The last and the first

The last and the first

Hand written cards and letters are part of an ancient but rapidly dying art, hardly helped by the high ratio of people who like or love receiving them to people who find the place, paper, pen and postage to write them.  I mourn this demise while contributing only a...
Unintended consequences

Unintended consequences

A small restaurant in Maine sought to limit the number of reservations by requiring people to send theirs by post. They ended up with more than they could handle, by a long chalk, or pen. Perhaps I could try the same thing with this website. Want to sign up to the...
A packet of yellow love letters

A packet of yellow love letters

What happened to all those love letter in a private drawer, sent and kept over centuries when this was the main medium for long distance love making? The population is larger than ever, yet the material that will survive the ephemera of digital letters and messages...
Letters unsent

Letters unsent

Earlier posts touched on letters unwritten or unopened. There is also a whole class of correspondence that is written but never sent. I have done this myself a couple of times, finding the writing of the letter to be a cathartic act, without any need to follow through...
Keats on hand-writing

Keats on hand-writing

Keats’ letters are treasures – he is every bit as fine a correspondent as he is a poet.  Here he chides a friend for visually attractive but sprawlingly illegible hand-writing. ‘You must improve in your penmanship; your writing is like the speaking...
The scrutiny that precedes reading

The scrutiny that precedes reading

Yes, there is that small ceremony that precedes the reading of a letter, particularly a hand-written one delivered by post.  You look at the envelope, the stamps, the hand-writing (familiar or new?), the franking date and place.  Then you open it and examine the paper...
A mosaic of letters

A mosaic of letters

Referring to the letters between Mary Delany and her beloved sister Anne, Molly Peacock aptly describes them as a paper mosaic, given that Mary more or less invented the art of collage. ‘In a way, Mary’s letters to Anne are a paper mosaick of days and weeks,...
Letters and the lapse of time

Letters and the lapse of time

A moving comment on the effects of time and separation, and the hiatus of news caused by war. Firstly, the sorrow and regret of discovering the death of a loved one after months of silence, only thanks to the efforts of strangers.  Then the question of how many other...

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