Rosanne.

That is all I can think of to say, you see it doesn’t seem right talking to you in a letter. I wish I could talk to you face to face. Please ask your mother and we could be together again soon.

Yours forever,

Edward

Rosanne Eva Collins
Rowan Tree Manor
Hampshire

3rd September 1912

Edward,

My mother says she knows someone who will accompany me on the train journey. She has already got the tickets sorted out. We will be together by the end of September and I can’t wait; I love you so.

I hope your grandmother wasn’t in too much pain. Did she die I her sleep? I hope that the house is ok and that her will is sorted out.

I have one problem. How can we get my horse from Hampshire to Inverness? I can not go without Arina. I can’t. I will ask Mother if she has some connection with someone who can take horses up to Scotland.

I have only been to Scotland once. We went to Edinburgh to visit my dying aunt Mary. After we visited her we went to the beach. All I really remember is the dogs loving the water, then Ollie drinking sea water and being sick on the train journey home.

Edward, I know this is looking into the future a bit far but if we ever have a baby girl can we call her Ivy? That is my mothers name and I really want to remember her fondly after she dies.

All my love, Rosanne


Juliet McCaughrean
Wayside Cottage
Inverness

12th September 1912

My dear Rose,

Of course you can call her Ivy. That is a beautiful name and my grandmother’s middle name. But if we have a boy can we call him Paul because that was my father’s name?

I am very excited about seeing you. I have been tidying the house. My grandmother has a lot of junk. I am throwing a lot of things out. The other day though I found a picture of my mother and father on their wedding day. Would you mind awfully if we have it on the wall? It is such a nice picture and they look so happy.

Rosanne, this isn’t the way you are meant to ask and I was going to ask you when you got here. But I couldn’t wait any longer. Will you marry me?

Love, Edward






Wayside Cottage
Inverness
Scotland

4th October 1912

My dear Mother,

As you know, me and Edward plan to get married on the 7th November 1912. I would love you to come. Please? I will send you a formal invitation when we have made them.

I arrived safely on the 25th of September. I know I shouldn’t say this and I loved Rowan Tree a lot, but it feels so good to have escaped. It’s meant to be cowardly to run away but is running to the one you love really cowardly? It is a lovely little cottage in the middle of nowhere.

One day Mother, you can come and visit. I would be honored if you would.


Love Rose













Rosanne Eva Collins and Edward Paul Chambers would love you to attend their wedding on the 7th November 1912

Time: 12.30pm – 7.30pm

Where: ceremony at Penhill church and reception at Penhill Inn





















Invernessire
Scotland
3rd June 1917

Dear Father,

You see I am still using your ink pen. Me and Edward got married on the 7th November 1912 a month after I ran a way. Mother came. I couldn’t invite you. I was still angry with you. But now I understand what you did was for me not for you.

I am so sorry for what happened when I was 17. I was a child and I didn’t understand that you wanted what you thought was best for me. But we were both wrong. You thought that it was better for me to marry Phillip and I thought you were a selfish pig to make me. But you’re not and I love you. You were a wonderful father to me when it mattered most. I had a wonderful childhood with you before you left. That was when things started going wrong.

Also we are coming to London next year, we think maybe in May when the baby (expected at the end of August) is a bit older. We want to buy a house and Edward thinks London is a good place to start looking for adverts. When we are there can we see you? I want to see you again before I go back to Scotland. It would mean a lot. We are definitely buying a house in Scotland and it costs so much to get a train, that we probably wont come back to Rowan Tree. When I visit next May I will say goodbye forever but I will never forget any of it. Our wonderful horse rides and walks through the woods. The horse sales when we got Belle. Riding Spinner for the first time when I was six. I won’t forget it and I won’t forget you. I’m sorry father and I will always regret what happened. Please can you find it in your heart to forgive me?

Your ever loving daughter,
Rosanne Eva Chambers





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