The Joy of the Letter

Butterfly cardNicola here, talking about letters and cards, letter-writing and research. Last week, a friend who lives a few doors down, put a hand written card through my door to fix up a get-together. She could have texted or used any one of a half dozen other ways of getting in touch but the card really thrilled me because it feels so unusual to receive hand-written cards and letters these days. Despite this, cards and other beautiful stationery are very popular and I’m always tempted to buy some when I visit historic houses or other lovely places that sell smart stationery. As a result, I have an ever-increasing pile of cards in my desk and seldom seem to have the chance to send them to anyone, though I do my best to find those occasions when I can.

At the same time, I’ve been researching the book I’m writing about the history of Ashdown House, and have been reminded of how important letters and letter-writing was to our forbears as a way of sharing news (and gossip!) and consequently how useful letters are to historians. In fact, my new fiction timeslip book also underlines this, as the heroine and her sister are both illiterate, never having been taught to read or write as children because they were poor (and girls). Learning to read is one of my heroine’s ambitions.

Anyway, back to the historic letters. One of the people connected with Ashdown House is the Hon. Maria Margaretta Craven, better known as the Countess of Sefton and one of the patronesses Lady Louisa Frederica Hayter
of Almacks. When I was writing Regency romance I came across Maria Sefton and it seemed quite difficult to find out much about her; she was always referred to as being “kind,” presumably the sort of patroness who would find a handsome young man to dance with a wallflower. But in the course of my research, I discovered that there is a stack of letters written by Thomas Creevey, who was an MP in the Regency period that feature the Sefton family a great deal. One in particular caught my eye. “Our family here (the Seftons) were put rather in a fuss yesterday by receiving a letter from Lady Craven informing Lady Sefton officially and at some length that her daughter’s intended marriage with the Hon James Abercromby was broken off by the young lady herself, who found out at last (for the wedding day was very near) that she really could not like him enough to marry him. Her principal objection to him is that he never opens his mouth and refuses any connection to a book.” She sounds like a sensible girl even if she did leave it a bit late to jilt her fiancé, and you can see in the picture that she is writing in a book so obviously reading and writing is very important to her!

The other famous letter relating to Ashdown House was one written by Jane Austen to her sister Cassandra in 1801. The Austen and Craven families were related by marriage and the Earl spent time some time with his cousins at Barton Lodge. Jane writes: “Eliza has seen Lord Craven at Barton… She found his manners very pleasing indeed. The little flaw of having a mistress now living with him at Ashdown Park seems to be the only unpleasing circumstance about him.”

Sense and SensibilityNot only do letters give great gossip but they also give an insight into the writer and the subject. Lady Craven had been an actress before her marriage so I can quite imagine the theatrical way in which she delivered the news of her daughter’s broken engagement – and perhaps kind Lady Sefton was requited to smooth over her niece Lady Louisa’s scandalous behaviour so that society did not take against her. As for Jane Austen’s comment, there is so much of her wit in it and it says so much about Regency society. When Jane Austen wrote the rakish character Willoughby in Sense and Sensibility there were a lot of people who believed it was inspired by Lord Craven.

Then there are the letters written under the shadow of war. A few years ago, I wrote a book set during the English Civil War and during the course of that I Sir_William_Waller_by_Cornelius_Johnson came across a letter I’ll never forget, that goes straight to the heart of friendship. Sir William Waller held a command in the Parliamentarian Army during the English Civil War. His lifelong friend Sir Ralph Hopton served as a commander on the Royalist side. They ended up physically fighting against one another. The letter that Waller (pictured) wrote to Hopton about the effect of the war on men’s loyalties and friendship is heartrending:

“The experience I have had of your worth and the happiness I have enjoyed in your friendship are wounding considerations when I look upon this present distance between us… My affection to you is so unchangeable that hostility itself cannot violate my friendship, but I must be true to the cause wherein I serve. We are both upon the stage and must act the parts assigned to us in this tragedy. Let us do it in a way of honour… Whatever the issue be, I shall never relinquish the dear title of your most affectionate friend, William Waller.”

For me this letter has always summed up the terrible consequences of civil war for people having to choose between family, friends and the causes they believe in, and the direct words bring the emotions straight home.

If there’s one thing that can always make me cry it’s the love letter of Major Sullivan Ballou to his wife Sarah in the American Civil War, on the eve of battle. “Sarah, my love for you is deathless. It seems to bind me with mighty cables, that nothing but Omnipotence can break; and yet, my love of country comes over me like a strong wind, and bears me irresistibly on with all those chains, to the battlefield. The memories of all the blissful moments I have spent with you come crowding over me, and I feel most deeply grateful to God and you, that I have enjoyed them so long…” It has to be one of the finest love letters ever written.

Wentworth letterBut let’s end on a happier note with my favourite fictional letter of all time, that of Captain Wentworth to Anne Elliott in Persuasion. “I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you…”

Before we were married, when we were “just friends” my husband I wrote letters to each other. It was a time pre-emails, text or anything else (in fact we received a telegram of congratulation from a relative on our wedding day!) The pleasure of writing a letter or sending a nice card still lingers for me. I still love receiving them. Maybe we should send more instead of dashing off a quick electronic note?

Do you have a favourite letter you have sent, received or read? Do you still enjoy using lovely stationery? Or do you think the convenience of texts, WhatsApp and other electronic messaging is actually better for helping us all keep in touch?

145 thoughts on “The Joy of the Letter”

  1. Receiving a card or note is a lovely surprise in the mail and I always try to send hand written sympathy cards. Sullivan Ballou’s love letter to Sarah always makes me cry and Ken Burns used it so beautifully in The Civil War documentary. My favorite piece of family ephemera is a post card sent by my husband’s immigrant grandmother to her daughter in 1944. It was in Sicilian so I had it translated a few years ago and in it mother asked daughter not to forget to “bring the tongue in the refrigerator”. A matter of fact message that Rita treasured as her mother passed away a few months later. Thank you, Nicola, lovely post.

    Reply
  2. Receiving a card or note is a lovely surprise in the mail and I always try to send hand written sympathy cards. Sullivan Ballou’s love letter to Sarah always makes me cry and Ken Burns used it so beautifully in The Civil War documentary. My favorite piece of family ephemera is a post card sent by my husband’s immigrant grandmother to her daughter in 1944. It was in Sicilian so I had it translated a few years ago and in it mother asked daughter not to forget to “bring the tongue in the refrigerator”. A matter of fact message that Rita treasured as her mother passed away a few months later. Thank you, Nicola, lovely post.

    Reply
  3. Receiving a card or note is a lovely surprise in the mail and I always try to send hand written sympathy cards. Sullivan Ballou’s love letter to Sarah always makes me cry and Ken Burns used it so beautifully in The Civil War documentary. My favorite piece of family ephemera is a post card sent by my husband’s immigrant grandmother to her daughter in 1944. It was in Sicilian so I had it translated a few years ago and in it mother asked daughter not to forget to “bring the tongue in the refrigerator”. A matter of fact message that Rita treasured as her mother passed away a few months later. Thank you, Nicola, lovely post.

