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To my dear Ms Blanch

Thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement.  Indeed, thank you for your attendance at our humble workshop.

I must confess, over the past few months in the Dead Letter Office, Miss Wagner and I have often been plagued by self-doubt.  We fretted that our presentation might appear ‘school-marmish’ or conceited, or even simply irrelevant.  While our research is naturally of deep interest to ourselves, we feared that our passions might only be of passing interest to others.

So, you can imagine the joy that we felt when our modest presentation met with your enthusiastic reception.  We are so thrilled that we could take your creative mind and obvious talent with words away from the gruelling task of washing the lacy tablecloths of others. 

Thank you so much for sharing your letters with us.  We will proudly present them in our upcoming edition of our letter-writing manual.

We remain, as always, your humble and faithful servants.

Sincerely Yours

Ethel May Beeton

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Dear Sir

How pleased I was to hear of your interest in our humble endeavours! I know that my dear colleague, Miss Wagner, has written to you already of the features of good letter-writing. She has a great talent in these matters, and she possesses a formidable knowledge of epistolary etiquette.

Given this, I wish only to add a few notes on the proper appearance of letters, which you might collate with Miss Wagner’s suggestions.

I Choose a fine note-paper. White or cream is best.

II Marry this with a bold black ink.

III Think of your hand as you would the quality of your speaking voice. Write each letter boldly, and avoid imitating the affectations of others.

IV Try to write with a good pen. Never blame a sloppy appearance on a bad pen – a gentleman must learn to write with both.

V Avoid gold-edged note-paper and cheap perfumes. Both are merely tawdry.

With care, the physical appearance of letters can match the elegance of your prose. Though, of course, nothing is more beautiful than the truth, especially when it is written from the heart.

I invite you to write again of your thoughts on this project, and to share with us the fruits of your letter-writing endeavours.

Believe me, dear sir, to be yours truly.

Ethel May Beeton
(Miss)

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