British mother-in-law's email rant is Internet hit

30th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

A British woman's email rant at her future daughter-in-law became an Internet sensation on Thursday after she accused the bride-to-be of "uncouthness and lack of grace."

In a withering message entitled "your lack of manners", Carolyn Bourne took Heidi Withers to task over her failures of etiquette and recommended she attend a finishing school "with utmost haste."

Withers, a 29-year-old personal assistant from London who is engaged to Bourne's step-son Freddie, also 29, was so shocked by the email that she sent it on to a few friends.

They forwarded the message to a few others and by Thursday it had been widely circulated on the Internet and appeared in several newspapers, with 60-year-old Bourne coming across as the mother-in-law from hell.

Bourne, who cultivates flowers for a living, berated Withers for her behaviour during a visit in April to the family home in Devon, southwest England, criticising her for staying in bed late.

She also slammed her wish for an extravagant wedding ceremony.

In the email, she told Withers it was "high time someone explained to you about good manners. Yours are obvious by their absence and I feel sorry for you."

Withers' behaviour during the visit was "staggering in its uncouthness and lack of grace," she said.

"If you want to be accepted by the wider Bourne family I suggest you take some guidance from experts with utmost haste. There are plenty of finishing schools around," she wrote.

In a detailed list of criticisms, she slammed her for lying "in bed until late morning in households that rise early" and taking extra food during meals "without being invited to."

She also urged the bride-to-be to avoid having an ostentatious wedding ceremony: "No one gets married in a castle unless they own it," she wrote, adding: "It is brash, celebrity-style behaviour."

Bourne suggested her future daughter-in-law would be an ideal candidate for "Ladette to Lady", a British reality TV show in which ill-mannered, drunken women are taught the finer points of etiquette.

© 2011 AFP

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