    Reply
  4. Receiving a card or note is a lovely surprise in the mail and I always try to send hand written sympathy cards. Sullivan Ballou’s love letter to Sarah always makes me cry and Ken Burns used it so beautifully in The Civil War documentary. My favorite piece of family ephemera is a post card sent by my husband’s immigrant grandmother to her daughter in 1944. It was in Sicilian so I had it translated a few years ago and in it mother asked daughter not to forget to “bring the tongue in the refrigerator”. A matter of fact message that Rita treasured as her mother passed away a few months later. Thank you, Nicola, lovely post.

    Reply
  5. Receiving a card or note is a lovely surprise in the mail and I always try to send hand written sympathy cards. Sullivan Ballou’s love letter to Sarah always makes me cry and Ken Burns used it so beautifully in The Civil War documentary. My favorite piece of family ephemera is a post card sent by my husband’s immigrant grandmother to her daughter in 1944. It was in Sicilian so I had it translated a few years ago and in it mother asked daughter not to forget to “bring the tongue in the refrigerator”. A matter of fact message that Rita treasured as her mother passed away a few months later. Thank you, Nicola, lovely post.

    Reply
  6. What a lovely post, Nicola, you almost had me in tears there! Such poignant messages that really resonate. I totally agree about the Civil War one – it must have been so hard to be fighting with people you’d been friends with all your life. Family members too!
    As for stationery – yes, I’m exactly like you! I can never resist and have a desk full of cards, notelets and other such things. I used to love corresponding with friends and really miss getting “real” post!

    Reply
  7. What a lovely post, Nicola, you almost had me in tears there! Such poignant messages that really resonate. I totally agree about the Civil War one – it must have been so hard to be fighting with people you’d been friends with all your life. Family members too!
    As for stationery – yes, I’m exactly like you! I can never resist and have a desk full of cards, notelets and other such things. I used to love corresponding with friends and really miss getting “real” post!

    Reply
  8. What a lovely post, Nicola, you almost had me in tears there! Such poignant messages that really resonate. I totally agree about the Civil War one – it must have been so hard to be fighting with people you’d been friends with all your life. Family members too!
    As for stationery – yes, I’m exactly like you! I can never resist and have a desk full of cards, notelets and other such things. I used to love corresponding with friends and really miss getting “real” post!

    Reply
  9. What a lovely post, Nicola, you almost had me in tears there! Such poignant messages that really resonate. I totally agree about the Civil War one – it must have been so hard to be fighting with people you’d been friends with all your life. Family members too!
    As for stationery – yes, I’m exactly like you! I can never resist and have a desk full of cards, notelets and other such things. I used to love corresponding with friends and really miss getting “real” post!

    Reply
  10. What a lovely post, Nicola, you almost had me in tears there! Such poignant messages that really resonate. I totally agree about the Civil War one – it must have been so hard to be fighting with people you’d been friends with all your life. Family members too!
    As for stationery – yes, I’m exactly like you! I can never resist and have a desk full of cards, notelets and other such things. I used to love corresponding with friends and really miss getting “real” post!

    Reply
  11. Nicola, what a wonderful collection of letters, from the heartbreak of William Waller’s letter to his friend, to the tear worthy joy of Captain Wentworth’s letter to Anne.
    And yes, the disappearance to physical correspondence will be a great blow to future historical researchers.
    Like you, I admire beautiful stationery but I don’t buy it because I know it won’t be used. The only handwritten letters are write these days are condolences when a friend has suffered a great loss. My handwriting is not very legible even when I’m trying, but sympathy for a grieving friend says I must do my best. And hope my words can be read!

    Reply
  12. Nicola, what a wonderful collection of letters, from the heartbreak of William Waller’s letter to his friend, to the tear worthy joy of Captain Wentworth’s letter to Anne.
    And yes, the disappearance to physical correspondence will be a great blow to future historical researchers.
    Like you, I admire beautiful stationery but I don’t buy it because I know it won’t be used. The only handwritten letters are write these days are condolences when a friend has suffered a great loss. My handwriting is not very legible even when I’m trying, but sympathy for a grieving friend says I must do my best. And hope my words can be read!

    Reply
  13. Nicola, what a wonderful collection of letters, from the heartbreak of William Waller’s letter to his friend, to the tear worthy joy of Captain Wentworth’s letter to Anne.
    And yes, the disappearance to physical correspondence will be a great blow to future historical researchers.
    Like you, I admire beautiful stationery but I don’t buy it because I know it won’t be used. The only handwritten letters are write these days are condolences when a friend has suffered a great loss. My handwriting is not very legible even when I’m trying, but sympathy for a grieving friend says I must do my best. And hope my words can be read!

    Reply
  14. Nicola, what a wonderful collection of letters, from the heartbreak of William Waller’s letter to his friend, to the tear worthy joy of Captain Wentworth’s letter to Anne.
    And yes, the disappearance to physical correspondence will be a great blow to future historical researchers.
    Like you, I admire beautiful stationery but I don’t buy it because I know it won’t be used. The only handwritten letters are write these days are condolences when a friend has suffered a great loss. My handwriting is not very legible even when I’m trying, but sympathy for a grieving friend says I must do my best. And hope my words can be read!

    Reply
  15. Nicola, what a wonderful collection of letters, from the heartbreak of William Waller’s letter to his friend, to the tear worthy joy of Captain Wentworth’s letter to Anne.
    And yes, the disappearance to physical correspondence will be a great blow to future historical researchers.
    Like you, I admire beautiful stationery but I don’t buy it because I know it won’t be used. The only handwritten letters are write these days are condolences when a friend has suffered a great loss. My handwriting is not very legible even when I’m trying, but sympathy for a grieving friend says I must do my best. And hope my words can be read!

    Reply
  16. I’m not sure if this comment will go through or not. The last several days I have been unable to see the comments. Don’t know if the problem is with you or with me.
    Anyway, back to letter writing. I always enjoyed writing letters and even more receiving them. The person I wrote to most over the years was my grandma. I wrote to her to the very end of her life. I started writing to her even before I could write. My mother would leave a space at the end of her letter for me to “write” something to grandma. It was just squiggly lines but grandma always wrote back to me.
    Loved this piece.

    Reply
  17. I’m not sure if this comment will go through or not. The last several days I have been unable to see the comments. Don’t know if the problem is with you or with me.
    Anyway, back to letter writing. I always enjoyed writing letters and even more receiving them. The person I wrote to most over the years was my grandma. I wrote to her to the very end of her life. I started writing to her even before I could write. My mother would leave a space at the end of her letter for me to “write” something to grandma. It was just squiggly lines but grandma always wrote back to me.
    Loved this piece.

    Reply
  18. I’m not sure if this comment will go through or not. The last several days I have been unable to see the comments. Don’t know if the problem is with you or with me.
    Anyway, back to letter writing. I always enjoyed writing letters and even more receiving them. The person I wrote to most over the years was my grandma. I wrote to her to the very end of her life. I started writing to her even before I could write. My mother would leave a space at the end of her letter for me to “write” something to grandma. It was just squiggly lines but grandma always wrote back to me.
    Loved this piece.

