Epistolary Books Part 1

September 22nd, 2009

 

Early this Spring, I read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.  It is an excellent book and has everything that a good book must have.  It is set on an island in the English channel during an war-time occupation.  There are vivid characters and a fashionable heroine who  is dating a very rich, exciting and handsome man.  This rich man wants nothing more than to marry the heroine, but she is a writer and after she stumbles upon the Island of Guernsey, stories start popping up in all their various sad, tragic, joyful and absurd permutations, including an feisty orphan, a recalcitrant pig farmer and the discovery of a valuable treasure!  The heroine is completely unable to leave Guernsey until she finds her happy ending and the reader never wants to leave the Island of Guernsey because it is a perfect book and they are so HARD TO FIND!

 

 

 

 

 

 The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, is a epistolary book, meaning it is a book of letters.  The various characters write to each other and this is how the story unfolds.  When I came to the end of this book, I was sad to discover that Mary Ann Shaffer, the author of this wonderful book died before her book was published and she never wrote another book.  Her niece, Annie Barrows, finished the book for her aunt and saw it through the editing and publishing stages. 

Two other books immediately sprang to my mind as I was reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.  They are also epistolary books and I love them as ferociously as I love The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

 

 

 

 

 

The first book is Daddy Long Legs.  Over the course of my childhood and teenage years,  I probably read and re-read  Daddy Long Legs twenty times.  I loved this book, and I always thought that it was a true story.  The copy that I read as a child had photographs in it… black and white photographs on slick pages and I honestly believed that they were photographs of the main characters of the book.  I was sure that ‘Judy’ or Jerusha Abbot was a real orphan who was sent to a real college by an actual rich trustee of the John Grier Orphanage where she grew up.  I thought that Judy’s letters to her ‘Daddy Long Legs’, (the person who was anonymously paying for her education) were real letters and that someone had placed all the letters and photographs in a book to tell people about this wonderful story.  I believed this my entire life until a few months ago when I ordered a copy of Daddy Long Legs and discovered that a woman named Jean Webster wrote this book and she was neither an orphan nor the benefactor of an education by a long-legged trustee of The John Grier Home!  There was no Jerusha Abbott!  There was no Daddy Long Legs!  There were no orphans in blue gingham suits, no trunk full of surprise ball-gowns, and no gas house where Jerusha burns her first novel after it is rejected!  It was all a story!  A made-up story!  But the letters!… the letters!… the letters were so real!  It was like discovering that there was no Santa Claus… no Easter Bunny!  I am still trying to deal with this shocking news, but I did find a bit of information with which to comfort myself.  Because Jean Webster the author of Daddy Long Legs… the book I so loved as a child… WROTE OTHER BOOKS TOO!  

 

 

 

 

 


So I ordered all of them!  And I have made it through most of them.  So far, all of her books are as wonderful as Daddy Long Legs … so maybe there is an Easter Bunny after all.  

 ___________________________________________________________________________________________
A bit about Jean Webster the author of Daddy Long Legs


Jean Webster’s mother was a niece of Samuel Clemens AKA Mark Twain.  Jean’s father was Mark Twain’s business manager.  The business and personal relationship between Jean’s father and Mark Twain was a successful one for both parties for a while, but it eventually began to erode causing Jean’s father to take a leave of absence from his job and a few years later, he committed suicide from a drug overdose.  Jean became an accomplished writer early in her life, but due to this sad history, she never talked about her famous relative.  

Jean came from a family that was always interested in social reform especially temperance and suffrage.  Jean herself became active in penal and orphanage reform during college and remained active in these issues her entire life.  Her two most well-known books (Daddy Long Legs and Dear Enemy) revolve around orphans, orphanages and people who work to make their lives better.  

The Book, Daddy Long Legs has been re-worked into plays, musicals, Japanese, anime’, and foreign television series.  It continues to inspire adaptations to this day.  I watched the Fred Astaire/Leslie Caron musical version of Daddy Long Legs, recently and was horrified by the whole thing.  It is so far removed from the actual book, that I don’t see how it could possibly be related.  The only similarities are that the main character is an orphan and an anonymous rich guy pays for her education. Everything else… well… not even the dancing of Fred and Leslie can make up for this silly story that in no way resembles the great book that supposedly inspired it.

 

Jean married Glenn Ford McKinney in 1915 and the two of them honeymooned at McKinney’s cabin near Quebec.  Former president Theodore Roosevelt visited the honeymooners and he is quoted as saying, “I’ve always wanted to meet Jean Webster. We can put up a partition in the cabin.”  Within a year, Jean became pregnant and entered the hospital to have the baby on June 10, 1916.  She passed away one day after giving birth to her daughter who was named Jean as well.  

Jean’s books are upbeat, full of wit, breezy and yet steeped in the important issues of her day.  It is this combination of a writer pointing to how to make the world better, while writing with such vivid settings, quirky characters, wit and optimism that make her books uplifting and fun to read even to this day.  

Now who would like a Jean Webster Book!

 

 

I ordered several copies of Daddy Long Legs for a giveaway, but I quickly realized I was not going to be able to give them all away.

Each copy that arrived in the mail, was a little different.  Clearly, I can not give away this one with the sweet book jacket!

Blue and gold… with a heart and roses!  I can’t give away this one!

 

 

 

Plain red cover and kind of blurry… I can probably give away this one…


And I eventually got two copies of the green cover with the red roses, so I guess I can part with one of those.
To enter to win one of these two copies of Daddy Long Legs, leave a comment.

You may answer this question if you like in the comments…

Do you think the art of letter writing is dead?

Winners will be chosen at random on Friday September 25, 2009 around 9 pm.

Comments

  • I think the art of letter writing exists in some of us but will soon fade because the recipient of those letters do not respond in kind.

    I write letters to my children and grandchildren and friends but they then call me or email me. It’s not the same folks!!!

    Can I get some cheese with this whine?

  • I think the art of writing letters is going strong … in a very small part of the population!

    By the way, another epistolary book that I enjoyed is called Ella Minnow Pea. You’d enjoy it, I think.

  • My family still writes letters/cards/etc. My great aunt still sends scented note cards (giggle). I love it. I would like to say, no. I don’t think the art is dead. With email and texting these days however, I think its days are numbered. Unfortunately.

  • Southern Gal:

    I don’t think the art of letter writing is dead. It may be dying a slow death. Unless things change with technology, in 10 years it may very well be dead. (Did you see the article about the mom who discovered her 8th grader could barely sign her name? Handwriting is taught until third grade then left behind in favor of the keyboard. Sad.)

