In a comment sent to my research blog on Mary Gosling and Emma Smith, Dinah at the Priaulx Library on the island of Guernsey sent a link for the library’s delightfully informative article on the Le Marchants. Denis Le Marchant married Emma’s sister Eliza, but his father was a famed Peninsular war hero (and a founder of Sandhurst! I never realized…). Major-General Gaspard Le Marchant wrote to his daughter (Denis’ sister) Katherine during these years – and one has such a ring of something Jane Austen would have included in a novel (or even a letter!) that I just had to copy and share it here:
The Priaulx Library has some of the letters that Gaspard wrote from Spain to his daughter, Katherine (1796-1881). Her grandaughter says of her in a letter that she was like a mother to the younger children. She went on to marry a parson, Basil Fanshawe, and lived in Essex. Gaspard took great care over her education at Mrs de Minibus’ establishment, especially her musical education, and the end of his last letter to her, written on 5 July 1812, about two weeks before his death at Salamanca, reads thus:
Beauty, education and money, are separately capable of obtaining an advantageous marriage. As you have not the money, nor the beauty, your whole reliance is on an excellent education.
Father sometimes knows best…