    Reply
  19. I’m not sure if this comment will go through or not. The last several days I have been unable to see the comments. Don’t know if the problem is with you or with me.
    Anyway, back to letter writing. I always enjoyed writing letters and even more receiving them. The person I wrote to most over the years was my grandma. I wrote to her to the very end of her life. I started writing to her even before I could write. My mother would leave a space at the end of her letter for me to “write” something to grandma. It was just squiggly lines but grandma always wrote back to me.
    Loved this piece.

    Reply
  20. I’m not sure if this comment will go through or not. The last several days I have been unable to see the comments. Don’t know if the problem is with you or with me.
    Anyway, back to letter writing. I always enjoyed writing letters and even more receiving them. The person I wrote to most over the years was my grandma. I wrote to her to the very end of her life. I started writing to her even before I could write. My mother would leave a space at the end of her letter for me to “write” something to grandma. It was just squiggly lines but grandma always wrote back to me.
    Loved this piece.

    Reply
  21. Apologies to everyone who has commented on the blog and whose comments aren’t showing up. We have put in a ticket to report the problem again. Thank you all for your thought and comments!

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  22. Apologies to everyone who has commented on the blog and whose comments aren’t showing up. We have put in a ticket to report the problem again. Thank you all for your thought and comments!

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  23. Apologies to everyone who has commented on the blog and whose comments aren’t showing up. We have put in a ticket to report the problem again. Thank you all for your thought and comments!

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  24. Apologies to everyone who has commented on the blog and whose comments aren’t showing up. We have put in a ticket to report the problem again. Thank you all for your thought and comments!

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  25. Apologies to everyone who has commented on the blog and whose comments aren’t showing up. We have put in a ticket to report the problem again. Thank you all for your thought and comments!

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  26. I always write a thankyou note when someone gives me something. The only exception is when I don’t have an address. I still have the letters my future husband wrote me when he was in the Army and later in Vietnam. Ditto for when my son served and was in Iraq. I try to convince my granddaughter that written notes are important.

    Reply
  27. I always write a thankyou note when someone gives me something. The only exception is when I don’t have an address. I still have the letters my future husband wrote me when he was in the Army and later in Vietnam. Ditto for when my son served and was in Iraq. I try to convince my granddaughter that written notes are important.

    Reply
  28. I always write a thankyou note when someone gives me something. The only exception is when I don’t have an address. I still have the letters my future husband wrote me when he was in the Army and later in Vietnam. Ditto for when my son served and was in Iraq. I try to convince my granddaughter that written notes are important.

    Reply
  29. I always write a thankyou note when someone gives me something. The only exception is when I don’t have an address. I still have the letters my future husband wrote me when he was in the Army and later in Vietnam. Ditto for when my son served and was in Iraq. I try to convince my granddaughter that written notes are important.

    Reply
  30. I always write a thankyou note when someone gives me something. The only exception is when I don’t have an address. I still have the letters my future husband wrote me when he was in the Army and later in Vietnam. Ditto for when my son served and was in Iraq. I try to convince my granddaughter that written notes are important.

    Reply
  31. I still love to get letters in the post. I think we’ve lost something with texts and emails. When I was young my Godmother would send me a card with a ten shilling note in it for my birthday every year. I would wait anxiously for it to arrive. My birthday is Christmas week and we would go for our annual trip to town for Christmas shopping. I used to pray it would arrive before the trip as I was waiting for the money to buy books. It was the only time of the year I could do so. We lived out in the countryside and had no access to a library. I had quite a few pen pals back in the day also. I read a book of love letters from soldiers in WW1 to their wives and sweethearts. They were truly beautiful.
    Great post Nicola!

    Reply
  32. I still love to get letters in the post. I think we’ve lost something with texts and emails. When I was young my Godmother would send me a card with a ten shilling note in it for my birthday every year. I would wait anxiously for it to arrive. My birthday is Christmas week and we would go for our annual trip to town for Christmas shopping. I used to pray it would arrive before the trip as I was waiting for the money to buy books. It was the only time of the year I could do so. We lived out in the countryside and had no access to a library. I had quite a few pen pals back in the day also. I read a book of love letters from soldiers in WW1 to their wives and sweethearts. They were truly beautiful.
    Great post Nicola!

    Reply
  33. I still love to get letters in the post. I think we’ve lost something with texts and emails. When I was young my Godmother would send me a card with a ten shilling note in it for my birthday every year. I would wait anxiously for it to arrive. My birthday is Christmas week and we would go for our annual trip to town for Christmas shopping. I used to pray it would arrive before the trip as I was waiting for the money to buy books. It was the only time of the year I could do so. We lived out in the countryside and had no access to a library. I had quite a few pen pals back in the day also. I read a book of love letters from soldiers in WW1 to their wives and sweethearts. They were truly beautiful.
    Great post Nicola!

    Reply
  34. I still love to get letters in the post. I think we’ve lost something with texts and emails. When I was young my Godmother would send me a card with a ten shilling note in it for my birthday every year. I would wait anxiously for it to arrive. My birthday is Christmas week and we would go for our annual trip to town for Christmas shopping. I used to pray it would arrive before the trip as I was waiting for the money to buy books. It was the only time of the year I could do so. We lived out in the countryside and had no access to a library. I had quite a few pen pals back in the day also. I read a book of love letters from soldiers in WW1 to their wives and sweethearts. They were truly beautiful.
    Great post Nicola!

    Reply
  35. I still love to get letters in the post. I think we’ve lost something with texts and emails. When I was young my Godmother would send me a card with a ten shilling note in it for my birthday every year. I would wait anxiously for it to arrive. My birthday is Christmas week and we would go for our annual trip to town for Christmas shopping. I used to pray it would arrive before the trip as I was waiting for the money to buy books. It was the only time of the year I could do so. We lived out in the countryside and had no access to a library. I had quite a few pen pals back in the day also. I read a book of love letters from soldiers in WW1 to their wives and sweethearts. They were truly beautiful.
    Great post Nicola!

    Reply
  36. Thank you so much, Teresa, I am glad you enjoyed it. Your comment about getting the birthday card – and ten shillings! – reminds me of how excited I was as a girl to get money sent in birthday and Christmas cards! A bit of independence to buy what you wanted… I too had a penpal and it was fun waiting for those letters from exciting places with their unusual stamps. Ah, nostalgia!

    Reply
  37. Thank you so much, Teresa, I am glad you enjoyed it. Your comment about getting the birthday card – and ten shillings! – reminds me of how excited I was as a girl to get money sent in birthday and Christmas cards! A bit of independence to buy what you wanted… I too had a penpal and it was fun waiting for those letters from exciting places with their unusual stamps. Ah, nostalgia!

    Reply
  38. Thank you so much, Teresa, I am glad you enjoyed it. Your comment about getting the birthday card – and ten shillings! – reminds me of how excited I was as a girl to get money sent in birthday and Christmas cards! A bit of independence to buy what you wanted… I too had a penpal and it was fun waiting for those letters from exciting places with their unusual stamps. Ah, nostalgia!

    Reply
  39. Thank you so much, Teresa, I am glad you enjoyed it. Your comment about getting the birthday card – and ten shillings! – reminds me of how excited I was as a girl to get money sent in birthday and Christmas cards! A bit of independence to buy what you wanted… I too had a penpal and it was fun waiting for those letters from exciting places with their unusual stamps. Ah, nostalgia!

