Historic Letters and #LetterMo

Cloth boundcover of The World's Great Letters

In my first Landing Reading Challenge post, I mentioned a collection of historic letters on the landing bookshelves. As February is the month of a brilliant letter writing challenge (Month of Letters set up by Mary Robinette Kowal), I decided to start my own particular reading challenge with a browse through the volume of historic letters. I cannot remember exactly when I bought this book but at a guess, I would estimate about fifteen years ago. The book was published in 1950 and at some point, an unknown hand had written the date 29/4/71 on the flyleaf. I am not sure that it really counts as being on a TBR Pile however, since it is the sort of book that you browse through rather than read cover to cover.

I must digress slightly at this point to admit that though I have signed up to the letter writing challenge I did sign up a few days late. In my defence though, I have actually been diligently writing and posting cards since 1st February but without any coherent plan in mind. I think I may continue to do it that way. I will decide in the morning to whom the day’s offering will be sent. In this case, the lucky recipient will be (almost) as much a surprise to me as it will be to them. So, two challenges in one for me this February.

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In the meantime, back to The World’s Greatest Letters, which covers a fair slice of history beginning as it does with Cicero and ending with a letter written by an Air Raid Patrol (ARP) Warden in World War II. The nice thing about this collection of letters is that apart from a chronological list, it also has a classification of letters by subject. This means that you may go straight for the ‘Letters of Controversy, Hatred and Enmity’ should you so desire. If that seems to be too strong meat for your stomach, you might try ‘Letters in a Light Vein’ or ‘Letters about Nature’. Perhaps as 14th February is not too far off I should consult the more romantically inclined letter writers for Valentine’s Day inspiration.

I will let you know next time how I get on with reading the bygone love letters; it is time to write the next instalment of #LetterMo. I really must pop out and buy some more stamps. Juggling between a letter writing and a reading challenge will be a challenge in itself, but it is nice when they can overlap like this. I am going to enjoy both writing letters and reading some historical letters.

Twitter: @LetterMonth (#LetterMo)