Three years after her sisters married, Catherine Bennet wondered where her life had gone. Before, she was chasing after officers with her younger sister Lydia and going to balls with men who made more than £5,000 a year. Now she spent her days working on her accomplishments: sewing, darning, reading, working on her French, and learning how to keep house. Despite having three sisters married off, Kitty was still not very adept at keeping up with the menus, disputes among the staff, and other household errands. Needless to say, Kitty felt as though she was going crazy at Longbourn without something to do.
Her other sister at home, Mary, spent most of her time reading books about morals or practicing her pianoforte. Kitty was not ashamed to admit that she and Mary were getting along much better than she ever thought they would. Mary was improving at playing the pianoforte and she did not lecture Kitty every day about morals. The sisters were also becoming closer friends since they had to do everything together. Kitty and Mary would walk into Meryton together, help mama when she had one of her nervous fits, visit the local circulating library, and attend card parties during the week. The unmarried sisters were glad to be occupied, but Kitty felt that something was missing. Little did she know, Mary was also feeling quite restless all alone at Longbourn.
Kitty was distractedly attempting to attach a new piece of lace to her bonnet when her thoughts were interrupted by a servant. "Ma'am," said Miriam, one of the maids of the house, "this letter just arrived for you."
"Thank you, Miriam," replied Kitty as she excitedly thought about who could be sending her a letter. The small letter was sent from Pemberley in Derbyshire, so it must be from Lizzy. Kitty excitedly opened the letter as there must be something important happening for Lizzy to write her a letter.
Dear Kitty and Mary,
"Oh! Mary! We have got a letter from Lizzy!" shouted Kitty as she ran from her spot in the parlour and into the music room where Mary spent her days.
"Why would Lizzy be writing a letter to both of us?" wondered Mary as she got up from the piano stool and went to sit by Kitty on the sofa.
"No need to worry about what the letter is about," Kitty excitedly told her older sister, "we have a letter from Lizzy so that must mean that something is happening!" Kitty began to read the letter aloud to Mary,
Dear Kitty and Mary,
I miss you both dearly and I hope Mama is not giving you too much trouble. Fitzwilliam and I have enjoyed the autumn here at Pemberley with Georgiana. Jane and Charles have taken a house in Derbyshire so we have been able to see baby Thomas quite often. Both Jane and I are looking forward to seeing you both at Longbourn for Christmas.
To own to the truth of this letter, I am writing to issue an invitation to you both. Jane and I were discussing how we were to spend the upcoming season in London, and we thought that having you both come and stay would be very beneficial. Georgiana is set to come out into society this season and we would love for her to have companions for navigating the assembly rooms and card parties. Jane and I decided that we will each take one of you for a month, and then switch, so you might not be too crowded. We also have plans to engage some lessons for the pair of you to not only stay occupied, but experience what others have. For Kitty, we have purchased a steady mare that will allow you to work on your horsemanship. As for Mary, we have hired a piano master who will instruct you three days a week and help you develop a style. We have also arranged for art lessons for you two and Georgiana one a week. We hope that these lessons will help entice you to join us for the season.
I have already written to Papa and Jane agrees that he should have no objections. Needless to say, there will be some rules that you must adhere to, but we can discuss those in London. Fitzwilliam, Charles, Jane, Georgiana, and I hope that both of you will accept this offer and enjoy London with us.
I miss you both dearly and want to spend some time with you before we are all married. Please write back express and send it to Darcy House in London as we will be staying there by the time you receive this. Either way, I look forward to seeing you in a few weeks for Christmas.
"We are going to London!" yelled Kitty as she got up from the sofa and began dancing around. She grabbed Mary by the hands and started spinning her around in circles. "London! And studying with the masters! And balls and parties!" exclaimed the younger girl. Her sister looked just as happy, which was a rare sight.
"What is going on in here?" questioned Mrs. Bennet as she walked into the music room to find her two daughters laughing and dancing around.
"Mama, Lizzy and Jane have invited us to go to London with the after Christmas," explained Mary as she was the one their mother was most likely to believe.
"You are absolutely NOT going to London with your sisters. I forbid it!" was the response from their mother.