A new letters book


I’ve written posts about the blog Letters of Note written by Shaun Usher before, but he’s some background anyways. The blog publishes letters spanning many authors, styles, cultures, topics, and years. Letters from presidents to animators.

Usher previously published a book of a collection of letters named, you guessed it, Letters of Note , with subtitle An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience.

He recently announced the production of a second book. Like the first, he is crowdsourcing the funding through unbound.

He writes: “The book will contain 125 letters, more than half of which will not yet have appeared on the Letters of Note site. Physically, the book will be the same shape, size and quality as last time.”

Some of the letters the book is supposed to contain are:

  • Eleanor Roosevelt writing to the Daughters of the American Revolution to cancel her membership, in protest at their racism
  • ‘Oh my ass burns like fire!’ – a letter from Mozart to his cousin Marianne
  • A beautiful condolence letter from Emily Dickinson following the death of her nephew
  • Florence Nightingale’s letter home about the appalling horrors of the Crimean War
  • Norman Mailer refusing to give his father money to feed his gambling addiction
  • A customer complaint letter from 1450 BC
  • An excited letter home from Janis Joplin, just as she’s on the cusp of stardom
  • Alan Turing’s letter to fellow mathematician Norman Routledge shortly before he was charged with gross indecency
  • Charlotte’s Web author E.B. White writing to his little boy pretending to be Daisy the family dog.
  • A telegram from Peter Sellers to Spike Milligan, two months before he died, pleading that they reform The Goons
  • John Cleese’s response to a query about his fan club, claiming that all his members have been killed by Michael Palin’s fan club
  • A letter from John Lennon to Eric Clapton asking him to join his supergroup
  • Heartbreaking notes scrawled by the passengers on Japan Airlines flight 123, written minutes before it crashed.
  • Marge Simpson writing to Barbara Bush after she called The Simpsons the ‘dumbest family she ever saw’
  • Air Chief Marshall Hugh Dowding to Churchill in 1940, making the request which would later ensure British aerial supremacy in the Battle of Britain
  • A letter from Carl Jung to James Joyce discussing his reservations about Ulysses
  • Anthony Hollander’s letter to Blue Peter about ‘making animals alive’ and the reply, which inspired him to become a world-renowned doctor
  • Che Guevara’s note to his children to be read in the event of his death asking them to feel ‘deeply any injustice committed against anyone’

So I guess this means I have another book to check out. . . meanwhile, I’ll continue to check in on his blog. There are some really fabulous letters by really fabulous people.