My Dearest Eleanor,
I hope you have had an enjoyable Christmas in Rome. I myself have been busy, as Mother has been ill and her nurse too taken up with her care to amuse me. I feel alone here now. I find myself jealous of any would be lover you may have taken and have been fantasizing about you most days. I long to see you again Eleanor.
My work has been quiet, as it usually is during this season but with Mother ill the household duties and decisions are incumbent upon me. I have not told her that it is you who is writing to me as I don’t feel she will be with us for much longer, therefore there is nothing to be gained from upsetting her. A long bout of pneumonia has taken its toll and her doctor has prepared me for the worst, should she become so ill again. She is quite agitated some days, forgetting where she is and on others she is quite lucid, sharp even. I feel that her nurse will be busy with her from now on. That is of no consequence as I had slightly bored of the nurse, so perhaps it is time for a new interest.
I have convinced myself that you have found a lover as I have not received a letter from you in some time. I can only hope if you have done so, that you have not given your heart to him. Perhaps, if he is Italian, it will enrich our own experiences when we meet again, as they are rumoured to be a passionate nation. I find myself wanting to go to you but cannot leave Mother at this time; also, I am beginning to doubt that I would be welcomed in Rome.
The attractions of Rome with its rich and vibrant history and its passion may beguile you, but we have much to offer here in New England. You may find that in time you long for the snow and blazing fires of Christmas as we spend it here. The autumn foliage is as rich as any Roman skyline with reds, oranges and yellows that nature itself has gifted us. Spring is warm and green and pleasant, followed by a hot summer when you can bathe in the sea if you wish. This is a beautiful country with much to offer; it will claim your heart should you come to visit, as it did mine.
I remember that you are a keen horsewoman and we have our own stables so there is nothing you could possibly miss about old England and much to be gained from coming to join me. However, as you already know, we could not be open about our relationship as long as mother is alive. I am not yet sure that she would tolerate a visit. As her mind is slipping away and each day I find her more confused it will not be long until I can ask you to come to me. I make the assumption that you have not given your heart to some man in Rome and have cast any thought of me aside.
Your faithful William