    Reply
  40. Thank you so much, Teresa, I am glad you enjoyed it. Your comment about getting the birthday card – and ten shillings! – reminds me of how excited I was as a girl to get money sent in birthday and Christmas cards! A bit of independence to buy what you wanted… I too had a penpal and it was fun waiting for those letters from exciting places with their unusual stamps. Ah, nostalgia!

    Reply
  41. Pat, I think that’s wonderful that you have all those letters as keepsakes. I wonder whether younger people will come around to seeing handwritten notes as special in the same way that they have embraced other “old” things? I do hope so!

    Reply
  42. Pat, I think that’s wonderful that you have all those letters as keepsakes. I wonder whether younger people will come around to seeing handwritten notes as special in the same way that they have embraced other “old” things? I do hope so!

    Reply
  43. Pat, I think that’s wonderful that you have all those letters as keepsakes. I wonder whether younger people will come around to seeing handwritten notes as special in the same way that they have embraced other “old” things? I do hope so!

    Reply
  44. Pat, I think that’s wonderful that you have all those letters as keepsakes. I wonder whether younger people will come around to seeing handwritten notes as special in the same way that they have embraced other “old” things? I do hope so!

    Reply
  45. Pat, I think that’s wonderful that you have all those letters as keepsakes. I wonder whether younger people will come around to seeing handwritten notes as special in the same way that they have embraced other “old” things? I do hope so!

    Reply
  46. Mary, that is such a lovely story about you writing to your grandma! I do believe these things are so important and are part of forging important relationships and happy memories for us.

    Reply
  47. Mary, that is such a lovely story about you writing to your grandma! I do believe these things are so important and are part of forging important relationships and happy memories for us.

    Reply
  48. Mary, that is such a lovely story about you writing to your grandma! I do believe these things are so important and are part of forging important relationships and happy memories for us.

    Reply
  49. Mary, that is such a lovely story about you writing to your grandma! I do believe these things are so important and are part of forging important relationships and happy memories for us.

    Reply
  50. Mary, that is such a lovely story about you writing to your grandma! I do believe these things are so important and are part of forging important relationships and happy memories for us.

    Reply
  51. Denise, it was in that documentary that I first heard the Sullivan Balou letter and I cried buckets. I still do! But it is such a beautiful evocation of love and duty.
    I absolutely love your story of the postcard!!

    Reply
  52. Denise, it was in that documentary that I first heard the Sullivan Balou letter and I cried buckets. I still do! But it is such a beautiful evocation of love and duty.
    I absolutely love your story of the postcard!!

    Reply
  53. Denise, it was in that documentary that I first heard the Sullivan Balou letter and I cried buckets. I still do! But it is such a beautiful evocation of love and duty.
    I absolutely love your story of the postcard!!

    Reply
  54. Denise, it was in that documentary that I first heard the Sullivan Balou letter and I cried buckets. I still do! But it is such a beautiful evocation of love and duty.
    I absolutely love your story of the postcard!!

    Reply
  55. Denise, it was in that documentary that I first heard the Sullivan Balou letter and I cried buckets. I still do! But it is such a beautiful evocation of love and duty.
    I absolutely love your story of the postcard!!

    Reply
  56. I miss letters. Long ago when I was in college, my roommate and I used to send long letters during the summer to keep in touch. Now we use email, which is easier on arthritic fingers, but never quite as satisfying as opening a nice, fat envelope.
    It’s a terrible loss for the researchers of the future. Even if they manage to retrieve all the electronic missives, “Luv U” is not as impressive as Major Ballou’s letter.

    Reply
  57. I miss letters. Long ago when I was in college, my roommate and I used to send long letters during the summer to keep in touch. Now we use email, which is easier on arthritic fingers, but never quite as satisfying as opening a nice, fat envelope.
    It’s a terrible loss for the researchers of the future. Even if they manage to retrieve all the electronic missives, “Luv U” is not as impressive as Major Ballou’s letter.

    Reply
  58. I miss letters. Long ago when I was in college, my roommate and I used to send long letters during the summer to keep in touch. Now we use email, which is easier on arthritic fingers, but never quite as satisfying as opening a nice, fat envelope.
    It’s a terrible loss for the researchers of the future. Even if they manage to retrieve all the electronic missives, “Luv U” is not as impressive as Major Ballou’s letter.

    Reply
  59. I miss letters. Long ago when I was in college, my roommate and I used to send long letters during the summer to keep in touch. Now we use email, which is easier on arthritic fingers, but never quite as satisfying as opening a nice, fat envelope.
    It’s a terrible loss for the researchers of the future. Even if they manage to retrieve all the electronic missives, “Luv U” is not as impressive as Major Ballou’s letter.

    Reply
  60. I miss letters. Long ago when I was in college, my roommate and I used to send long letters during the summer to keep in touch. Now we use email, which is easier on arthritic fingers, but never quite as satisfying as opening a nice, fat envelope.
    It’s a terrible loss for the researchers of the future. Even if they manage to retrieve all the electronic missives, “Luv U” is not as impressive as Major Ballou’s letter.

    Reply
  61. What a lovely post, Nicola! Thank you so much for this! I still send cards and letters and am lucky to have several friends who still do the same. Others tell me they love getting “real mail” but apparently aren’t inspired to reciprocate! Last year, i realized that my note card and stationery stash was more than sufficient to last a lifetime, but was still not as bountiful as the postcard stash accumulated over my travels. One of my resolutions for this year was to send postcards on a regular basis, for no particular reason at all, to those who might enjoy a glimpse of some place we’ve either been together, or that I particularly enjoyed. I do think it may be the only resolution I’ve ever been completely successful at keeping.
    As for favorite letters, Captain Wentworth’s is definitely one of my very favorites. I started thinking about that in the first paragraph of your blog, and was very happy to see that you agree. My other favorite literary letter is in Busman’s Honeymoon, the Dorothy Sayers’s mystery in which Lord Peter and Harriet Vane get married. Large parts of the letter are in French, and I remember asking a young woman who worked for me if she could translate the French parts. She’d never read any of Sayers and fell in love with Lord Peter just from that letter!

    Reply
  62. What a lovely post, Nicola! Thank you so much for this! I still send cards and letters and am lucky to have several friends who still do the same. Others tell me they love getting “real mail” but apparently aren’t inspired to reciprocate! Last year, i realized that my note card and stationery stash was more than sufficient to last a lifetime, but was still not as bountiful as the postcard stash accumulated over my travels. One of my resolutions for this year was to send postcards on a regular basis, for no particular reason at all, to those who might enjoy a glimpse of some place we’ve either been together, or that I particularly enjoyed. I do think it may be the only resolution I’ve ever been completely successful at keeping.
    As for favorite letters, Captain Wentworth’s is definitely one of my very favorites. I started thinking about that in the first paragraph of your blog, and was very happy to see that you agree. My other favorite literary letter is in Busman’s Honeymoon, the Dorothy Sayers’s mystery in which Lord Peter and Harriet Vane get married. Large parts of the letter are in French, and I remember asking a young woman who worked for me if she could translate the French parts. She’d never read any of Sayers and fell in love with Lord Peter just from that letter!

