Mention of Jeanette’s illustrated letters home had already been made in the narrative when my editor suggested using them to condense passages. The device proved helpful not only for summarizing events, but also for varying narrative rhythm and revealing the character’s attempts to shape her story for her family. In my imagination, moreover, I could make Jeanette as good a watercolorist as Albert Edelfelts! His letter (in Swedish) depicts “Mme Cotterau with Carolus Duran and Paul Deroulède.” It might as well be from Cornelia’s party after the portrait is unveiled, don’t you think?
For another page of the letter with a fashion doodle, click here
For more information (in Swedish) at the vast Europeana website, click here
For an illustration of Paul Derouléde’s duel with Georges Clemenceau, click here
. (Oh, the serendipity of the web!)