Sept. 24, 1920

Dear Peter,

After many tears and much thought, I have come to the inescapable conclusion that we cannot remain together. When I vowed before God and our two families to be your faithful wife for as long as I had breath in my body, I did so believing that neither of us had any secrets that would come between us. I know now that I was mistaken, if only because you were not altogether truthful with me.

Still, I agreed to stand by you while you sought treatment for your affliction. No one was happier than I when you declared that you were cured, but it soon became apparent that your optimism was another manifestation of your penchant for dishonesty and self-delusion. Since then, my misgivings have only been affirmed after each “cure” and the inevitable relapse. I simply cannot abide it any longer, though not for the lack of trying. Though what I am about to say may be construed as cruel, you of all people must acknowledge that I have been an exceedingly patient and forgiving woman.

I have consulted with the vicar and have informed him of your perversion (which in modesty I shall not revisit here), and he has assured me that I have credible grounds for divorce. Though it will devastate my parents and tarnish my reputation, I would rather suffer these burdens than continue with this matrimonial charade of ours. In retrospect, it seems a blessing that we have no children, as no doubt they would be traumatised by the heartbreak of it all.

I ask that you grant me this wish of your own charity, lest a contest ensue and your shame be exposed to the public. Although it is not my wish to hurt you or defame your character, my wish to be free is stronger, and I will do as I must. Please be reasonable, Peter, for both our sakes.

And please believe that I wish you no ill, as I know that you are not at heart an depraved man; indeed, I sincerely hope that either medicine or miracle will one day rid you of your demons, so that you may find freedom as well.


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