    Reply
  63. What a lovely post, Nicola! Thank you so much for this! I still send cards and letters and am lucky to have several friends who still do the same. Others tell me they love getting “real mail” but apparently aren’t inspired to reciprocate! Last year, i realized that my note card and stationery stash was more than sufficient to last a lifetime, but was still not as bountiful as the postcard stash accumulated over my travels. One of my resolutions for this year was to send postcards on a regular basis, for no particular reason at all, to those who might enjoy a glimpse of some place we’ve either been together, or that I particularly enjoyed. I do think it may be the only resolution I’ve ever been completely successful at keeping.
    As for favorite letters, Captain Wentworth’s is definitely one of my very favorites. I started thinking about that in the first paragraph of your blog, and was very happy to see that you agree. My other favorite literary letter is in Busman’s Honeymoon, the Dorothy Sayers’s mystery in which Lord Peter and Harriet Vane get married. Large parts of the letter are in French, and I remember asking a young woman who worked for me if she could translate the French parts. She’d never read any of Sayers and fell in love with Lord Peter just from that letter!

    Reply
  64. What a lovely post, Nicola! Thank you so much for this! I still send cards and letters and am lucky to have several friends who still do the same. Others tell me they love getting “real mail” but apparently aren’t inspired to reciprocate! Last year, i realized that my note card and stationery stash was more than sufficient to last a lifetime, but was still not as bountiful as the postcard stash accumulated over my travels. One of my resolutions for this year was to send postcards on a regular basis, for no particular reason at all, to those who might enjoy a glimpse of some place we’ve either been together, or that I particularly enjoyed. I do think it may be the only resolution I’ve ever been completely successful at keeping.
    As for favorite letters, Captain Wentworth’s is definitely one of my very favorites. I started thinking about that in the first paragraph of your blog, and was very happy to see that you agree. My other favorite literary letter is in Busman’s Honeymoon, the Dorothy Sayers’s mystery in which Lord Peter and Harriet Vane get married. Large parts of the letter are in French, and I remember asking a young woman who worked for me if she could translate the French parts. She’d never read any of Sayers and fell in love with Lord Peter just from that letter!

    Reply
  65. What a lovely post, Nicola! Thank you so much for this! I still send cards and letters and am lucky to have several friends who still do the same. Others tell me they love getting “real mail” but apparently aren’t inspired to reciprocate! Last year, i realized that my note card and stationery stash was more than sufficient to last a lifetime, but was still not as bountiful as the postcard stash accumulated over my travels. One of my resolutions for this year was to send postcards on a regular basis, for no particular reason at all, to those who might enjoy a glimpse of some place we’ve either been together, or that I particularly enjoyed. I do think it may be the only resolution I’ve ever been completely successful at keeping.
    As for favorite letters, Captain Wentworth’s is definitely one of my very favorites. I started thinking about that in the first paragraph of your blog, and was very happy to see that you agree. My other favorite literary letter is in Busman’s Honeymoon, the Dorothy Sayers’s mystery in which Lord Peter and Harriet Vane get married. Large parts of the letter are in French, and I remember asking a young woman who worked for me if she could translate the French parts. She’d never read any of Sayers and fell in love with Lord Peter just from that letter!

    Reply
  66. Once upon a time, during the Viet Nam war, Mr Wonderful and I wrote letters to one another every day. He was in the Navy and I was at home. Then as an illustration of his true rotten nature, when he was dumping me, he took the box of his letters I had saved and threw them away. I could have dealt with that, but in that same box was a letter from my paternal grandfather wishing me well on my wedding, as well as a tintype picture of one of my ancestors during his time in the Civil War. My grandfather was a man who seldom talked at all, and that letter meant the world to me. It was one of the sweetest letters I ever received.
    I write notes to people now. I truly believe that a hand written note or letter shows an attempt at true connection.
    Thanks for this post, it makes me smile and remember and enjoy.

    Reply
  67. Once upon a time, during the Viet Nam war, Mr Wonderful and I wrote letters to one another every day. He was in the Navy and I was at home. Then as an illustration of his true rotten nature, when he was dumping me, he took the box of his letters I had saved and threw them away. I could have dealt with that, but in that same box was a letter from my paternal grandfather wishing me well on my wedding, as well as a tintype picture of one of my ancestors during his time in the Civil War. My grandfather was a man who seldom talked at all, and that letter meant the world to me. It was one of the sweetest letters I ever received.
    I write notes to people now. I truly believe that a hand written note or letter shows an attempt at true connection.
    Thanks for this post, it makes me smile and remember and enjoy.

    Reply
  68. Once upon a time, during the Viet Nam war, Mr Wonderful and I wrote letters to one another every day. He was in the Navy and I was at home. Then as an illustration of his true rotten nature, when he was dumping me, he took the box of his letters I had saved and threw them away. I could have dealt with that, but in that same box was a letter from my paternal grandfather wishing me well on my wedding, as well as a tintype picture of one of my ancestors during his time in the Civil War. My grandfather was a man who seldom talked at all, and that letter meant the world to me. It was one of the sweetest letters I ever received.
    I write notes to people now. I truly believe that a hand written note or letter shows an attempt at true connection.
    Thanks for this post, it makes me smile and remember and enjoy.

    Reply
  69. Once upon a time, during the Viet Nam war, Mr Wonderful and I wrote letters to one another every day. He was in the Navy and I was at home. Then as an illustration of his true rotten nature, when he was dumping me, he took the box of his letters I had saved and threw them away. I could have dealt with that, but in that same box was a letter from my paternal grandfather wishing me well on my wedding, as well as a tintype picture of one of my ancestors during his time in the Civil War. My grandfather was a man who seldom talked at all, and that letter meant the world to me. It was one of the sweetest letters I ever received.
    I write notes to people now. I truly believe that a hand written note or letter shows an attempt at true connection.
    Thanks for this post, it makes me smile and remember and enjoy.

    Reply
  70. Once upon a time, during the Viet Nam war, Mr Wonderful and I wrote letters to one another every day. He was in the Navy and I was at home. Then as an illustration of his true rotten nature, when he was dumping me, he took the box of his letters I had saved and threw them away. I could have dealt with that, but in that same box was a letter from my paternal grandfather wishing me well on my wedding, as well as a tintype picture of one of my ancestors during his time in the Civil War. My grandfather was a man who seldom talked at all, and that letter meant the world to me. It was one of the sweetest letters I ever received.
    I write notes to people now. I truly believe that a hand written note or letter shows an attempt at true connection.
    Thanks for this post, it makes me smile and remember and enjoy.

    Reply
  71. I do miss the long letters I used to write and receive from my friends, back in the days when long-distance calls were expensive! Some of the letters got so long they required extra postage.
    I find that I do stay in touch more with a wider circle of friends and acquaintances via social media-not in depth, but I do have an idea of what’s going on in their lives. Except for those friends who refuse to participate in social media, and they seem to get left out of the loop, unless we call each other on the phone.

