This collage has truly been a labor of love. When I saw the pretty box frame in the store I had to purchase it and do something special with it. The soft linen lining was begging for beautiful things. My super talented sister-in-law embroidered the Northanger Abbey monogram for it, delicate lace form an antique hankie was perfect for framing that masterpiece. I painted some watercolors of Henry and Catherine and the Abbey ruins, as well as Catherine's muslin dress. I also hand stitched a tiny journal and filled it with this lovely dialogue from Henry and Catherine's first meeting:
"I shall make but a poor figure in your journal tomorrow."
"Yes, I know exactly what you will say: Friday, went to the Lower Rooms; wore my sprigged muslin robe with blue trimmings -- plain black shoes -- appeared to much advantage; but was strangely harassed by a queer, half-witted man, who would make me dance with him, and distressed me by his nonsense."
"Indeed I shall say no such thing."
"Shall I tell you what you ought to say?"
"If you please."
"I danced with a very agreeable young man, introduced by Mr. King; had a great deal of conversation with him -- seems a most extraordinary genius -- hope I may know more of him. That, madam, is what I wish you to say."
"But, perhaps, I keep no journal.
At the bottom are some quotes about Henry and Catherine, done on hand torn and antiqued watercolor paper:
"He seemed to be about four or five and twenty, was rather tall, had a pleasing countenance, a very intelligent and lively eye, and, if not quite handsome, was very near it. His address was good, and Catherine felt herself in high luck. There was little leisure for speaking while they danced; but when they were seated at tea, she found him as agreeable as she had already given him credit for being. He talked with fluency and spirit -- and there was an archness and pleasantry in his manner..."
"her heart was affectionate; her disposition cheerful and open, without conceit or affectation of any kind -- her manners just removed from the awkwardness and shyness of a girl; her person pleasing, and, when in good looks, pretty -- and her mind about as ignorant and uninformed as the female mind at seventeen usually is."
"Her passion for ancient edifices was next in degree to her passion for Henry Tilney -- and castles and abbeys made usually the charm of those reveries which his image did not fill."