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  • Writer's pictureJuilet Archer

Hallowe'en is banned!

25 October 2013.   A Letter from Lady Catherine

To Mrs Collins, the wife of the Vicar of Hunsford.


My character has ever been celebrated for its sincerity and frankness, and in a cause such as this I shall certainly not depart from it.

I am aware that your husband is still indisposed after his unexpected ‘immersive experience’ in my lake at Rosings, and must therefore attribute last night’s incident at Hunsford Vicarage to the temporary absence of paternal discipline. However, this morning I do not appear to have received any communication from you, and trust that this letter will serve as a reminder of your duty as mother to your unfortunate children.

I am also aware that yesterday was 31st October, known as All Hallows’ Eve – or, for those afflicted by the modern disease of abbreviation, Hallowe’en. Nevertheless, I cannot condone the wild behaviour that I observed in your offspring and indeed among other children in the neighbourhood. If I had ever allowed my own daughter to participate in the practices I witnessed last night, she would surely have been lost to all propriety!

Furthermore, as your husband’s employer and owner of the property you currently inhabit, I believe I am entitled to visit you without being subjected to the following harassments:

  • having to negotiate a number of grotesquely carved pumpkins along the path to your front door

  • being commanded to ‘trick or treat’ as if I am either a conjuror or an indulgent grandmother

  • having a large placard attached to my car with the words ‘Tonight of all nights I’ve left my broomstick at home’

  • last but by no means least – being asked to remove my witch’s mask

I have therefore decided to ban Hallowe’en with immediate effect in the village of Hunsford. Reverend Collins will be required to rise from his sickbed and assist me in hunting down every pumpkin within a ten-mile radius, which I will then instruct you to make into soup for the needy. I pride myself on being excessively attentive to such things, even when I am most seriously displeased.

I await your earliest reply and grovelling apology.


Lady Catherine de Bourgh.

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