Jane Austen smiled at her sister’s letter, she enjoyed hearing from Cassandra, but sometimes her letters just contained a litany of complaints. Some, such as missing seeing the King and Queen were reasonable enough, but a lack of Ice! In September! After a hot summer! Really.
She picked up her pen, tucked her tongue firmly into her cheek, and wrote;
“Your account of Weymouth contains nothing which strikes me so forcibly as there being no Ice in the Town. Weymouth is altogether a shocking place I perceive, without recommendation of any kind, only suitable for the inhabitants of Gloucester!”
A Georgian Ice House
Jane Austen’s letter was written on Friday 14 September 1804.
At the time Ice was collected during the winter and stored in Ice Houses, specially insulated buildings, for use during the summer. Slightly later it was even imported from the Arctic in specially built ships. To have no ice available in late summer was hardly unusual.
No one knows what she had against the inhabitants of Gloucester.
This is in response to Charlie Mills flash fiction challenge, May 23, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story without ice. It can be a world without ice or a summer camp that runs out of cubes for lemonade. What does the lack mean to the story? Go where the prompt leads!
As usual I have been led on an unlikely byway into the past Hope you enjoy it.