    When I first read Daddy Long-Legs to my daughter I fell in love with it. We have a policy of never watching a movie until we’ve read the book. We were so excited to finish the book and get the movie at the library. Then the disappointment you expressed was exactly what we felt. I hate it when they ruin a perfectly good story to put it on the big screen. Sorry. I just had to agree wholeheartedly with you on the movie version.

  • It may not yet be dead, but it certainly has cancer and is lying on its death bed.

    Do they teach letter writing in school? Is the young generation nurturing long-distance relationships with pen pals through letters written on air mail parchment and sent slowly through the postal system? Um. NO.

    Do young lovers still write in script on scented paper and seal their envelopes with a kiss? Do soldiers wait with bated breath for the next mail delivery and lie on their bunks reading stacks of letters from home? Not so much.

    The future of anything always lies in the next generation.

    Texting, twittering and email are just not the same and will not preserve the art of letter writing.

  • Letter writing is not dead, it’s just changed form. I love to read bloggers “letters to important personages”, usually their children, the president, their kids who won’t make beds etc.
    But I think, to treasure for years, all of these should also be handwritten on the finest paper in beautiful penmanship and presented to the adressee.

  • I would love to read this book. I saw the Potato Pie book in Target the other day and thought it looked good. When I get some extra cash, I’m going to get it. I love to read!

    I think people don’t take the time to write letters anymore. I know I don’t, even though if I were to write my Granny, she would write back. It’s just so much easier to pick up the phone. Technology has made us lose the personal touches in life. I may have to write her tonight…won’t she be surprised?

  • Daddy Long Legs was a favorite of mine when I was younger too! Along with the Little Princess; I don’t know if those 2 books started my desire to work in orphanages, but it is something I still want to do.
    As for letter writing – yeah, Ii think it is slowly dying. People seem to be more intent on texting in shortened language; I still make my kids write actual Thank You letters, but other than that, they don’t write letters. Email, technology, etc. makes the walk to the mailbox more of a bother than a joy. It isn’t much fun to just get bills and junk mail. But, oh glory, when a real handwritten letter comes!!

  • Spinoff:

    I don’t think letter writing is dead, but it’s evolved to blogging. What is a blog but a letter to your nearest and dearest internet?

  • The art of letter writing is just that: an art. Even those of us who have no trouble penning a story (or blog) may not excel at great letter writing.

    I’m the product of an english teacher mother. I still write letters. Although not nearly as many as I did once. I find, like others, it’s not as much fun when the recipient doesn’t respond. But. I’m insistent that my children will also learn how to write a letter. At the very least, thank you letters.

    I hope the joy of letter writing will be found again by the next generation. The feel of fine paper and a good pen in your hand.

  • The stories sound lovely! But all I can think of looking at those pictures is how marvelous they must smell… Mmmmm…. I love the smell of books!

    I think the *ART* of letter writing may, in fact, be dead… or at least on its deathbed. (USPS statistics seem to support me on that one.) But letter writing itself has mostly just transformed into more technological forms. Heck, if we didn’t know how to write to communicate with others I couldn’t be entering to win! =D

  • Kait:

    NO letter writing is not dead. I will not allow it to die. I am forcing people to write to me with their very own hands and a pen. Or pencil. I don’t care how long or how short as long as it is hand written. Nothing like getting something in the mail besides bills. :)
    I would love a copy of such a book. I would even take the red fuzzy one. LOL.

  • Letter writing as we know and love is almost lost forever. I think it will become novel and be used on occasion. Letter writing is so rare that it makes a great gift/gesture when actually used.

    What treasures! I have been ordering “vintage” Nancy Drew books lately. I just love them, it’s like a second childhood reading them.

  • SoCalLynn:

    I think it is dying. There is nothing as lovely as reading old letters, and nothing so beautiful as seeing a hand addressed envelope from 100 years ago.

    I am so glad to hear that the book is *nothing* like the movie! From your description, my 10 year old daughter would love this story, as I would!

  • I do think the art of hand writing a letter is dead. I think that the art of hand writing is also slowly dying. I very seldom ever use a pen and paper to write anything down. I can really tell that computer technology has made a huge difference in the quality of penmenship.

  • Lea:

    I don’t think the art is dead…but the practice is definitely dwindling. Maybe people should organize to preserve letter-writing just like any other craft that is not so common anymore…a letter-writer’s guild!

  • I loved The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and was also disappointed that Shaffer had nothing else published. I’ve never read Daddy Long Legs, but I disliked the movie anyway. Surely that qualifies me for/as something!

  • I loved The Gurnsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I actually read it aloud on the beach to Kahuna. He and I would go back over the letters and talk about how wonderful the content was. It reminded me of 84 Charing Cross Road in so many ways. I have many old letters my grandfather wrote my grandmother and that other family members wrote to one another. I find them fascinating and moving.

    I miss that letter writing. Do you think maybe that is what many of us are trying to accomplish with our blogs? More of a mass mailing?

    Daddy Long Legs is a wonderful book. Loved it as a child.

  • “You wrote letters?” “Yeah, you know– stamps, envelopes… you’ve heard of it?”

    I don’t know if it’s completely dead, but I know that if I sit down to write thank-you notes, I get through two of them and then have to take a break because, wow, this “handwriting” thing sure is tiring…

  • Letter writing is pretty passe, but I love looking through the old letters I saved as a child. People still communicate with each other more, though, through cheap phone calls, Facebook, texting, etc. Maybe not enduring or great literature, but it does keep people in touch. (And I would never get to write to YOU before the Evil Internet!)

    I DO wish I wrote letters like the ones in “Guernsey…” and “Daddy-Long-Legs”. Loved, loved, loved both those books! And I’m drooling over the green copy.

  • LETTER WRITING IS DEAD. Enter the blogosphere. Here a form of it is resurrected. We are at least preserving our thoughts. Although at any time, we can hit delete. At least a letter can be snatched from a burning fire…

  • The art of letter writing has made a come back in the e-mail. However, they won’t be found in a box in the attic or under the bed or whatever, I’m afraid.

    Once in a while I’ll print something of because I want to keep it but its not as cherished and protected I’m afraid.

  • Ann:

    lol! r u kidding? I c lots of writing.

  • Orghlaith:

    Yes, I think the art is nearly dead. But hopefully enough folk will keep it alive until there is a revival. Knitting nearly died as did so many other skill. But just look at the face of a child who receives an unexpected letter and one can see the reason to keep writing. It is too bad that birthday cards seem to be the only ‘letter’ anyone receives.

  • Darla (McIntosh) Schmalzried:

    I can’t even remember the last time I received a handwritten letter (aside from the occasional ‘thank you’ note.) But I refuse to believe that the art of letter writing is dead.

  • Laura Stultz:

    I don’t think it is dead yet, because there is still some old timers like me left. You just can’t beat a handwriiten letter. The kids of today do not know what they are missing.

