A comic tale by Jane Austen in Volume the First, the collection of juvenilia she preserved, which she had written between the ages of 12 and 18. Amelia Webster is in the form of letters, a common genre at the time (and one she was later to try more seriously in Love and Friendship and Lady Susan), but as usual with Jane, completely taking the piss out of the convention. Amelia and her girlfriend write tiny letters and cut off abruptly when there is no room left on the paper. One lover proposes a secret tryst for their letters in a hollow oak (obliging his lady to walk many miles); another is a secret admirer - through a telescope. They all end happily married after these little seven letters of intrigue.

Amelia Webster

an interesting and well written Tale
is dedicated by Permission
Mrs Austen
Her humble Servant
The Author

Letter the first
To Miss Webster

My dear Amelia

You will rejoice to hear of the return of my amiable Brother from abroad. He arrived on Thursday, and never did I see a finer form, save that of your sincere freind

Matilda Hervey

Letter the 2d
To H. Beverley Esquire

Dear Beverley

I arrived here last Thursday and met with a hearty reception from my Father, Mother and Sisters. The latter are both fine Girls--particularly Maud, who I think would suit you as a Wife well enough. What say you to this? She will have two thousand Pounds and as much more as you can get. If you don't marry her you will mortally offend

George Hervey

Letter the 3d
To Miss Hervey

Dear Maud

Beleive me I'm happy to hear of your Brother's arrival. I have a thousand things to tell you, but my paper will only permit me to add that I am yr affect Freind

Amelia Webster

Letter the 4th
To Miss S. Hervey

Dear Sally

I have found a very convenient old hollow oak to put our Letters in; for you know we have long maintained a private Correspondence. It is about a mile from my House and seven from yours. You may perhaps imagine that I might have made choice of a tree which would have divided the Distance more equally--I was sensible of this at the time, but as I considered that the walk would be of benefit to you in your weak and uncertain state of Health, I preferred it to one nearer your House, and am yr faithfull

Benjamin Bar

Letter the 5th
To Miss Hervey

Dear Maud

I write now to inform you that I did not stop at your house in my way to Bath last Monday.--I have many things to inform you of besides; but my Paper reminds me of concluding; and beleive me yr ever &c.

Amelia Webster

Letter the 6th
To Miss Webster



An humble Admirer now addresses you.--I saw you lovely Fair one as you passed on Monday last, before our House in your way to Bath. I saw you thro' a telescope, and was so struck by your Charms that from that time to this I have not tasted human food.

George Hervey

Letter the 7th
To Jack

As I was this morning at Breakfast the Newspaper was brought me, and in the list of Marriages I read the following.

'George Hervey Esqre to Miss Amelia Webster.'
'Henry Beverley Esqre to Miss Hervey'
'Benjamin Bar Esqre to Miss Sarah Hervey'.
yours, Tom


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