Always First Class: The Pleasure Of Personal Letters
Lois Barry, award-winning Professor English and Writing, has assembled an intriguing miscellany of letter-writing history, facts, quotations and writing suggestions. Nearly 200 quotations celebrate letter writing from Lord Byron’s classic assertion that “Letter writing is the only device for combining solitude with good company,” to Kate Spade’s modern appreciation, “It’s uplifting to get a letter...
Paperback: 116 pages
Publisher: Best Letters Press (October 1, 2009)
Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.2 x 9.2 inches
Amazon Rank: 1136269
Format: PDF Text djvu ebook
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“What a nice read! This isn't a long book, but leaves you with a pleasant feeling. Thinking about letters I've had through the years and the joy of them....”
like an ‘ooh!’ in your mail box.” Marianne Moore’s enthusiastic report, “I had a letter from Elisabeth [Bishop] a day or two ago, which I’m thinking of having tattooed on me …” balances Anne Sexton’s poignant relief, “I’m glad you wrote to me. I thought I had died or something,” Ada Leverson cautions, “You don’t know a woman until you have received a letter from her,” while John Donne romantically declares “More than kisses, letters mingle souls.” Chapters of quotations cover all aspects of correspondence: writing letters, receiving letters, saving letters, appreciating letters, waiting for letters, love letters and more. "Always First Class" combines entertaining reminders of old-fashioned letter writing for ‘those of a certain age’ with persuasive suggestions that young technophiles explore this pleasantly ‘retro’ means of communication. Historical information ranges from the once-practical (On making vellum: “First, kill a goat”) to the economic ( In 1673 when 50 cents a day was a living wage in the American colonies, it cost $3.50 to send a letter from New York to Philadelphia). In addition to an appreciation of letter writing and a history of the social changes necessary before private personal letters could be exchanged, three chapters focus on various occasions and myriad topics for writing letters from “Do you remember when we … ?” to “Where do you think we’ll be ten years from now?” Readers are encouraged to go beyond texting, tweeting and e-mail to write real letters once again, to connect with distant family and old friends in a deeply personal way. The book closes with an invitation to submit copies of treasured personal letters for a forthcoming collection, A Friendly Exchange, America’s Personal Letters.