  • I’m more of a note-scrawler myself, having been done in by the agony of writing 200 perfect thank-you notes after my wedding, 80% of which had to meet my mother’s standards, as the receiving parties would be sure to pass on their judgement. Not that I’m bitter. But my sister still sends great letters to my kids and they love it!

  • Angela O:

    I don’t think the art of letter writing is dead. I love getting snail mail letters and I try to remember that when I am composing an email to a friend – I then take out a pen and paper and write an actual note.

  • Margaret:

    I don’t think it’s dead but changed to electronic. Since my handwriting is almost illegible, it’s probably a good thing.
    One of my favorite authors of really old books is George Barr McChutchen. I may have misspelled the last name. I have some with pictures in them as well.

  • No, and let’s not ever let it be!
    Isn’t it funny we’re delivering our answers to you via the web? you should make us send in our answers via the US postal service!
    Love your blog!

  • Lisa:

    I admit that I am not a letter writer. I wish I was a letter writer, but I just have a difficult time putting my thoughts down on paper, and then getting that paper into an envelope, address it, put a stamp on it, get it to town, and the post office – the whole thing makes me weak and shaky!

    I love a good book, and this is one I have not read. I will have to look for it.

  • I can not remember the last time I wrote a letter. When I was a child letter writing was a much used form of communication, I am 68 years old. Judging by my actions, I would say letter writing is becoming extinct.

  • Not sure…the ability to craft a good letter is just like crafting a blog post which clearly many people are gifted at doing, including you, Rechelle! However, I do love letters and don’t get them nearly as much as I’d like. Part of the problem is we like things so fast and snail mail is not fast. I do think that one thing that is being lost is the ability to craft well written/spoken English sentences.

  • Margaret:

    Oh I loved the Guernsey etc! (I’ve typed the name of that book way too many times to repeat the exercise. lol!) Such a great book! I would love to win a book by Jean Webster — you’ve gotten me interested now! I love old books too.

    As for letter writing. Well, I think there’s a form of letter writing online too, isn’t there? I correspond with friends online just as if I were writing them a letter. Certainly receiving a hard copy letter doesn’t happen much these days, but I think online letter writing is still alive and well. At least I hope so!

  • I loved reading Daddy-Long-Legs! My copy is so old and the glue has dried out or is non-existent! I would love to win a copy of a book.

    Letter writing is a lost art – one that can, however, be reconstructed in your own daily journal – I write letters to my mother (long dead) all the time, letters to anyone actually – with the intent of never mailing them – that’s just the way i get things “off my chest” <–where did that phrase come from anyway??

    Thanks,
    ~Mad(elyn) in Alabama

  • sweetpeah:

    A book I have never read. Letter writing has gone by the wayside. But just ask my mother, every proper lady should still be doing it!

  • I grew up writing letters to both of my grandmothers and so wished I would have kept their letters back to me. I think letter writing is going away and that’s so sad. I just heard on the radio yesterday, that learning to write in cursive is not as important as it was when I was in early elementary school (early 60′s). Can you imagine, no cursive writing? No letters in the mail….no (snail) mail period (except the always arriving junk mail and bills). When was the last time I received a letter or thank you card in the mail? I really can’t remember—years…..How sad.

    On to happier things, I adore reading letters, diaries, journals, anything that gives a glimpse into the person. My most favorite reading.

    Tammy in STL.

  • WTMCassandra:

    Dead for everyone or dead for me? It’s definitely dead for me, although I’m an English-major type. I have always hated writing letters of any kind–my mind goes blank whenever I sit down to write one. My life always seems dullest when I’m trying to think about what to write in a letter.

    Dead for everyone? Hmmmm, not so sure. But I don’t know anyone my age or younger (I’m 41) that writes letters. I do make my children write thank-you notes, and one child sometimes even writes them spontaneously (be still my beating heart!).

    Letters to me mean email now. I will write someone an email waaaay before I would even think about writing a letter.

    And yes, your books sound delightful! I’d like to enter the contest.

  • E:

    Yes, I do think the art is dead. Dead dead dead. Sadly. I myself haven’t hand-written a letter in probably 15 years.

    LOL to the lady who said you should make us send our answers by snail mail!

    And yes, I have read Guernsey, etc.

  • Lucy:

    I sure hope not! I love to receive letters and try to keep up the tradition of writing. I do think the computer has taken over a lot for the pen. And text messaging… well I think was designed to keep parents poor and teens from having to communicate verbally (or learning to spell for that matter).
    Blessings,
    Cindy

  • I refuse to believe that the art of hand written letters is dead… yet. However, I think we may see the end of it soon. I still receive letters from my sister-in-law and those letters inspire my kids to write back to her and to write to their Grandmothers. I think it is important to keep traditions alive.

  • Shelley Jeffcoat:

    For me it has not died. Twice a year I mail out handwritten notes to friends and family. I go to Barnes and Noble, one of my favorite haunts, and find the most beautiful note cards. I think that one of the drawbacks of the Internet and email is that we don’t take the time to personalize our communication with letters. I just think its awesome to get a little hello in the mail, especially when most of us are just getting bills! Sad to say, I don’t receive any handwritten notes back..yup, an email saying thanks for the note. But that won’t stop me from writing!

  • Granny Bee:

    Alas, I fear that letter writing is fading away and will be talked about as a quaint custom practiced in the “olden days.” I recently read that cursive writing is no longer taught beyond the early elementary grades in many schools and is considered an archaic pursuit. The pen has been firmly replaced by the keyboard.
    I can’t remember how old I was when I first read Daddy Long Legs, but I was charmed by the story. It’s been too long since I last read it. I would love my own copy. Thank you for these reviews.

  • Tammi D:

    I know that I haven’t helped keep letter writing going…I’m terrible about it. I would love to read these…books are my obsession!

  • I don’t think it’s dead quite yet with older generations but I think it is dying for younger generations. The only people I ever get letters from are my grandmothers. I will say I get way more excited from getting a letter then an email.

  • I do think that email has overtaken letter writing. After spending 4 wonderful days visiting one of my mother’s childhood friends at their lake house in Maine she wrote me a thank you note for the gift I gave her. It was more like a letter, not just a typical “thank you note” recalling the fun things we did and what we can do the next time we come. I was so pleasantly surprised to get it, and I’ve saved it and pick it up occasionally and read it again. It has inspired me to do more of that because it showed me that it really means something to have part of a person, something they’ve actually written on. It just means so much more. Kind of like when I look through my grandmother’s old cookbooks and feel the flour that has spilled onto and was caught between the pages, or touch the splattered whatever it is next to the recipe for mince meat pie…but that’s more than you asked, right? :-)

  • Catherine:

    I thoroughly enjoyed The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I listened to it which isn’t my usual way to enjoy a book. The readers really added to my enjoyment. I would love to read one of your Jean Webster books. My Grandma had tons of older books at her house while I was growing up. I spent many hot summer Kansas days reading those books.

