Archive for the ‘notes on the appearance of letters’ Category

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


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