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“Mr. Holmwood has been suddenly called to Ring to see his father, who has been taken seriously ill. Lucy frets at the postponement of seeing him... “

Recovering Lucy’s health through fresh air and exercise may have been part of the reason behind the stay in Whitby. When Mrs. Westenra arranged this holiday in Whitby, it was also her intention that she, her daughter, her daughter’s confidant Mina, and her daughter’s fiancé would spend this time together. She may have seen Mina serving as chaperone for the affectionate and impulsive Lucy. Mina would be able to accompany the young couple to places that Lucy’s aging mother could not. Level-headed, reliable Mina would do her utmost to prevent any premarital excesses. If Mina’s own fiancé, Jonathan, also was invited, he would be an additional steadying influence.

This plan is already getting off to a rocky start, however: Holmwood’s arrival is delayed, Lucy starts sleepwalking again, and Mina is distracted by Jonathan’s unexpected absence.

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“I pray [Lucy’s signs of better health] will all last.”

Is this an actual prayer, or simply a pious wish? Probably both. This is the first time Mina mentions praying in her shorthand journal.

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Argh! Sorry, that should be posted under 27 July! I'm currently camping in Banff, andnot only have I lost track of what day it is, but I was a little too hasty when trying to save on the expensive cellular data I have to use here. I'll try to put things where they ought to go...

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26 July - “Mrs. Westenra has got an idea that sleep–walkers always go out on roofs of houses and along the edges of cliffs and then get suddenly wakened and fall over with a despairing cry that echoes all over the place.”

Aside from this, Lucy’s mother is very practical and level-headed, but this very vivid image suggests that her worries about Lucy are getting the better of her. Maybe her husband had some narrow escapes when sleepwalking which have made her particularly concerned for Lucy.

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Mina's comment about soothing herself by "whispering" to her shorthand journal is one of my personal favourites.

Bryan Alexander

Sounds like a lovely time, M.S.

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All too short, sadly, but the weather was nice and no forest fires or smoke— knock on wood!

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