Letters and Notes

If Louisa can't be with Harriet as often as she would wish, it seems the next best thing is contacting her by means of the written word.

In this respect, the relationship between the two young women may suggest that of a pair of schoolgirls constantly trading opinions and sounding out each other by means of notes passed during class. Most of the notes, whether to Harriet or from Harriet, are delivered personally by Louisa's father on Wednesdays and Saturdays, the days he goes to market in Halifax. As the Beamishes live right beside the Halifax market, Stephen Collins doesn't have to go out of his way at all. On nine occasions the notes are delivered by the Collins' milk boy; on three occasions, by Mr. Beamish; and on one occasion (O27), by the post boy. Contact between the two girls seems fairly regular. Louisa reports notes changing hands between them 38 times .