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Letters of Note: Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience [Hardcover]

Shaun Usher
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
RRP: 30.00
Price: 19.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

26 Oct 2013

Letters of Note is a collection of over one hundred of the world's most entertaining, inspiring and unusual letters, based on the seismically popular website of the same name - an online museum of correspondence visited by over 70 million people.

From Virginia Woolf's heart-breaking suicide letter, to Queen Elizabeth II's recipe for drop scones sent to President Eisenhower; from the first recorded use of the expression 'OMG' in a letter to Winston Churchill, to Gandhi's appeal for calm to Hitler; and from Iggy Pop's beautiful letter of advice to a troubled young fan, to Leonardo da Vinci's remarkable job application letter, Letters of Note is a celebration of the power of written correspondence which captures the humour, seriousness, sadness and brilliance that make up all of our lives.

Including letters from:

Zelda Fitzgerald, Iggy Pop, Fidel Castro, Leonardo da Vinci, Bill Hicks, Anaïs Nin, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Amelia Earhart, Charles Darwin, Roald Dahl, Albert Einstein, Elvis Presley, Dorothy Parker, John F. Kennedy, Groucho Marx, Charles Dickens, Katharine Hepburn, Kurt Vonnegut, Mick Jagger, Steve Martin, Emily Dickinson and many more.

Frequently Bought Together

Letters of Note: Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience + Dedicated to...: The Forgotten Friendships, Hidden Stories and Lost Loves found in Second-hand Books + To the Letter: A Journey Through a Vanishing World
Price For All Three: 38.04

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Canongate Unbound; Main edition (26 Oct 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1782112235
  • ISBN-13: 978-1782112235
  • Product Dimensions: 28.2 x 21 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 225 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Shaun Usher was born in St. Albans in 1978 and currently lives in Wilmslow with his wife and two sons. He is the sole custodian of the popular blog, Letters of Note, a book of which was published in October 2013. His obsession with correspondence is particularly interesting given that he regularly receives--and more often than not doesn't reply to--abuse from exasperated friends and family due to his apparent inability to return their calls, emails, and, on very rare occasions, letters. His second book is underway.

Product Description


Funny, tragic, brilliantly incisive, historic, lyrical, romantic and studiedly offensive, this stupendous compendium of letters ancient and modern is my book of the year. You will never tire of it (Stephen Fry)

A gloriously presented compilation (Financial Times)

Open the pages of the anthology and the appeal is immediately obvious (Observer)

It is inspiring, and often sad, funny, and occasionally quite surreal (GQ)

The literary equivalent of a box of chocolates - bite-sized and pure addictive pleasure . . . The result is beautifully produced, with photographs and colour facsimiles of much of the correspondence. A gorgeous Christmas present (The Sunday Times)

Quite literally the most enjoyable volume it is possible to imagine. Every page is a marvel (Spectator)

A wonderful collection of magical missives . . . It'll have you reaching for pen and paper (Evening Standard)

As a guide to letters that deserve a wider readership, Usher's compilation is hard to beat (Scotland on Sunday)

A truly extraordinary reading experience (Big Issue)

It is hard to see how Letters Of Note could ever be surpassed (Mail on Sunday)

The volume is so well-produced it could become an heirloom, passed down through generations (Huffington Post)

Witty, tragic, educational, inspirational (The List)

This wonderful volume features letters for the great and the good, including Mick Jagger, Roald Dahl - and the Queen, with her personal recipe for drop scones! Some are witty, some are wicked and others will move you to tears (Bella)

A book that's an ideal Christmas gift (Metro)

This year's Christmas gift? For sure (Evening Standard)

A fascinating blog... (Andrew Sullivan The Atlantic on www.lettersofnote.com)

The internet's cultural magpie (GQ Magazine on www.lettersofnote.com)

Book Description

The eagerly awaited book based on the inspirational, poignant, hugely popular and utterly addictive website www.lettersofnote.com, with 20% new content

