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Barnes & Noble Review: Letter’s of Note

Writing a letter is an art. It is a tedious masterpiece between the author and the receiver where emotions seep through the lines. This lovely article was compiled by letter archivist Shaun Usher and reviewed by Katherine Powers for the Barnes & Noble Review. It is a fascinating read!



For years I worked as an archivist, a job that, in my case, amounted to sitting around reading other people’s mail. I have read hundreds and hundreds of letters from countless people writing from the eighteenth century to the present and at every level of literacy, with pretty much everything you could think of on their minds. This, I believe — combined with my having edited a collection of letters myself — puts me in the position to pronounce on the subject of letter writing: It’s a gift. Under some pens, a communication so routine as a business letter or thank-you note can possess originality and dash; under the dull scrape of others, even such savory subjects as adulterous love and revenge sound like boilerplate. 

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