  • It seems like the art of letter writing is darn near dead. It isn’t very often that any one sits down and writes a real letter and sends it through the old fashioned mail system. I encourage my daughter to write her penpals with actual pen and paper instead of the computer… I also have to encourage her to use the phone instead of email… Too much is lost in translation.

  • Terry S:

    Letter writing certainly isn’t what it used to be. Now we jot off a line or two, mostly of words containing 2 or 3 letters. Still, it is writing I suppose. Oh, in answer to your question, yes and no.

  • MNStacey:

    I think handwritten letter writing might be going out the door, but I believe people may be communicating more with each other now that we have so many avenues to use. I guess we have to roll with the flow…

  • Jean:

    I feel you wrote this post just for me (how narcisstic, huh?). At your recommendation, I gobbled up Guernsey Literary and Potatoe Peel Society (loved it) and The Good Earth (amazed!). I hope I win, but if not, I appreciate the recommendation and review!

  • I LOVED the Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society book. Loved it.

    I am sure I would also love Daddy Long Legs, so please add my name to your list.

    No, letter writing is not dead, but it is becoming somewhat of a lost art. I am currently writing a weekly letter to a friend, and they reply to mine. It is wonderful! Fun mail in the mailbox, imagine that!! It is much more personal than other current forms of communication. It takes thought and time. It shows you care.

  • Fran:

    I think the art of letter writing has evolved into the art of e-mails and I suppose is now evolving into the art of twitters! I’ve read several books that are the exchange of emails in similar fashion to the books you have discussed. They were very creative and fun to read. I used to write long chatty letters years ago, but no longer find the time to do so anymore. I wish I did. I do send chatty e-mails! Not ready to twitter yet! By the way, I am currently reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and am thoroughly enjoying it. I would love to win a copy of Daddy Long Legs!

  • Sarah in NM:

    I thoroughly enjoy getting letters in the mail, but I don’t like writing back. I’m a phone call or email person, which I know some consider tacky, but there you have it. Product of my generation, I guess. So, probably due to me and my peers, letter-writing as an art is dying out. The only letters we write any more are cover letters, thank you notes, and formal memos to employers. But I think that’s ok. Life goes on.

    And since my library doesn’t carry Jean Webster (I’ve been looking!) I would love to snag one of these. If not, guess I’ll have to ILL it!

  • YES!!! I miss choosing beutiful stationery. I miss good pens. I miss the excitement of receiving a beautiful envelope in the mail and instantly knowing that is it NOT a bill or spam.

    Email just isn’t the same thing.

  • Teresa:

    I hope letter writing is not dead however I seldom get a real letter. However, as a genealogist I send letters. I write to my husband’s cousins (most of whom we haven’t met yet). Every so often one writes back. We just had a family reunion with my husband’s second cousins. That all started with some letters. I often tell myself I am going to write more letters but put it off.
    On the other hand, I LOVED The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I picked it up by chance at the library and I have told everyone I knew that reads what a good book it is. I am a fan on Facebook of the book as well. I hated that she had not written any other books.

  • nancy in alaska:

    I wish the art of letter writing was not dead, but I think it is a terminal patient. Maybe we should encourage school children to have “pen pals” again to encourage new letter writers. My mom was a very good letter writer – writing to all five kids when we were away at college.

  • In my enthusiam, my fingers typed too fast. I do know how to spell “beautiful”. (hanging head in embarrassment.)

  • I don’t know if letter writing is a thing of the past, but I hope not. I think it depends on the type of person you are. I still write my kids notes and put them in their lunches. My daughter loves it, and saves them, and remembers when I gave her each one. My son, who is 8, and refuses to kiss me anymore in public but will give me “knucks” instead, tells me I’m killing him with the embarrassing notes. I don’t think he’ll write letters, but my daughter might.

  • Brenda R.:

    I do think letter writing is dead, but that makes it more special when you do get a handwritten note.

  • Leigh:

    I think it is vastly changed by e-mail, and in some ways it has suffered. But in other ways, it’s better. I’m much more likely to shoot a quick e-mail to a friend to let her know I’m thinking of her than I ever was to write a letter prior to the advent of e-mail. But there really is something so “romantical” about letters. They’re such concrete evidence of someone’s life and goings-on.

  • Oh – I loved Dear Enemy. I wish I could remember how I learned about it. I love to get letters. They are such a dying art at this point I’d love a post card.

  • You know I have to comment, but please don’t include my name in the drawing.

    I read that potato peel pie book this year, and I loved it. Did I already tell you this? I almost put the book down as soon as I realized the entire thing was in letters. That just doesn’t appeal to me. Since I was trapped at the library, I decided to read a little anyway. I think I was hooked before page 20. It was so good! I highly recommend it, and now I may just have to check out your Daddy Long Legs book, too. If I liked Potato Peel Pie, I might like Daddy Long Legs, and I have liked every one of your recommendations so far.

    I do think letter writing is a lost art–one I’ve never really cared to pursue. While Caleb was in boot camp I tried to write him at least three times a week, though. It was hard at first, but I knew he would be faced with a lot of challenges and would need encouragement. (Did you know there are no phone calls allowed?!? I’m not much of a phone person, but that was torture.) It did get easier. In fact, my letters got to be so long (usually about 3 typed pages) that he had to read them in bits and pieces as he had time. I haven’t kept up with writing him letters since boot camp graduation. His address changes and he is slow to get us the updated address and we talk to him on the phone a few times a week anyway.

  • Marilyn:

    Not dead…just different. I really think people are writing more than ever via email, text messaging, etc. I will, however, always love receiving a great letter written on beautiful stationery.

  • Linda B:

    The only “letters” I send or receive (through the post office) anymore are thank-you notes.

    I can’t imagine that e-epistolary books will be even as close to as interesting as their older beautiful cousins.

  • susan:

    If we were going to judge the fate of letterwriting from my mailbox habits we would find it was in its twilight years. I never run to check my mailbox like I did years ago. There will be no letter from a penpal or a note from my grandmother. There is nothing to look forward in the mail anymore…its always bills or junk mail. I never mastered the art of a beautiful letter but I did appreciate recieving them.

  • Vicki M.:

    I do think the art of letter writing has disappeared. However, my sister and I are trying to bring it back in our own small way. We write each other, by email, each weekend. We could call, but it is so nice to have the emails to read again later. I save every one of them. I just cannot bear to delete them!

  • linda:

    Oh I hope that letter writing isn’t dead. I still write letters to my friends who live in the same town that I do just so that I write and receive some letters. The books look awesome!! I am a big reader.