    Reply
  72. I do miss the long letters I used to write and receive from my friends, back in the days when long-distance calls were expensive! Some of the letters got so long they required extra postage.
    I find that I do stay in touch more with a wider circle of friends and acquaintances via social media-not in depth, but I do have an idea of what’s going on in their lives. Except for those friends who refuse to participate in social media, and they seem to get left out of the loop, unless we call each other on the phone.

    Reply
  73. I do miss the long letters I used to write and receive from my friends, back in the days when long-distance calls were expensive! Some of the letters got so long they required extra postage.
    I find that I do stay in touch more with a wider circle of friends and acquaintances via social media-not in depth, but I do have an idea of what’s going on in their lives. Except for those friends who refuse to participate in social media, and they seem to get left out of the loop, unless we call each other on the phone.

    Reply
  74. I do miss the long letters I used to write and receive from my friends, back in the days when long-distance calls were expensive! Some of the letters got so long they required extra postage.
    I find that I do stay in touch more with a wider circle of friends and acquaintances via social media-not in depth, but I do have an idea of what’s going on in their lives. Except for those friends who refuse to participate in social media, and they seem to get left out of the loop, unless we call each other on the phone.

    Reply
  75. I do miss the long letters I used to write and receive from my friends, back in the days when long-distance calls were expensive! Some of the letters got so long they required extra postage.
    I find that I do stay in touch more with a wider circle of friends and acquaintances via social media-not in depth, but I do have an idea of what’s going on in their lives. Except for those friends who refuse to participate in social media, and they seem to get left out of the loop, unless we call each other on the phone.

    Reply
  76. Yes, in 2023 its easier for persons to keep in touch, announce, notify thru electronic media. I’m 70 yrs & remember my grandmother & mother training me how to write letters, at first to relatives, thank you notes. And, then to friends, neighbors, & more. My discovery letter writing can be an art, a way to share more personally with others. Interesting Hallmark & greeting card companies continue in business presently. Yes, I continue to write letters to friends, though I’ve not the energy to write the long letters, several letters & cards.

    Reply
  77. Yes, in 2023 its easier for persons to keep in touch, announce, notify thru electronic media. I’m 70 yrs & remember my grandmother & mother training me how to write letters, at first to relatives, thank you notes. And, then to friends, neighbors, & more. My discovery letter writing can be an art, a way to share more personally with others. Interesting Hallmark & greeting card companies continue in business presently. Yes, I continue to write letters to friends, though I’ve not the energy to write the long letters, several letters & cards.

    Reply
  78. Yes, in 2023 its easier for persons to keep in touch, announce, notify thru electronic media. I’m 70 yrs & remember my grandmother & mother training me how to write letters, at first to relatives, thank you notes. And, then to friends, neighbors, & more. My discovery letter writing can be an art, a way to share more personally with others. Interesting Hallmark & greeting card companies continue in business presently. Yes, I continue to write letters to friends, though I’ve not the energy to write the long letters, several letters & cards.

    Reply
  79. Yes, in 2023 its easier for persons to keep in touch, announce, notify thru electronic media. I’m 70 yrs & remember my grandmother & mother training me how to write letters, at first to relatives, thank you notes. And, then to friends, neighbors, & more. My discovery letter writing can be an art, a way to share more personally with others. Interesting Hallmark & greeting card companies continue in business presently. Yes, I continue to write letters to friends, though I’ve not the energy to write the long letters, several letters & cards.

    Reply
  80. Yes, in 2023 its easier for persons to keep in touch, announce, notify thru electronic media. I’m 70 yrs & remember my grandmother & mother training me how to write letters, at first to relatives, thank you notes. And, then to friends, neighbors, & more. My discovery letter writing can be an art, a way to share more personally with others. Interesting Hallmark & greeting card companies continue in business presently. Yes, I continue to write letters to friends, though I’ve not the energy to write the long letters, several letters & cards.

    Reply
  81. Letters…love love love them. Also cards. I do write lots of cards. They aren’t necessarily long but I know whoever gets them will be happy to get real mail.
    I was going through stuff a couple of months back and it was amazing how much letter writing my sisters and I did 30 odd years ago.
    But once most of my sisters were no longer a long distance call away, we called. Then eventually we were emailing as well. Which only leaves a paper trail if you printed out the email letters.
    Now…it is mostly texting which yes is an immediate connection but doesn’t lead one to do much funny story telling, long set ups to events. Description of events and ones life. Definitely not shareable or saved for posterity.
    I’ve got quite the collection of cards as well which I’m working on using up. Some I’ve been saving for 20 years because they are so “special”. I’ve finally started using them up. Those I tend to send to people I know will really enjoy them. I’m actually making progress on using them up…which just means I have room to buy more and put in my drawer!
    My mom had saved all her and my dad’s letters and then many of the letters we’d written to her and each other. She put them together into a book covering the years 1956 to 1979. It’s a really neat time capsule. We were still writing letters for another 20 years after that but I don’t think that book will ever be written.

    Reply
  82. Letters…love love love them. Also cards. I do write lots of cards. They aren’t necessarily long but I know whoever gets them will be happy to get real mail.
    I was going through stuff a couple of months back and it was amazing how much letter writing my sisters and I did 30 odd years ago.
    But once most of my sisters were no longer a long distance call away, we called. Then eventually we were emailing as well. Which only leaves a paper trail if you printed out the email letters.
    Now…it is mostly texting which yes is an immediate connection but doesn’t lead one to do much funny story telling, long set ups to events. Description of events and ones life. Definitely not shareable or saved for posterity.
    I’ve got quite the collection of cards as well which I’m working on using up. Some I’ve been saving for 20 years because they are so “special”. I’ve finally started using them up. Those I tend to send to people I know will really enjoy them. I’m actually making progress on using them up…which just means I have room to buy more and put in my drawer!
    My mom had saved all her and my dad’s letters and then many of the letters we’d written to her and each other. She put them together into a book covering the years 1956 to 1979. It’s a really neat time capsule. We were still writing letters for another 20 years after that but I don’t think that book will ever be written.

    Reply
  83. Letters…love love love them. Also cards. I do write lots of cards. They aren’t necessarily long but I know whoever gets them will be happy to get real mail.
    I was going through stuff a couple of months back and it was amazing how much letter writing my sisters and I did 30 odd years ago.
    But once most of my sisters were no longer a long distance call away, we called. Then eventually we were emailing as well. Which only leaves a paper trail if you printed out the email letters.
    Now…it is mostly texting which yes is an immediate connection but doesn’t lead one to do much funny story telling, long set ups to events. Description of events and ones life. Definitely not shareable or saved for posterity.
    I’ve got quite the collection of cards as well which I’m working on using up. Some I’ve been saving for 20 years because they are so “special”. I’ve finally started using them up. Those I tend to send to people I know will really enjoy them. I’m actually making progress on using them up…which just means I have room to buy more and put in my drawer!
    My mom had saved all her and my dad’s letters and then many of the letters we’d written to her and each other. She put them together into a book covering the years 1956 to 1979. It’s a really neat time capsule. We were still writing letters for another 20 years after that but I don’t think that book will ever be written.

