What is the history of letter writing
Tuesday 23 October But there's something in the air, for three books this autumn are devoted to this trio of intertwined subjects: Philip Hensher's The Missing Ink ; Ian Sansom's Paper ; and John O'Connell 's For the Love of Letters. A sense of loss suffuses all these works Sansom's book what is the history of letter writing it plain with his subtitle, "an elegy".
But perhaps these books, this feeling, will spark a revival in the handling of the fountain pen and the wielding of the Basildon Bond. Perhaps it's like pastoral: Passion can be proportionate to scarcity.
Perhaps letter the of history what writing is treated him
Maybe we are ready to fall back in love with what O'Connell's book calls "slow communication". Here is a full declaration of interest: O'Connell and I were at school together. We've known each other for 27 years.
Last week I received a letter from him. On beautiful paper, but in Biro he apologised, his daughter, he thought, might have appropriated the fountain pen. It was a wonderful letter: This morning, I started reading his book.
A sense of loss suffuses all these works Sansom's book makes it plain with his subtitle, "an elegy". He tells the BBC's Nick Higham why letter writing is so important. For the complete story with questions: Letter-Writing Manuals and Instruction from Antiquity to the Present: Future The fact hkstory letters and letter writing have played an enormous role in American history is entirely unsurprising. Letters have the following advantages over email:
It begins by movingly describing a letter he received from a friend when his mother died last year. I read this with a guilty shock. I hadn't written to John then.
At what point in my apparently well-brought-up life did I suddenly think it was OK not to write to a bereaved friend? It wasn't always like this.
Depending on what manner of letteg O'Connell is, he might well turn up some Higgins juvenalia tucked away in a drawer somewhere. I'm pretty sure that if I rootled around in my bureau — where the letters-from-friends archive dries up in aboutaround the time that email took off — I'd find letters from him, in his distinctive what is the history of letter writing elegant hand, the Ys rendered with looped tails, as you'd write a Greek gamma. Philip Hensher, in his introduction to The Missing Ink, recalls realising he had no idea what the handwriting of a good friend, whom he'd known a decade, looked like.
- It had taken 89 years to be delivered by the Royal Mail.
- I said something like this:
- E-mails and faxes convey information
Knowing someone's handwriting — O'Connell's is as familiar to me as my own — can turn out to be a marker of a friendship's extreme longevity, at least hstory those of us whose adult lives began before the digital age. Funnily enough, though, in recent months, I have been writing letters.
A friend of mine is very unwell. I haven't seen her for some time.
At some point, I'm not sure why, I decided to start writing to her: Partly, I think, as a tease — she's one of the least "analogue", most tech-savvie people I know. But also because I what is the history of letter writing her to feel that I was thinking about her in a personal way, and I wasn't sure that could adequately be conveyed by machine-made letterforms.
Let's be clear, this is much more to do with me than her. She gets to plough through near illegible streams-of-consciousness written not on gorgeous Smythson like John's letters but rather visit web page, at very best, Conqueror Laid vellum or at worst on hotel writing-paper or torn-out notebook leaves.
Did of the writing what history is letter thesis should
O'Connell quotes this lovely passage from a piece by Catherine Field wfiting the New York Times. A good handwritten letter is a creative act, and not just because it is a visual and tactile pleasure. It is a deliberate act of exposure, a form of vulnerability, because handwriting opens a window on the soul in a way that cyber communication can never do. You savor their arrival and later take care to place them in a box for safe keeping.
Brain of writing history letter is the what having the
To John's letter, I replied by text. I said something like this: I have not written back, of course.
Writing letters might seem like an old fashioned method of communication, but really it is timeless. Lead pencils were used fo ancient Greece but only as a temporary marker to be rubbed out later. Are they in decline? They told me that they had been following our blog and had found it most instructive.
Though, on the way back to the office to finish this post, I did find myself walking into the art-supplies shop round the corner, and buying a fountain pen