  • DirtyKSmama:

    I think letter writing is sadly on the way out. Emails were a close substitute, but now people are into “snippets.” So now if I “write” a letter-length email, sometimes people will comment on the length, when really it would have been 2 hand-written pages. And who can write an update about a family of 5 in less than 2 pages?!?
    I still enjoy writing handwritten letters to distant friends and family, for Christmas and birthdays at a minimum, and my children write Thank Yous. But there is VERY little in return. Sad.

  • Letter-writing is absolutely not dead. Yes, it has had its share of twists and turns, but it is and always will be alive and well. There are too many of us who care about it and indulge in it in one form or another.

    I think it’s important, too, to not discount e-mails and blogs as a letter-writing art. Sometimes we over-romanticize the past so much that we become disdainful of the present, and I think that’s a tragedy. We should fully embrace what we can do, what we feel compelled to do. If that’s sit down with a piece of beautiful stationary and a fountain pen, great. If it’s sitting in front of a computer screen typing an instant message, that’s great, too. Relationships. That’s what it comes down to. And when it comes to communicating in relationships, even the smallest nugget of conversation can make the biggest difference.

    No letter writing! Thank God! it lives, and it lives forever. A thousand years from now, Rechelle, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, it will continue to make glad the heart of letterreaderhood.

  • *stationery. Sheesh.

  • Barb:

    I don’t think letter writing is dead – as long as there are words to write and people who will read, as long as there is love to express and lovers to meet , as long as there are parents who care and children who need them, as long as we have a need to evaluate our own lives – a therapy for life.

  • Is the art of bill-paying dead? No, we just do it electronically. Web mail is just as valid as paper mail and has the added feature of being able to be saved, chronicled with scanned pics, etc. I’m sure that with the advent of the typewriter, people asked, “What happened to handwritten letters!!”
    One downside, you can’t perfume electronic mail.

  • Melissa Ann:

    I regret having to say that I do think letter writing is dead… I want to be the kind of person who will work diligently to bring it back and shower my friends with delightful and witty letters written on pretty stationery without lines on it (even though my handwriting would slant perfectly across invisible straight lines….). But I’m really the person who can barely manage a quick mass email update… So sad to be contributing to the death of letter writing :(… But I’d love to read the books! What a compassionate sell you’ve done!

  • JenniferB:

    I love reading and love writing letters; this sounds like a fabulous book! I’ll have to look up the others at my local library!

  • meanders:

    I loved the guernsey literary society (but a ridiculously long title to remember and write). I was going to say that no, letter writing is not dead, because remember the tingly feeling you get when you read a good email letter? Geez, I’ve just spent the last hour thoughtfully composing some email letters to my family.

    But then I scanned some of the comments and realized that people were talking about *letter* writing. On *paper*. Hmm, as someone who loves a good stationery supply and needs to put her credit card in the freezer when she visits the Crane’s website, I love a good letter, on good paper. I love to send them. But have I received one lately? The only correspondant I can think of is my mother-in-law.

    I loved The Little Princess, too, and The Secret Garden. Never read Daddy Long Legs. I love the graphic design of vintage books.

  • Rebecca:

    Every time I see letters from famous people on Antiques Roadshow I think how sad it is that no one writes these anymore. I have great letters from family members in a family tree scrapbook. The history is amazing. I don’t know how this gerneration will be chronicled.

  • Gayl Venman:

    I just loved the “Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society”….in fact, my whole family has read it by now and we are dreaming of a family vacation to Guernsey. No, letter writing is not dead….we just need to make time to keep it alive. I look forward to reading “Daddy Long Legs” whether I win the book or not. Thank you!

  • G:

    I also loved Webster as a child when I read my mom’s books. How sad to hear that she died in childbed:(.
    I do think that classic letter writing is dead. When I was young, I wrote 10 page letters, now I write20 line e-mails. It is sad, but my handwriting is so bad the world is better off.

  • not for me

  • Sarah H.:

    Another epistolary novel I love is “Frankenstein.”

    Is letter-writing dead? Literacy scholars say it’s just changing (with texting, etc.). I don’t know if I buy that or not. But everyone seems to think the generation behind them is causing the world to go to hell in a handbasket and yet humanity seems to continue.

  • M.R.:

    Many a romance has flourished via email!

  • JILLIAN:

    I WOULD LOVE TO WIN ONE OF YOUR COPIES OF “DADDY LONG LEGS”.
    I DO THINK THAT THE ART OF LETTER WRITING IS LONG GONE.
    I LOVE SENDING LETTERS TO FAMILY AND FRIENDS, BUT ALAS THEY ARE VIA THE INTERNET.
    I HAVE ALWAYS WISHED THAT I COULD SEND AND RECIEVE LETTERS SEALED WITH A WAX STAMP, HOW COOL IS THAT?
    THANKS FOR THE NEW WORD,”EPISTOLARY”, IT WILL BE A GREAT WORD OF THE WEEK.

  • I think letter writing is dying, but I am trying to revive it! My children participate as well. A huge part or our personal history will go unnoticed without letters for future generations to mull over. Great post, as always, Rechelle.

  • Naomi B.:

    The art of letter writing is fading. I wish I had been imparted with the gift and discipline to have a knack for it. I used to write pages and pages of nothing to friends in junior high, and now….I barely even email.
    Would love a copy of one of these books.

  • Charlene:

    Not dead but definitely fading. Sad actually. I wish I hadn’t disposed of the letters from my brother while he was in the Air Force and my childhood penpal from England. I would enjoy reading Daddy Long Legs. Such a beautiful cover too.

  • Missy Litzinger:

    Unfortunately, yes the art of letter writing is fading with theinvention of text messageing and email – it’s sad. Even I who loves to receive mail in the mailbox, will email for a quicker response.

  • Rhonda:

    It is dead, and it makes me sad. I miss getting REAL mail in the mailbox.

  • Kathy:

    I agree that it is fading. I have boxes of letters from my youth, and I have been trying to get my daughter to write letters to her friends. She thinks it is fun, and I like to remind her that it is something she can look back on when she is older.

  • I think the art of formal letter-writing is somewhat dead, although e-mail provides us with a quick way of exchanging information, albeit with poorer grammar, and more abbreviations. I enjoyed this book as a girl, and guess what? The play was put on by my high school, and I got to play the lead character! yes I did! so I have a very soft spot for Daddy-Long-legs!

  • I think the art of letter writing on paper is on it’s last legs.

    I like this movie Daddy Long Legs. I think it has one of the most delightful dance scenes….Sluefoot, it’s called.

    I have never read this book and would like it especially the pretty green one with the red roses.

