Letters from an Aberdeen medic stationed in East Africa during the First World War have been published for the first time revealing how sickness and food shortages killed more soldiers than fighting. Private correspondence offers a fascinating insight into the lives of figures of our age and past.
Prince Charles’ letters have been printed, as have those of King Henry VIII, Frida Kahlo, Beethoven and Marilyn Monroe.
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But the days of famous letters being shared must be about to get lost in the post.
Newspaper editors sometimes express surprise over the level of vitriol in readers below the line comments – they don’t match the letters that used to come in the postbag.
That’s because it’s all too easy to fire off a comment when you’re in the white heat of anger.
The built-in cool-off time it took to find a pen that works, buy a stamp, and find a post box, has gone.
Communication is instant. And, as such, indiscrete, mean, angry and, as one too many politicians can tell you, ill-advisedly sexual are the norm.
What will future historians make of our use of smiling poo emojis?
My post-wine Messenger conversations with my friends contain revelatory insights into 2016 London conditions.
I can see it now: Commuter, 35, writes:”Ducking train cancelled’ and “UBER!!!!”. I fear we won’t seem as intelligent or articulate as those who went before us.
John Keats wrote to his love Fanny Brawne: “I should be exquisitely miserable without the hope of soon seeing you.”
The romantic impact of which would have been lessened if he’d closed with a gif of Kim Kardashian crying.
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