    Reply
  84. Letters…love love love them. Also cards. I do write lots of cards. They aren’t necessarily long but I know whoever gets them will be happy to get real mail.
    I was going through stuff a couple of months back and it was amazing how much letter writing my sisters and I did 30 odd years ago.
    But once most of my sisters were no longer a long distance call away, we called. Then eventually we were emailing as well. Which only leaves a paper trail if you printed out the email letters.
    Now…it is mostly texting which yes is an immediate connection but doesn’t lead one to do much funny story telling, long set ups to events. Description of events and ones life. Definitely not shareable or saved for posterity.
    I’ve got quite the collection of cards as well which I’m working on using up. Some I’ve been saving for 20 years because they are so “special”. I’ve finally started using them up. Those I tend to send to people I know will really enjoy them. I’m actually making progress on using them up…which just means I have room to buy more and put in my drawer!
    My mom had saved all her and my dad’s letters and then many of the letters we’d written to her and each other. She put them together into a book covering the years 1956 to 1979. It’s a really neat time capsule. We were still writing letters for another 20 years after that but I don’t think that book will ever be written.

    Reply
  85. Letters…love love love them. Also cards. I do write lots of cards. They aren’t necessarily long but I know whoever gets them will be happy to get real mail.
    I was going through stuff a couple of months back and it was amazing how much letter writing my sisters and I did 30 odd years ago.
    But once most of my sisters were no longer a long distance call away, we called. Then eventually we were emailing as well. Which only leaves a paper trail if you printed out the email letters.
    Now…it is mostly texting which yes is an immediate connection but doesn’t lead one to do much funny story telling, long set ups to events. Description of events and ones life. Definitely not shareable or saved for posterity.
    I’ve got quite the collection of cards as well which I’m working on using up. Some I’ve been saving for 20 years because they are so “special”. I’ve finally started using them up. Those I tend to send to people I know will really enjoy them. I’m actually making progress on using them up…which just means I have room to buy more and put in my drawer!
    My mom had saved all her and my dad’s letters and then many of the letters we’d written to her and each other. She put them together into a book covering the years 1956 to 1979. It’s a really neat time capsule. We were still writing letters for another 20 years after that but I don’t think that book will ever be written.

    Reply
  86. I have a letter from back in the day from the producer of several Sherlock Holmes and Hammer style movies, who said Peter Cushing read a note I had sent him (the producer) and liked it. Letterhead and everything. I was going to frame it for my wall at work, next to my professional certs, but I realized that nobody there would have a clue who those people were 🙂

    Reply
  87. I have a letter from back in the day from the producer of several Sherlock Holmes and Hammer style movies, who said Peter Cushing read a note I had sent him (the producer) and liked it. Letterhead and everything. I was going to frame it for my wall at work, next to my professional certs, but I realized that nobody there would have a clue who those people were 🙂

    Reply
  88. I have a letter from back in the day from the producer of several Sherlock Holmes and Hammer style movies, who said Peter Cushing read a note I had sent him (the producer) and liked it. Letterhead and everything. I was going to frame it for my wall at work, next to my professional certs, but I realized that nobody there would have a clue who those people were 🙂

    Reply
  89. I have a letter from back in the day from the producer of several Sherlock Holmes and Hammer style movies, who said Peter Cushing read a note I had sent him (the producer) and liked it. Letterhead and everything. I was going to frame it for my wall at work, next to my professional certs, but I realized that nobody there would have a clue who those people were 🙂

    Reply
  90. I have a letter from back in the day from the producer of several Sherlock Holmes and Hammer style movies, who said Peter Cushing read a note I had sent him (the producer) and liked it. Letterhead and everything. I was going to frame it for my wall at work, next to my professional certs, but I realized that nobody there would have a clue who those people were 🙂

    Reply
  91. I’m so sorry, Denise! it’s not you – or anyone else – it’s a Typepad issue which means that the comments aren’t showing up. We’ve asked them several times to fix it and are hoping it will be sorted out soon. Thank you, and everyone, for the lovely comments which we can read and are sorry that at the moment we can’t share them.

    Reply
  92. I’m so sorry, Denise! it’s not you – or anyone else – it’s a Typepad issue which means that the comments aren’t showing up. We’ve asked them several times to fix it and are hoping it will be sorted out soon. Thank you, and everyone, for the lovely comments which we can read and are sorry that at the moment we can’t share them.

    Reply
  93. I’m so sorry, Denise! it’s not you – or anyone else – it’s a Typepad issue which means that the comments aren’t showing up. We’ve asked them several times to fix it and are hoping it will be sorted out soon. Thank you, and everyone, for the lovely comments which we can read and are sorry that at the moment we can’t share them.

    Reply
  94. I’m so sorry, Denise! it’s not you – or anyone else – it’s a Typepad issue which means that the comments aren’t showing up. We’ve asked them several times to fix it and are hoping it will be sorted out soon. Thank you, and everyone, for the lovely comments which we can read and are sorry that at the moment we can’t share them.

    Reply
  95. I’m so sorry, Denise! it’s not you – or anyone else – it’s a Typepad issue which means that the comments aren’t showing up. We’ve asked them several times to fix it and are hoping it will be sorted out soon. Thank you, and everyone, for the lovely comments which we can read and are sorry that at the moment we can’t share them.

    Reply
  96. Oh, how wonderful, Constance! I must read the Dorothy L Sayers book! Letters can be particularly moving, written in the “voice” of the person and giving such insights into their character as well as the opportunity for lovely language.
    I love postcards too. They are different, but such a sweet glimpse into different and exciting places.

    Reply
  97. Oh, how wonderful, Constance! I must read the Dorothy L Sayers book! Letters can be particularly moving, written in the “voice” of the person and giving such insights into their character as well as the opportunity for lovely language.
    I love postcards too. They are different, but such a sweet glimpse into different and exciting places.

    Reply
  98. Oh, how wonderful, Constance! I must read the Dorothy L Sayers book! Letters can be particularly moving, written in the “voice” of the person and giving such insights into their character as well as the opportunity for lovely language.
    I love postcards too. They are different, but such a sweet glimpse into different and exciting places.

    Reply
  99. Oh, how wonderful, Constance! I must read the Dorothy L Sayers book! Letters can be particularly moving, written in the “voice” of the person and giving such insights into their character as well as the opportunity for lovely language.
    I love postcards too. They are different, but such a sweet glimpse into different and exciting places.

    Reply
  100. Oh, how wonderful, Constance! I must read the Dorothy L Sayers book! Letters can be particularly moving, written in the “voice” of the person and giving such insights into their character as well as the opportunity for lovely language.
    I love postcards too. They are different, but such a sweet glimpse into different and exciting places.

    Reply
  101. Hi Karin! Yes, social media is good for keeping in touch on one level, isn’t it, and that is a very useful thing. It definitely makes all our lives easier in some ways. But letters are different and special! Sitting down with a cup of tea and a long letter from a friend… What a treat!

    Reply
  102. Hi Karin! Yes, social media is good for keeping in touch on one level, isn’t it, and that is a very useful thing. It definitely makes all our lives easier in some ways. But letters are different and special! Sitting down with a cup of tea and a long letter from a friend… What a treat!