    Love
    Donna

  • Brooke Elizabeth:

    I think that the art of letter writing is just not as intimate as it used to be. Lover’s use to write each other during the war or when they had to be away from one another. They wrote about how they missed each other and their true feelings. Now in relationships you get a text or an email. You don’t get that hand written letter of love like in the past. It’s not as intimate b/c technology has made us dependent on email and phones so the letter writing that used to be the only way of communciation in the past is now the last form of communication for us. Letter writing is the last resort for people now.

  • Beth:

    Sadly, I believe letter writing is disappearing. My daughter is 6 and I write her a small note everyday and include it with her school snack. She treasures these. She is a fan of letter writing thankfully and writes letters to her friends, Nana & Papa and relatives. I’m heartbroken our school has the belief that teaching handwriting isn’t necessary because “kids text and use the computer”. Ugh!

    Have you read the Griffen & Sabine trilogy by Nick Bantock? It is a lovely story all told by letters and postcards. One of my favorites. The reader has to open the letters or read the postcards to follow the story between the two characters.

    I hope I’m the fortunate one of your giveaway as I really enjoy books like this!

    -Beth

  • Beth R.:

    I don’t think the art of writing letter is dead, per se, more like wheezing and gasping with one foot in the grave. I have a friend that lives a few hours away and sometimes we will write letters back and forth, but for the most part it’s email.

  • The ART of letter writing isn’t dead, but perhaps a little weak with the internet and all it brings. There is nothing like getting a hand written letter – you can almost hear the person who wrote it and see them as you read it. I love getting letters in the mail – what a treat and I can read them over and over and smell them and touch the pages. I think I will go write a letter. Thank you for such a thought provoking question.

  • Absolutely not. There is nothing that excites me more at the mailbox than seeing an envelope with my name and address hand-written! I know that it’s a letter from a friend – even if just a paragraph to say ‘hello, I’m thinking of you’. It makes me smile and run to my stationary box and write a letter back. Even the people who also email and call me every day occasionally send a hand-written letter and I love it. We all need to keep it up!

  • Lisa S:

    I just read the Guernsey book and have loved 84 Charing Cross Road for years. That book turned movie was excellent and it’s hard to believe that Mel Brooks had anything to do with it. I love the green copy of the book. It looks so similar to a book I picked up in an antique store not long ago. They would look great together.

  • Lori in Denver:

    No, the art of letter writing is NOT dead. I know, because my 23 year old nephew recently told me that he writes letters. He said it’s like a “gift” when you receive a letter from someone and he loves to send them to his friends. It really struck me as curious because this kid is beer-swilling and all tattoo-ey, and not at all the perceived “sensitive type”. He said it’s more personal than email and really shows that you care about someone enough to spend the time to write a letter. And I love that about him. What a great kid he is!

    PS — Loved the Guernsey book too. Shared it with my mom and she thoroughly enjoyed it as well.

  • Robin in New Jersey:

    It’s not dead, but it may be dying a slow death. I love to write letters or notes on pretty cards to people. I really love receiving letters in the mail, but rarely if ever do.

    I would love to read this book. I have added it to my list of books to look for.

  • I do. I think people try to be clever in quick emails instead. Maybe that’s why I have a desire to write a book – a giant letter!

  • siltedrepose:

    I think the art of letter writing will be revived from its present state of dormancy. I believe there’s no reason one couldn’t write an email like a letter. Unfortunately, my own letter writing tends to end up in the pile marked “I’ll get it done any day now.” I do regularly write letters as thank you’s. I put off writing thank you’s for months. The Christmas letter seems to be fairly popular. People who want to sell me stuff send me letters all the time. Alphabetical letters will be here for awhile yet. My grandmother typed her letters on a typewriter. I wish I’d kept those. I tried to write a historically fictitious letter for a history class once, but I think it could have been done better. Come to think of it, I need to write a letter now. Goodbye!

  • Martha in Kansas:

    I don’t know if letter-writing is dead, but it’s sure gasping! And that’s too bad, as it’s a lovely thing to get a nice long letter. We have kept letters written by my great grandmother where she talks about her daily chores and it’s just like she’s talking to you. Still fun to read.

    I am in LOVE with that green cover. They don’t make book covers like they used to, do they! That is, I think, the most beautiful cover I’ve seen! I have been known to buy old books just to be able to fondle the covers!

    I remember that movie called Daddy Long Legs. I thought it was about Fred Astaire’s dancing. I see I have some catching up to do!

  • MichelleG:

    You mean your blog is not letters?….written to me???………wow, this really changes things.

  • jamoody:

    My mom actually got a letter in the mail yesterday. It was hand written and everything. She was so very happy. Is the art dead? Not entirely, but I think it is barely hanging on. :(

  • Joanne from Idaho:

    I loved Daddy Long Legs too when I was young – I don’t know if I read it 20 times, but I read it more than once. I wish the art of letter writing was still among us, but unfortunately, I think the Internet killed it!

  • Sandy in MI:

    Not completely dead, but surely struggling with a terminal illness.

  • I don’t think it is dead. I love writing letters and know of quite a few others that do also. :) hopefully it will always be pretty common.

  • Amy Adamo:

    I just put an envelope in the mail, doing what I can to keep letter writing alive.
    Amy from Italy

  • Gina Bull:

    Actually, no. But we need to adopt a more general term like “personal text communication”. When everyone hand-wrote letters, many were short or dull or uninteresting. Only a few were true “keepers”. Email is like this. Every so often, an email will arrive that I just have to save. That personal archive of mine is my trove of “letters”. I just need to be sure to archive them in a way that remains accessible as technology changes.

  • Mrs. S.:

    I loved this book growing up! Thank you.
    Mrs S.

    PS. Letter writing has a faint pulse.

  • joann in tx:

    i hope not!

    my 91 yr.old mother waits for my letters
    each week!

    i will admit to my penmanship getting worse due
    to typing on the computer vs. hand written letters!

  • JJ:

    Letters – boy I haven’t gotten one in years!

    Thank you for the book recommendation – I am heading to the library today!

  • Tracie in Washington:

    This sounds like a lovely book. I have recently been aquiring books from my childhood for some reason and it is a little late since my children are in their late teens and early 20′s and are not the least bit interesed int reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, one of my favs. Oh well there is always grandchildren ( 10 to 15 years from now however)

  • Beth from NC:

    I agree the art of letter writing is gone….dead.
    I read a book recently called Fair and Tender Ladies by Lee Smith that was made of letters from childhood to death of one lady. It was a little hard to get into, but once I got hold of the style I couldn’t put it down.

    Even if I don’t win a copy, I will probably look for one to read.

    BCS

    PS I enjoy your sight.

  • I’m going to grovel completely and say, “Oh, please please please pick me!!!” I LOVED Guernsey… and never wanted the book to end. I’ve never heard of Jean Webster, but her writing sounds like it’s right up my alley!

