Fabulae, a work in progress, is a collection of stories I am constructing with found photographs, letters, and documents. I connect this evidence of real people I don't know in ways that make sense to me, then fill in missing pieces with my imagination to make the story whole.
Real identities, if known, are not used, but all names are built from information in the found materials. Extracts that I've used from letters and documents are reproduced as I found them, original spelling and all. To show respect for the real people who wrote these letters, I do not use the whole of any one letter. Where I have invented content, I've based the content on information that links my fabrication to a real event or person.
The result is what I call Fabulae. The name comes from the Latin word for "fable" and the French verb "fabuler," which means to extrapolate a story about something real to the point that it becomes a tall tale.
So begins these tales with Cordelia.
Markham, December 4, 1892
How are you getting along. I guess you will think I am a dandy not to write to you for so such a long time. And we were such good friends to. I know I owe you an apology. I am sure it was real mean of me not to write before this time but Cordelia I shall just have to ask your forgiveness and I am sure if you relly knowed the love and respect I have for you I think you would not hesitate to forgive me for you would surely know it must be something that keeps me from writing.
From your friend,
W A Ferrier
Kingston, December 6, 1892
I pray this letter finds you well. Mother reported that she enjoyed her visit with you. She is so very proud of your advancement to Matron of the hospital ward.
Oh, Margery, I do wish you were home. Mr. Ferrier has written to me again. I had hoped that when I did not receive a letter from him for so many months that Mr. Ferrier might have forgotten me. Alas, that is not so. He has announced his planned arrival here for the Christmas holidays and is begging me to join him as his guest at a wedding.
I know Father will never approve and I am not certain that I even like Mr. Ferrier. I flushed with shame when he reminded me in his letter of our time under the shed when it rained so heavily. He said that he thinks about us every time he passes that shed. If that were so, why did he not write before now? If only he were not such an attractive man. Mother says to put him out of my mind, that he is a cad.
From your loving sister,
Kingston, August 1, 1893
My dear Sir,
Your letter of July 30th is at hand, and I reply formally. Mrs. Strand and I would be pleased to receive you at our home weekend next. You have my blessing and approval to speak to my daughter Cordelia and request her hand in marriage. We can speak to the details while you are here.
H. Strand, Maj.
New York, March 17, 1895
Wilbert, old chap,
Cordelia and I are will be departing for England after Easter, travelling aboard the SS Majestic. We expect to arrive in Liverpool on April 25, or perhaps sooner if the rumours are to be true. I hear that young Captain Ed. Smith has been assigned to the Majestic with the hope that he can regain the Blue Riband for White Star.
Would you, my friend, look into the final construction and equipping of the house in Oxfordshire? The details are arranged and all but the final accounts paid. Messrs. Lockwood have served me well with securing the land and completing the design. I am informed that construction is proceeding apace. Nonetheless, I would be grateful if you would act on my behalf and ensure all is ready for our arrival. Cordelia is expecting and although her confinement is still months away, she will not be in any condition to cope with an unsettled household.