    Reply
  103. Hi Karin! Yes, social media is good for keeping in touch on one level, isn’t it, and that is a very useful thing. It definitely makes all our lives easier in some ways. But letters are different and special! Sitting down with a cup of tea and a long letter from a friend… What a treat!

    Reply
  104. Hi Karin! Yes, social media is good for keeping in touch on one level, isn’t it, and that is a very useful thing. It definitely makes all our lives easier in some ways. But letters are different and special! Sitting down with a cup of tea and a long letter from a friend… What a treat!

    Reply
  105. Hi Karin! Yes, social media is good for keeping in touch on one level, isn’t it, and that is a very useful thing. It definitely makes all our lives easier in some ways. But letters are different and special! Sitting down with a cup of tea and a long letter from a friend… What a treat!

    Reply
  106. Vicki, I’m exactly the same on saving the special cards for the right person/occasion – and then finding I’ve kept them for years and years! It’s a bit like books for me. They are beautiful and I like having them around. It certainly gives me pleasure.
    How wonderful that your mom kept all those letters and captured that time. It is an amazing experience to be able to read about the past first hand like that.

    Reply
  107. Vicki, I’m exactly the same on saving the special cards for the right person/occasion – and then finding I’ve kept them for years and years! It’s a bit like books for me. They are beautiful and I like having them around. It certainly gives me pleasure.
    How wonderful that your mom kept all those letters and captured that time. It is an amazing experience to be able to read about the past first hand like that.

    Reply
  108. Vicki, I’m exactly the same on saving the special cards for the right person/occasion – and then finding I’ve kept them for years and years! It’s a bit like books for me. They are beautiful and I like having them around. It certainly gives me pleasure.
    How wonderful that your mom kept all those letters and captured that time. It is an amazing experience to be able to read about the past first hand like that.

    Reply
  109. Vicki, I’m exactly the same on saving the special cards for the right person/occasion – and then finding I’ve kept them for years and years! It’s a bit like books for me. They are beautiful and I like having them around. It certainly gives me pleasure.
    How wonderful that your mom kept all those letters and captured that time. It is an amazing experience to be able to read about the past first hand like that.

    Reply
  110. Vicki, I’m exactly the same on saving the special cards for the right person/occasion – and then finding I’ve kept them for years and years! It’s a bit like books for me. They are beautiful and I like having them around. It certainly gives me pleasure.
    How wonderful that your mom kept all those letters and captured that time. It is an amazing experience to be able to read about the past first hand like that.

    Reply
  111. Thank you for a wonderful post, Nicola! I have two friends with whom I regularly correspond by post. And, yes, it is fun to receive letters and postcards. I send birthday cards and sympathy notes to more than those two, and my husband and I send out about sixty (photocopied admittedly) holiday letters each December.
    The first man with whom I had a relationship (over three years and much of the time we were on different continents) returned all my letters once I began dating my now husband. I reread them all last summer, and it was amazing to be reminded of so much that I had experienced in graduate school back in the eighties.
    I have a similar stack of letters that I wrote my parents during a visit to France (after eleventh grade) and during college; I look forward to reading those in the future. They are a de facto diary.
    Oh, and I am certain that I am not the only one here who enjoys books with epistolary content!

    Reply
  112. Thank you for a wonderful post, Nicola! I have two friends with whom I regularly correspond by post. And, yes, it is fun to receive letters and postcards. I send birthday cards and sympathy notes to more than those two, and my husband and I send out about sixty (photocopied admittedly) holiday letters each December.
    The first man with whom I had a relationship (over three years and much of the time we were on different continents) returned all my letters once I began dating my now husband. I reread them all last summer, and it was amazing to be reminded of so much that I had experienced in graduate school back in the eighties.
    I have a similar stack of letters that I wrote my parents during a visit to France (after eleventh grade) and during college; I look forward to reading those in the future. They are a de facto diary.
    Oh, and I am certain that I am not the only one here who enjoys books with epistolary content!

    Reply
  113. Thank you for a wonderful post, Nicola! I have two friends with whom I regularly correspond by post. And, yes, it is fun to receive letters and postcards. I send birthday cards and sympathy notes to more than those two, and my husband and I send out about sixty (photocopied admittedly) holiday letters each December.
    The first man with whom I had a relationship (over three years and much of the time we were on different continents) returned all my letters once I began dating my now husband. I reread them all last summer, and it was amazing to be reminded of so much that I had experienced in graduate school back in the eighties.
    I have a similar stack of letters that I wrote my parents during a visit to France (after eleventh grade) and during college; I look forward to reading those in the future. They are a de facto diary.
    Oh, and I am certain that I am not the only one here who enjoys books with epistolary content!

    Reply
  114. Thank you for a wonderful post, Nicola! I have two friends with whom I regularly correspond by post. And, yes, it is fun to receive letters and postcards. I send birthday cards and sympathy notes to more than those two, and my husband and I send out about sixty (photocopied admittedly) holiday letters each December.
    The first man with whom I had a relationship (over three years and much of the time we were on different continents) returned all my letters once I began dating my now husband. I reread them all last summer, and it was amazing to be reminded of so much that I had experienced in graduate school back in the eighties.
    I have a similar stack of letters that I wrote my parents during a visit to France (after eleventh grade) and during college; I look forward to reading those in the future. They are a de facto diary.
    Oh, and I am certain that I am not the only one here who enjoys books with epistolary content!

    Reply
  115. Thank you for a wonderful post, Nicola! I have two friends with whom I regularly correspond by post. And, yes, it is fun to receive letters and postcards. I send birthday cards and sympathy notes to more than those two, and my husband and I send out about sixty (photocopied admittedly) holiday letters each December.
    The first man with whom I had a relationship (over three years and much of the time we were on different continents) returned all my letters once I began dating my now husband. I reread them all last summer, and it was amazing to be reminded of so much that I had experienced in graduate school back in the eighties.
    I have a similar stack of letters that I wrote my parents during a visit to France (after eleventh grade) and during college; I look forward to reading those in the future. They are a de facto diary.
    Oh, and I am certain that I am not the only one here who enjoys books with epistolary content!

    Reply
  116. Hi Kareni! Yes, reading old letters can be so revealing of all your life and experiences years before. I’m not sure I’m brave enough to read mine! I love books that feature letters too. It’s a wonderful structure for a story when done well.

    Reply
  117. Hi Kareni! Yes, reading old letters can be so revealing of all your life and experiences years before. I’m not sure I’m brave enough to read mine! I love books that feature letters too. It’s a wonderful structure for a story when done well.

    Reply
  118. Hi Kareni! Yes, reading old letters can be so revealing of all your life and experiences years before. I’m not sure I’m brave enough to read mine! I love books that feature letters too. It’s a wonderful structure for a story when done well.

    Reply
  119. Hi Kareni! Yes, reading old letters can be so revealing of all your life and experiences years before. I’m not sure I’m brave enough to read mine! I love books that feature letters too. It’s a wonderful structure for a story when done well.

    Reply
  120. Hi Kareni! Yes, reading old letters can be so revealing of all your life and experiences years before. I’m not sure I’m brave enough to read mine! I love books that feature letters too. It’s a wonderful structure for a story when done well.

    Reply

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