    And, to answer your question, I do think letter writing is dead. Sad….

  • Charlotte:

    As an artform, yes, letter writing is dead and will never be revived! Artful letter writing began its demise with the invention of the telephone and took a downhill turn with the advent of email and the internet.

  • Sarah:

    I do not think the art of letter writing is dead. I think we are much more intentional when communicating with letters. I love that I have letters written to me from my grandmother for the past 20 years. Her words are treasures to me.
    I always loved this book as a child. It is so beautiful!

  • Linda:

    The art of letter writing is not dead, but now we e-mail, and some of us like me e-mail all day long! I would love to win a copy of Daddy Long-Legs. I’ve never read this book but you make it sound interesting and I love reading old fashioned books with old fashioned values.

  • I confess: I have not written a letter in a long, long time. I think I should write my grandma – she would love it.

  • Leslie:

    I don’t know that it is dead so much as replaced. There are so many other ways of communicating that I think people just find the way that works best for them. I never write to my parents, for example, but I do call them several times a week. My sister and I call and e-mail. I e-mail with most of my friends. I do have an aunt that I correspond with via regular mail because that is what works best for us. Which reminds me…I owe her a letter…

  • dead as a doornail.

    i love daddy long legs. haven’t read it since i was a wee thing.

  • Kelly in Florida:

    I don’t need a copy of Daddy Long Legs, as I still have the old copy that I stole from Mom and Dad’s house when I moved out some 20 years ago. I loved that book so much as a girl, that when I would finish the last page, I would sigh with contentment, turn the book over and start it again! Great recommendation!!!

  • I sent two letters only just this morning; several others yesterday, all written in long hand. Good for you for asking the question, the obvious result of which is that all these fine readers will consider it next time they have something to tell someone. Lovely thought.

  • WendyLou:

    I think, perhaps, the essence of letter writing is not dead. I think it has transformed. Many people today journal their thoughts or write blogs for posterity. BUT, the act of writing physical letters for communication is probably gone. Phone calls and e-mails have taken their place.

  • GreatAunt:

    I think the art of letter writing is dying, but not quite dead yet. There are many in our parent’s generation who write beautiful letters. There are some in our own generation who can compose wonderful letter, though I think they do so much less often then they should.

  • Susan:

    Letter writing as an art form is probably dying, slowly. People are so in a rush now and due to the internet and facebook, texting, etc. people don’t even know how to build and sustain meaningful relationships much less write a letter with some thought and emotion.
    By the way, loved Daddy Long Legs as a child. I read Guernsey this summer… loved it. I don’t know about where you live but here they are slowly weeding all the classics out of the public library. My daughter can’t even check out Little Women. If it wasn’t for my “personal library”…. Have you ever read the Swallows and Amazon series? Great read aloud. Check it out.

  • Lobsta:

    Yes, letter writing is dead. Thank you notes, invitations, greeting cards and condolence cards have survived – for now. I, for one, am happier to type an email than to scratch out a handwritten epistle that even I can’t read.

  • Jenny:

    I agree with Marilyn that we do still write letters they are just electronic. I have on occasion written emails rather than calling when I wish to say something well…I have the chance to reread and see if I am making any sense at all. Conveying the write (har har, get it) meaning. However, receiving a hand-written note or card via snail mail just can’t be replaced. Thanks for the book suggestion. Daddy Long Legs sounds wonderful.

  • Anoria:

    Letter writing is not dead! I don’t write enough paper letters. I put too much thought into the perfect thing to say to commit to ink on the paper, since it is after all so much more important to word things right the first time when you can’t backspace. The last one I wrote was two years ago, to my (as of a month ago, ex-) boyfriend on our second anniversary, when I was overseas. He recently discovered it while looking for something else in his room, and came and showed it to me, and I read it… it’s really important to have stuff like that to reminds us of our history. So even though people may not keep in practice so much as they used to, I believe the art is not lost, and should never be.

  • Serena:

    Letter writing won’t die as long as we keep writing…so keep writing!!

  • Sadly, yes I do believe the art of letter writing is a dying one. I loved the Guernsey Literary….Book. My book club read it last December on the recommendation of a woman I met at the Costco Book table!!

  • becky up a hill:

    I too read the Guernsey book this summer. It was wonderful and made me read more about the Channel Islands. If you read about Sark, you will wonder why anyone needs to make up a story. These islands are fun and their history is very um.. fascinating. I’d love to win the Daddy Long Legs story. I had to laugh at your disappointment…only cause I too was dismayed to learn that Mrs. Mike was not a completely true story.

  • Nanc in Ashland:

    Nope, letter writing still living, although evolved. I email most folks but all my emailees get a hand written letter once a month or so. My dad, aunts and uncles especially like the letters (although they all have email) and friends who live outside the USA like a handwritten letter in their mailbox because it’s just nice from the usual stuff. Admittedly, I often type, either on the computer or my manual typewriter, because I have arthritis, but it still goes in an envelope and is dropped in a mailbox. Wandering on a tangent: has texting ruined the thrill of passing a note in class? Do you like me? Check yes or no.

  • Denise:

    Sounds like a great book! Hmm…I think the art of letter writing is suffering a bit…I know that I don’t write or receive nearly as many as I did 15 years ago. But, I do email more often than I would’ve written letters, so all is not lost!

  • Martha Brueggemann:

    I think the art of letter writing has been replaced by emails, texts, and blogs. My daughter and her family live states away from us and we communicate mostly via the internet. However, her husband is in Afghanistan and they write to each other weekly. What a treasure for their children to have in the future.

  • I had a deep thought the other day that I will share with you…I think texting is the modern form of telegramming. Obviously no one sends telegrams anymore, but the shortened form, the lack of sentence subjects, is the same. Don’t you think?
    What does this have to do with letters? I do think the art of letter writing is dying out. It’s not that we don’t communicate via the written word anymore; look, I’m typing you. But we write shorter, less formally. You would think it odd (well maybe you wouldn’t, but many would) if I stopped here to describe my lunch, or the freckles on my son’s nose as he begs me to get off the computer. Or the clouds outside or the fact that I lost an earring this morning. But such matters concerned our grandmothers when they wrote friends.
    ENOUGH. I hope I win.

  • missy:

    Unfortunately I do think letter writing is a dead art. I have fortunately kept letters sent to me over the years, now I just need to send a few myself!

  • JennyME:

    I sent one of my sisters a letter a couple of years ago and she e-mailed me back to ask why I’d done such a strange thing. So…yes, I’m afraid it is dead.

  • P.j.:

    I agree that letter writing as an art (beautiful papers, lovely handwriting, a special pen) is gone.
    However, I do find myself writing long e-mails on occasion. So in terms of written communication, I think that still happens.
    Thanks, p.j.

