Great letter-writers of the past…
‘My dear Cassandra’ were the three words Austen wrote most often throughout her life – she and her older sister were extremely close, sending hundreds of letters to one another relaying events and gossip. When Austen died, aged 41, in 1817, Cassandra wrote: ‘I had not a thought concealed from her and in losing her it is as though I had lost a part of myself.’
Describing his days at boarding school, Dahl wrote, ‘Church-going never became a habit with me. Letter-writing did.’ Whenever he was away from home, the author wrote to his mother at least once a week. After she died, 600 of his letters were returned to him – she had kept them all, in their envelopes, bundled with green tape.
From the time of his loneliness as a boy at preparatory school to his tenacious war correspondence and the poetic love letters to his wife, Churchill wrote thousands of letters. His pet budgie, Toby, often stood on his desk and pecked small holes in the paper, leading Churchill to write, ‘As you can see, Toby is sending you his warm regards.’