28 Oct 2021

Letters of Note (New Edition)


An updated edition of the international bestseller, Letters of Note: a celebration of the power of written correspondence which captures the humour, seriousness, sadness and brilliance that make up all of our lives. Features a gorgeous new design, an updated introduction, and fourteen riveting new letters from the likes of Tom Hanks, Shirley Jackson, Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, Wallace Stegner, and others.

You will find a letter from a young Tom Hanks to filmmaker George Roy Hill in which he plans his big break; a missive from Mick Jagger to Andy Warhol that contains a wonderfully laid-back design brief for a Rolling Stones album cover; a profound letter of advice from Maya Angelou to her younger self; a handwritten note from Queen Elizabeth II to U.S. President Eisenhower which is accompanied by Ma’am’s personal scone recipe; a remarkable and masterful riposte from a freed slave to his old master that will leave many of you punching the air; James Baldwin’s iconic letter to his nephew; Virginia Woolf’s heart-rending final letter to her husband, written shortly before taking her own life; a truly incredible letter penned by scientist Francis Crick to his son, in which he announces the discovery of the structure of DNA; a harrowing account of a mastectomy performed without anaesthetic, written by the 60-year-old patient to her daughter; and an extraordinary job application letter from one of history’s most celebrated minds, Leonardo da Vinci. One of the letters, imprinted into a clay tablet, dates all the way back to the 14th century BC; the most recent is just a few years old. All will captivate you.

Includes letters from:

Zelda Fitzgerald, Shirley Jackson, Tom Hanks, Fidel Castro, Leonardo da Vinci, Maya Angelou, Bill Hicks, Anaïs Nin, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Amelia Earhart, Charles Darwin, James Baldwin, Albert Einstein, Elvis Presley, Dorothy Parker, John F. Kennedy, Groucho Marx, Charles Dickens, Katharine Hepburn, Kurt Vonnegut, Mick Jagger, Steve Martin, Emily Dickinson, Alec Guinness, and many more.

Praise for Letters of Note:

“Funny, tragic, brilliantly incisive, historic, lyrical, romantic and studiedly offensive, this stupendous compendium of letters ancient and modern is my book of the year. You will never tire of it.”
Stephen Fry

“Quite literally the most enjoyable volume it is possible to imagine. Every page is a marvel.”

“Addictive, like dipping into a bag of variously tempting assorted candies, knowing that the next one will always bring surprise and pleasure.”
New Yorker

“A gloriously presented compilation.”
Financial Times

“The literary equivalent of a box of chocolates – bite-sized and pure addictive pleasure … The result is beautifully produced, with photographs and colour facsimiles of much of the correspondence. A gorgeous Christmas present.”
Sunday Times

“It is hard to see how Letters Of Note could ever be surpassed.”
Mail On Sunday

“A wonderful collection of magical missives. It’ll have you reaching for pen and paper.”
Evening Standard

“As a guide to letters that deserve a wider readership, Usher’s compilation is hard to beat.”
Scotland on Sunday

“A truly extraordinary reading experience.”
Big Issue

“The volume is so well-produced it could become an heirloom, passed down through generations.”
Huffington Post

“Witty, tragic, educational, inspirational.”
The List

“A book that’s an ideal Christmas gift.”



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