Letters of Note: Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience Hardcover – 26 Oct 2013
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"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)
"Addictive, like dipping into a bag of variously tempting assorted candies, knowing that the next one will always bring surprise and pleasure. Usher has an evident knack for selecting letters that land with the force of a good short story, with personalities and dramatic arcs emerging swiftly, from just a page or two. Many of the writers are famous people, caught in a moment of accessibility and rawness or off-the-cuff virtuosity" (New Yorker)
"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)
The eagerly awaited book based on the inspirational, poignant, hugely popular and utterly addictive website www.lettersofnote.com, with 20% new contentSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
Currently my colleague is reading it too, at my recommendation and feels just the same.
So how does one book manage this? Collected together are letters from various points in time, from various countries and famous and not-so-famous people. The letters themselves are often included. One is an original cuneiform letter from Ancient Egypt. Another a simple note in a long-dead language. one you won't forget shows a coconut shell, that John F Kennedy wrote an SOS note on in World War 2 when stranded on an island, that eventually brought rescue (and eventually made a White House paperweight).
I dare you to not cheer as the former slave refuses eloquently to return to his former owner without guarantees and back pay. or to smile as the editor of the Sun convinces a young writer that there IS a Santa Claus.
I cried reading the Elephant Man's doctor's words, Virginia Woolf's suicide note for her husband. Scott (of the Antarctic)'s letter "to my widow". Letters from mothers abandoning their babies at foundling homes. The Titanic telegram - no loss of life expected.
I laughed at the note condemning Fawlty Towers, one encouraging President Nixon to eat his vegetables, a reply from a 'Top Scientist' to a boy's rocket design.
All of humanity is here. Hitler's nephew wanting to fight against his relative. A Japanese kamikaze pilot writing home. Queen Elizabeth sending a drop scone recipe. Crick explaining the recently discovered DNA stricture to his nephew.
Need I say more? The content speaks for itself. A book you can dip into or read again and again. It would make a precious gift and really is quite a beautiful object in its hardback, illustrated A4 state.
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.
I think I am going to buy one for myself!
I hope Shaun Usher brings our another one soon.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Gift for a friend
Bigger book than I expected but contents look interesting
This is such a fabulous, open at random and dip into book, absolutely love it.be prepared to laugh, cry, wonder, be amazed and awed. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Kj halligan
Enjoyed the book and ended up buying several copies as presents.
Such variety and scope that there are bound to be at least a few letters of interest to most readers. Read more
This is quite an expensive book. Read once and haven't bothered reading it again. There are a few interesting pages but most of the people in it I had never heard of. Read morePublished 3 months ago by S. Price