Humanity shines through There have been a number of general collections of letters published in the last few years (“Letters of Note”, “More Letters of Note” and “Letters to Change the World”, to name three which spring to mind immediately). And then there are the innumerable published letters of the famous (or infamous) – authors, politicians etc.etc. This reflects the fact that letters have an easy appeal because they often tell us more than we would otherwise know about the writers, the recipients or the events…
Changed the World? As always with a selection the reader wonders why some have been included and others left out. Many of the letters are interesting (if at all) because of who wrote or received them. Few justify the subheading Letters that Changed the World. Having said that, some are fascinating and the book is full of interest. I passed over the famous Fanny Burney letter describing a horrendous without anaesthetic: it comes in a variety of selections and is too painful to read. A couple of quibbles: the…
Bit of a ‘curate’s egg’ The chosen letters are a very mixed bag. Very few are really qualified to be considered as “letters that changed the World”. Montefiori’s notes accompanying the letters are useful to understand the context of the letters, but many of the chosen letters are not very interesting, Although a few of the letters were thought provoking overall I was disappointed with this book.
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