‘Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience’
Letters of Note: A Collection Compiled by Shaun Usher
Staring out the window at the grey sky, I found myself severely lacking in writer’s inspiration this weekend. I chose to pull ‘Letters of Note‘ from my bookcase – a collection of various letters compiled by Shaun Usher, most appropriately subtitled ‘Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience‘.
‘Letters’ quite literally transports you back and forth through the ages, allowing you to read some of the innermost personal writings of a handful of the most notable people in history. It’s an emotional roller coaster – be warned!
From the slightly bizarre; Letter 001: One’s Drop Scones – Queen Elizabeth II to President Dwight D. Eisenhower – quite literally her recipe for her Drop Scones, to the heart-wrenchingly distressing; Letter 102: We Are Sinking Fast- the telegram sent from the Titanic to the SS Birma on April 15th, 1912 – this compilation is a coffee table must-have.
Here are a few of my personal favourites:Letter 002: FROM HELL – A Letter from Jack the Ripper to George Lusk, received October 15th, 1888, along with half a human kidney preserved in wine.
Letter 015: TO HELL WITH HITLER – A Letter from Patrick Hitler to Franklin D. Roosevelt, a letter of plea to the U.S Army to accept his second attempt application, from Adolf Hitler’s Nephew in 1940.
Letter 022: I BEG YOU TO TAKE MY CHILD – Letters from Various Mothers to The Foundling Asylum in New York in the 1870’s, begging the Sisters to take their children as they are unable to care for them due to poverty.
Letter 036: I LOVE MY WIFE. MY WIFE IS DEAD – A Letter from Richard Feynman to Arline Feynman on October 17th, 1946 – his dead wife of two years. In this Letter, Mr Feynman finally comes to terms with the fact that he is now alone, and that he cannot live a full life without his wife. Grippingly sad and heartbreakingly honest, he admits ‘I find it hard to understand what it means to love you after you are dead‘and closes ‘PS Please excuse my not mailing this – but I don’t know your new address‘(p.100).
Letter 057: FEDERAL AGENT AT LARGE – A Letter from Elvis Presley to US President Richard Nixon on December 21st, 1970, offering his services to the U.S.A in the war against ‘drug culture…hippie elements, the SDS, Black Panthers...’ (p.158).
I bought my copy at www.amazon.co.uk currently retailing at £20.40 (a bargain as its R.R.P is £30 – well worth it either way!)
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