  • Sadly, yes letter writing has gone by the way side. My grandmother, before she passed away, would write us letters. She had beautiful handwriting and always wrote “and” on the diagonal. I am not a good letter writer or even card sender. E-mail, though, that I can do.

  • safetydog:

    I think it’s dying, but can be revived. My daughter makes fun of me for writing notes to her teacher on notecards, and putting them in envelopes. She says you can just write on a Post-it Note. I’ve been reading through many-years worth of letters that my mother saved. You get a real sense of a person’s life that way.

  • Kellye:

    Rechelle, you get me so enthusiastic about books. I want to see you on CSPAN – book talk sometime. I picture me “shushing” my family while saying, “that’s my bloggy friend!” I love the art of letter writing and I also enjoyed Guernsey. Even though I enjoy it, I don’t take the time to write letters. I have one friend who always writes me. You have inspired me to write a letter today! Whether I win or not, I think I will read Daddy Long Legs.

  • Jessica I.:

    Oh! I just finished The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society LAST NIGHT! I loved it so much and was very sad that it ended, although I didn’t think it was funny that Juliet said the story doesn’t end with engagement, but HERS did in this book!!! Oh haha. Did you find it interesting that many of the letters were delivered SO quickly in this book?? Very efficient postal service.

    Anyway, six months ago I would have said letter writing was dead. However, I have had two of my very best friends move away recently, and we are now old-fashioned pen-pals, sending care packages and letters, etc. I love it and hope we actually keep it up!

  • arlene:

    I would dearly love to win a copy of that beloved book. I have read it many times but do not own a copy. Thanks for backing up my opinion that the movie was NOT anywhere as good as the book.

    Letter seem to be a dying art. Spelling is also dying. And now I see that cursive writing is dead as a dodo in schools around the USA. I am dreaming of the day when people are awakened to the value of the printed/handwritten word.

  • Terri:

    Yes.

  • Tish:

    My kids love to get letters and quickly realized that they actually have to write letters to get them in return. Since we live in CO and have relatives scattered to the 4 winds (NH, FL, MA, HI, WA, Switzerland, Germany and my oldest is in Afghanistan) they get plenty of practice, even if it is just jotting a quick thank you note or squeezing in as much as possible on a postcard or writing a joke or quick paragraph on a greeting card. My youngest is in elementary school so they still do letter writing (Flat Stanley letters last year were a big hit) and will probably write letters to soldiers in my son’s unit this year. I’d rather do emails than talk on the phone (somewhat phonaphobic) but there’s nothing better than opening the mailbox and finding a letter!
    Rechelle- have you read the Griffin and Sabine series by Nick Bantock or the Jolly Postman books?

  • Lots of comments, I had to do a lot of scrolling to get to the comment box!
    Most definitely the art of letter writing is going the way of rotary dial phones and cassette tapes! (I’m old enough, I could mention 8-track tapes as well!)
    Unless you are Amish and don’t have a computer with email, or you don’t have a cell phone with texting ability(and let’s face it, the Amish have cell phone so for get that!)you probably cannot remember the last time you wrote a letter. I can’t. Well, it may have been 4 or 5 years ago when my in-laws moved 2,000 miles away and didn’t have internet for a few weeks.
    I did just send a card with a little note to some older people I know who do not have even a computer! Does that count?!

  • Betsy:

    I’ve never read Daddy Long Legs but I love her books – oh I sooooooooooooo want to win it!

  • Betsy:

    oops :) I regularly send letters to my grandma. She loves it! I do however think it is dying out slowly and sadly.

  • Stephanie-Oh:

    Yes I really must admit that I rarely write letters anymore. E-mailing is much faster and less formal. The most I ever write are short notes in birthday cards and Christmas cards,

  • Deborah Non Blogger:

    Dear Rechelle
    Just a little note to let you know that I love Daddy Long Legs. I saw the Leslie Caron movie as a teenager and went hunting for the book….and the book IS better, as they nearly always are.

    ….but aren’t old books best?! I love the covers on the ones you found. Little works of art.

    Letter writing is a dying art. It may disappear in the next generation. They have so much immediate communication available, and it’s so abbreviated. Taking the time to sit and craft a letter is a skill and a pleasure.

    My daughter asked a boy to go to her formal with her….by text. Waaaah!

    dy wn2go 2 my 4mal
    y
    mum wl cll yr mum
    gr8

    *sniff* I may cry.

    Yours epistolically

    Deborah

  • Chef_Rach:

    I truly believe that letter writing is fading in America. I travel to europe often and have many friends there. We all write letters to eachother and I love it. I guess to me it is just so much more romatic. I mean, what can be more romantic than two girlfriends sharing their secrets to eachother through letters (on cute stationary, too). However, my friends see it as an everyday thing to do. My conclusion, the difference in cultures. I have promised myself to keep this art alive. Please join me, send a loved one a letter.

  • JudyK:

    Just when I thought that letter writing was a lost art, I received a wonderful handwritten letter from a friend. We both decided that we needed to continue to write to each other in addition to emailing and phone calls. I love having her letters to reread again and again.

  • I think the traditional form of letter writing is dead for the majority of the masses, but it has morphed into a new tradition of email, blog and tweets. I think there are some of us “traditionalists” out there that hold on to the letter writing standards of the past. I know it is something I strive to keep going after finding out that most of the drawers in my grandfathers den are filled with beautiful love letters he exchanged with my grandmother – always starting off with , “My Darling Wife” – I’d swoon if I got a letter like that from my husband!

  • JJ:

    Just had to drop another note – I just read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and it was excellent – thank you for the recommendation I thoroughly enjoyed it!

  • Anita:

    It’s not dead yet but dying a slow death.

  • Priss:

    I found your blog a couple of days ago through an atheist site I frequent. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying being here and have spent hours going through your wonderful posts. I just came across this one and was so happy to see it. I too loved Daddy Long Legs when I was a child and teenager. My mother was the county librarian in our town and I could take home as many books as I wanted and keep them as long as I wanted, without fines (how lucky was I???). Daddy Long Legs came home with me many, many times. A few years ago I joined paperbackswap.com and made my extensive wish list. I put Daddy Long Legs on it in as many versions as they had in their database. Just last week I finally received Daddy Long Legs and Dear Enemy in one volume. I hadn’t ever read Dear Enemy and was dubious about its being as much fun to read as Daddy Long Legs, but now that I have read this post of yours, I can’t wait to get started on it.

    Love your site!

  • Priss:

    Here’s an epistolary novel you might not have read that I like very much. The letter writer is not a very sympathetic character but oh she is engrossing. The book is A Woman of Independent Means by
    Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey.