Delight and horror

‘Everything that the lovingest of husbands can express to the best of wives, & love to the little ones, not forgetting the kicker in the dark,’ Jack Verney wrote to his pregnant wife in 1683.

Was he anti-Semitic?

Letters give us the life as lived — day-to-day, shapeless, haphazard, contingent, imperfect, authentic.

A literary gypsy

When Lavinia Greacen undertook her magisterial yet intimately sympathetic biography of James Gordon Farrell, she gained access to his diaries and many of his letters, especially love letters and letters to his literary agents, editors and publishers about his professional desires and requirements.

Surprising literary ventures

Love Letters of a Japanese begins: ‘These letters are real.


More gossip with less art?

The Letters of Samuel Beckett, 1929-40, Volume I, edited by Martha Dow Fehsenfeld and Lois More Overbeck

The spice of danger

From the Front Line: Family Letters & Diaries, 1900 to the Falklands & Afghanistan, by Hew Pike


Love between the lines

Words in Air: The Complete Correspondence Between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell,
edited by Thomas Travisano and Saskia Hamilton