The Lost Art of Letter Writing

Apparently the Lost Art of Letter Writing has been replaced by the New Art of Complaining About Letter Writing.

If you are only now beginning to complain about the Lost Art of Letter Writing (Perhaps saying, “Alas, e-mail has destroyed the Lost Art of Letter Writing) then you are about 110 years too late!

Here’s what Elizabeth Gaskell had to say about it in 1896:

  I am an old woman now, and things are very
different to what they were in my youth. Then we,
who travelled, travelled in coaches, carrying six
inside, and making a two days’ journey out of what
people now go over in a couple of hours with a
whizz and a flash, and a screaming whistle, enough
to deafen one. Then letters came in but three times
a week: indeed, in some places in Scotland where I
have stayed when I was a girl, the post came in but
once a month;–but letters were letters then; and
we made great prizes of them, and read them and
studied them like books. Now the post comes
rattling in twice a day, bringing short jerky
notes, some without beginning or end, but just a
little sharp sentence, which well- bred folks would
think too abrupt to be spoken. Well, well! they may
all be improvements,–I dare say they are; but……..

Man, things have never been the same since the started this wretched twice daily mail delivery! Nobody has time to think about what their writing anymore!

From “Lady Ludlow” which is “What I’m Reading Now,” by the way.


One Response

  1. […] here This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 16th, 2007 at 7:15 am and is filed under letter writing. […]

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