It has now been 10 years and counting since I became 'obsessed' with postcards. The hobby cum business consumes most hours of my day and even after a decade, I'm not bored with the subject matter. Au contraire, I continue to be amazed with new discoveries. Many of my 'finds' are not earth-shattering, but simply paint a clearer picture of life during the Belle Epoque. Or, or in some cases, what I read leaves me even more befuddled. Case in point: one of the latest in my personal collection that I just had to share!
Looking at this pretty young woman's photo .....
... can you imagine her saying this:
Darling you, That is what I was waiting for to write you. What do you think of my photo? Better than the original, isn't it? What is really natural, it is my so small mouth!!! Never mind dear! Take me as I am, will you?
I received your letter on Friday but on Thursday I went to your grandmother. Am I silly! I did not remember she was not at her home. So after, I went to your friend Jeanne. I thought she knew where you were but she did not know it & I stayed with her and her sister about one hour. I think she thought I came in purpose for her! If it is so, don't tell her otherwise please. For what you told my (me?) about our going to St. Germain I spoke already to father and the answer: it was possible. You see how I am glad & I thank you very much, darling you and your mother. I am going to mother's on Sunday next. I shall meet probably my cousin so I shall write you later on. Please do write all about your events. I really want to know them. Write soon darling please and receive with best kisses
and best love from
old but ever loving,
26th of August, 1901
My best respectful kisses to your dear mother.
OH...and then there's one more line floating out to the side below her picture: Jane is a charming girl!
(Does she mean Jeanne?)
Wouldn't you love to actually meet Camille? (Where's my time machine?!!) Her portrait and her writing do not go together in my mind. What's your opinion? I know we often tend to think that Victorians and Edwardians were very formal and, well, you know -- stuff shirts! But in her postcard, she doesn't sound anything like I'd imagined looking at her portrait. Oh to be able to actually hear her talk! So much is revealed in one's voice, inflections and such. Of course, too, the facial expressions.
Noting the punctuation (lots of exclamation points which yours truly is also guilty of:) and the lack of punctuation (I edited it as I typed it in for ease in reading) my first thoughts were that Camille is not educated. But then I began to wonder if she's French writing in English? That would definitely account for the disconnected sentence structures here and there. Or perhaps, she was simply writing in a hurry?
When I initially read this card and saw "Darling You," I immediately assumed she was writing to her boyfriend. When I read that she went looking for him .... well:)
However, the joke's on me. Camille sent this postcard to a female friend!
So as I said, some discoveries enlighten me and some befuddle me even more. But all add another piece to the big picture of humanity. And I guess that's why postcards have such a hold on me. They aren't just ink and paper. Ruminate on them enough and you'll start sensing some flesh and bone, some heart and soul ....
PS This postcard is not very 'art-y' but if you can use any part of it in your crafting or art work, you are welcome to copy and save these scans to your computer.