When I was little receiving a letter was an exciting moment – especially when it fell outside of birthday season. I remember asking my Dad weekend after weekend if there was anything in the post for me, inevitably there wasn’t. I didn’t have the know-how or attention span for penpals, a regret I carry with me today.
I wish I had kept all the old birthday cards, the friend’s post cards, the occasional letter from a relative. To look back on them now, piecing together bits of my childhood, would be such a pleasurable experience. I have a tendency to remember bad events over good ones, and any written correspondence that could remind me of being happy would be a treasured one.
Sadly moving from house to house means superfluous paper is the first thing to go, and I have no reference guide to my youth. This is why Letters of Note; Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience is so important, it’s a door to a room you never knew existed – it’s our wardrobe to Narnia.
“Letters of Note is a collection of one hundred and twenty five of the world’s most entertaining, inspiring and unusual letters, based on the seismically popular website of the same name – an online museum of correspondence visited by over 70 million people.
From Virginia Woolf’s heart-breaking suicide letter, to Queen Elizabeth II’s recipe for drop scones sent to President Eisenhower; from the first recorded use of the expression ‘OMG’ in a letter to Winston Churchill, to Gandhi’s appeal for calm to Hitler; and from Iggy Pop’s beautiful letter of advice to a troubled young fan, to Leonardo da Vinci’s remarkable job application letter, Letters of Note is a celebration of the power of written correspondence which captures the humour, seriousness, sadness and brilliance that make up all of our lives.” Synopsis from GoodReads.
Of all the letters, my favourites were letters from the likes of Hunter S. Thompson, Kurt Vonnegut, Ernest Hemingway, Virginia Woolf and Katherine Hepburn – to name but a few.