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 real craving of nature

A real craving of nature

Branwell Bronte, the sister-eclipsed son in a family of six, caused them and his father great heartache through alcoholism and opium addiction, dying young.  However, in a saner moment, he wrote to Wordsworth of another, healthier craving. ‘I read for the same...
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...
Straight as an avenue of poplars

Straight as an avenue of poplars

When was the last time you received – or wrote – an 18 page letter?  I think I have managed to write one or two in my life and that’s even allowing for my quite large handwriting. What was in this letter, completely covered in a tall, straight hand...

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