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning 1 Nov 2013
This is an absolutely beautiful book.
I was nearly put of by the price, but I'm glad I wasn't. It's a real meaty tome and needs to be a hardback.
Some of the letters are absolutely fascinating, such as Gandhi pleading with Hitler to avoid war, or Hilter's nephew writing to Pres Roosevelt after he was refused entry to the US Army.
Others are humorous, moving and downright incredible, giving a real insight into historical figures or points in history.
It's also beautifully illustrated with pictures of the original letters and other images.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything I'd hoped ... 6 Nov 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Just received my copy, purchased for my mother for Christmas. She is an inveterate letter-writer but not online so has never known the joy of following Shaun Usher on Twitter. This book has been perfectly produced; I am going to buy more copies as gifts, and one for myself. Letters of Note ought to fascinate anyone who can read, frankly. A brilliant bit of publishing and definitely deserving of a wide readership.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SUCH A TREAT! 21 Nov 2013
I was following Letters of Note on Facebook when I saw the book advertised and asked for it for my birthday in July, knowing I'd have to wait till October to get it. And when it came, such a treat! Beautifully presented, it has sat on my coffee table and almost every evening I dip into it for a little treat. I've now found it on Amazon because I want to buy it for my mum for Christmas. And now I see the price is reduced I might get it for my two sisters too! Can't recommend it highly enough!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Big and beautiful, with a lovely blue ribbon. 4 Nov 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have enjoyed taking this book to bed every evening and reading a few letters at a time.

As well as delivering tasty snapshots into the minds and times of people involved in events significant and trivial in the past, the book gathers stories that are impossible not to pass on to friends, colleagues and family.

It's a hefty tome, tastefully outfitted with pictures and copies of the original letters (which are often all but illegible, but only more charming for it).

I believe this would make a brilliant, thoughtful gift for many; the greatest trouble this collection has brought to my life is having to resist sharing every story with those friends set to receive a copy for Christmas.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic 24 Nov 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is fantastic and has been bought as a Christmas present. Very pleased with this purchase. going to
order another one for myself
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really special book 3 Nov 2013
By Alice
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a really special collection of letters, I've been waiting AGES for it to be published and it was really truly worth the wait! Just about to buy a second copy to give to my Grandma (an avid letter-writer herself) for Christmas. The content is fabulous, just fascinating, and it's been wonderfully presented. Many congratulations to Shaun Usher.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is a must... 27 Nov 2013
By Chris
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Sit back, relax, and transport yourself to another into other peoples lives via their words..the art of beautiful letter writing is becoming a lost one... these letters are heartwarming, funny, some will bring tears and they all tell a story. And bonus is you see the actual written letter...oh the handwriting back in the day! I love this book (which is quite substantial in size) and recommend to anyone who enjoys good writing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book 5 Feb 2014
By Emma B
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The ultimate coffee table book, great letters to and from great people. Would make a lovely gift. Has nice images and sometimes the original letters, offers a unique insight into the lives of writers, actors, presidents, queens and many others.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect present
I want this book for myself because it's so interesting. Instead I realise it makes the perfect present for anyone who you want to get something original and interesting. Read more
Published 12 days ago by AJ
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is a must have
I bought this book as a present for a friend, but I had a good look through it before I handed it over. I could never tire of opening the book and reading any if the letters. Read more
Published 13 days ago by Katie c
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice
Very interesting but I would not have paid full price for this book (got it on kindle), a brilliant idea and the high price I was told is because of the cost he had to pay for some... Read more
Published 16 days ago by Joseph McDonough
5.0 out of 5 stars Sumptuous collection
This book is a beautiful collection of letters from people of all sorts of walks of life. There are a couple of letters which I have already seen in various other guises but, for... Read more
Published 16 days ago by Helen
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
A wonderful book - would make an excellent present for any book hound.

The book is also very nicely produced
Published 17 days ago by Ian Hayes
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous, intriguing and beautifully produced
Book of the year! This is a moving read, beautiful and carefully edited selection of letters from famous and not so famous people throughout the ages. Inspirational.
Published 24 days ago by Icelandic Princess
5.0 out of 5 stars appreciated present
bought as part of a present.
lovely book and appreciated by all.
remarkable seeing the ages of some of the writers
Published 24 days ago by david hall
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Book
I'm proud to have my name in the back of this book.

Not only is it a superb collections of letters on so many topics, they made me laugh; they made me cry; they offered... Read more
Published 24 days ago by K. Richardson
5.0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Present
I've bought this book for several friends and relatives and will buy it for more. Every home should have a copy.
Published 1 month ago by Harvey Bamberg
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!
I loved this book for so many reasons: I liked that the letters of note were not only by 'famous' or 'important' people but also of everyday people. Read more
Published 1 month ago by N. Rossis
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