Roses on the Beach

Pic is from my trip to Crosby in June.

Something very gothic romance about it.

I think of a young man in 19th century, perhaps a newly qualified lawyer with good prospects, coming to Liverpool to meet the woman he loves, who is to arrive on a ship from America. He buys a bouquet of roses, of course, for roses are her favourite flowers. The ship docks, the passengers disembark, but his beloved is not among them. Heartbroken, the young lawyer suspects she fell in love with another man. He dumps the flowers on the sandy beach and swears never to love again. To escape his disappointment, he leaves for an expedition to West Africa, where he meets his death.

The young lady, his beloved, has in truth not fallen in love with anyone else. She never boarded the ship. Her best friend has had an accident and the young lady rushed to be by her side, as this friend was like a sister to her. She wrote a letter to the young lawyer, explaining she would make the voyage as soon as her friend recovered. How was she to know the young man never read her letter, for he had left before he could have received it?

When she finally arrives to England, she hears of her young man’s death in West Africa and cries many a tear. She vows never to love again, converts to Catholicism and becomes a nun.

Luckily, there’s another version of this story, where the young lawyer has a sister, who tells him he’s being an idiot and that he should trust his beloved–if she was not on the ship, there was probably a good reason and no doubt soon some news would come. Which it does. He reads the letter and it makes him love his beloved even more. “Isn’t she just the best, look how she cares about her friend!” he gushes to his sister. The sister wears her biggest told-you-so face.

Some weeks later, the lovely lady at last arrives on another ship, he waits for her with a fresh bouquet of roses. They get married and live happily ever after.

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