What I once was and how I came to be here

Once I wrote in violet ink in my boudoir, with slippered feet tucked beneath my chair, where no adversity but a little rain could ever touch me; no adversity, but what my own soul wrought.

I made a tidy income then under pseudonym of Henry Age.

And though I feigned displeasure at the dampness of my chamber, a little rain yet delighted the nape of my neck as it trickled through a tiny moldering crack in the ceiling, oddly neglected by the crusty maid Felicity, who dusted webs from even door-cheeks.

Those were days when water boiled fast on a high fire, when the Dresden pot was warm and leaves were loosely steeping on a cold rimy morning, when teacups were many and matching , when the lampblack, which fretted me, was cleaned by the same Felicity.

With a warm water bottle at my back, I wrote in a trance with my eyes closed, bewitched by the vision of an impetuous Belinda or a Sue who ventured on a midnight, often bumping into ghosts, with flu…