Adam Nicolson comments on the thousands of letters to and from three to four generations of his family, together with their diaries.  A treasure trove certainly, but perhaps, by their sheer volume, a weighty inheritance.  And for all the words and pages, note his observation of what was missing:

And so there was another landscape here, written and rewritten, sheet after sheet, a whispering gallery of family meanings, lasting more than a century, from my great-grandparents to us, a layered tissue of communication. You could make a mattress of those papers, lie back on it and feel the past seeping into your flesh like a kind of damp.  But for all the volume, all the drawers and files, there seemed to be something lacking. So much was written but so little seemed to have been said.

Source: Adam Nicolson, Sissinghurst: An unfinished history (London: Harper Press, 2009), pp. 23-24

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