- Publisher: Canongate; Main edition (2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1782112235
- ISBN-13: 978-1782112235
- Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 1.3 x 11.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.5 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 280 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #457,422 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Letters of Note: Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience Hardcover – 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)
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)
It is hard to see how Letters Of Note could ever be surpassed (Mail on Sunday)
A truly extraordinary reading experience (Big Issue)
Witty, tragic, educational, inspirational (The List)
Quite literally the most enjoyable volume it is possible to imagine. Every page is a marvel (Spectator)
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)
The volume is so well-produced it could become an heirloom, passed down through generations (Huffington Post)
It is inspiring, and often sad, funny, and occasionally quite surreal (GQ)
A gloriously presented compilation (Financial Times)
As a guide to letters that deserve a wider readership, Usher's compilation is hard to beat (Scotland on Sunday)
Addictive, like dipping into a bag of variously tempting assorted candies, knowing that the next one will always bring surprise and pleasure (New Yorker)
A wonderful collection of magical missives . . . It'll have you reaching for pen and paper (Evening Standard) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The paperback edition of this delightful and internationally bestselling collection of letters, to coincide with the Autumn run of Letters Live --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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NOVEMBER 7, 2017 ~ LEAVE A COMMENT ~ EDIT
Letters of Note: An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence Deserving of a Wider AudienceLetters of Note: An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience by Shaun Usher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
It was from “A Way with Words” a public radio show about the English language, including the origins of words, the usages, and good books that I came to know this lovely book. It’s a stupendous compendium of letters from the famous and the ordinary from the ancient to the modern with beautiful photo copies of the letters reproduced in the book. The letters span the whole range of human emotions from kindness, passion, love, joy to heartbreak, anger, disappointment, and longing as the contents of the letters reveal the writer’s’ innermost thoughts, feelings, and emotions through the vehicles of pen and paper.
Reading each of the letters made me feel deeply touched by the universality of humanity and reflective of the human nature manifested in writing without prejudice on the grounds of appearances and social standings, which influence our perceptions of individuals. Readers can find lots of very interesting letters in this book. Of all the letters in the book, the following three letters resonate in my mind: (1) E. B. White’s letter to his gentleman acquaintance regarding the importance of having hope for humanity; (2) Anaïs Nin’s rebuking letter to a faceless collector of her co-authored “Erotica” for his demand of more prevalent racy contents; and (3) a nameless German’s woman’s letter to her husband asking him to take her back home from a dreadful mental hospital she was in. It was so heartbreaking to read her brief letter to her husband that I could feel her pain, fear, and sadness alone in the grim place… I commiserated with her….
Mr. Usher in his foreword states that if the readers are inspired to put pen to paper by reading the letters in the book, his intention of compiling the book will be fulfilled and greatly appreciated. That’s a very noble intention and sublime aspiration in this digital age. This book is a lovely work of art which the readers will never tire of.
If first impressions are truly the best impressions, merely by ripping the package open and holding the book you could feel the beauty of the words that are contained within. The cover design was perfect - crisp, clean and minimalistic. The typography lends a rich grandeur which these letters of note truly deserve and needless to say, it evoke the emotions that come with holding a hard cover.
As a reader, I cannot but applaud the efforts of Shawn and his team in putting together this master piece of eclectic correspondance. Every page has been chiseled with utmost craft that sings hymns of reverence about the words that were residing in them. Within a couple of hours, I had lived through the sorrow of a royal queen about to breathe her last, felt my blood go cold reading the letter titled“From Hell” by Jack the Ripper and smiled at the relevance of reading Hunter S Thompson’s thoughts. Some of these letters, whose originals have been printed along with are the closest one can get to a time travel portal. A few vertical scrolls of my eye balls and voila!, I was there in the late 1800s, right next to Virgina Wolf has she continued to fight the losing battle with her schizophrenia. Science still has a long way to go, in terms of mimicking the power of human imagination. Upon reading this work, one cannot help but think even though we as humanity have progressed in leaps and bounds in terms of technology and life style, have lost out a lot in the art of truly communicating and asking questions that makes us think long, hard, deep and all other attributes alike.
I recommend this piece of art for one who loves to think about anything and everything, a someone who loves history, nature of existence and all things that come with it. In the coming years, we can only hope that the efforts towards unearthing such priceless treasures continue.
Until then let us savor these crown jewels — they don’t make many like these nowadays.
As published by me on https://medium.com/@thambinator/letters-of-note-a-review-after-an-initial-indulgence-7a70d7700b30
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It's a sneak peak at the past through the thoughts of real people.