2013

Letters of Note

Letters of Note cover

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

First published in 2013, Letters of Note is an internationally bestselling collection of 125 of the world’s most entertaining, inspiring and unusual letters–a book-shaped museum that will grip and fling you from one emotion to the next, and a celebration of the power of written correspondence which captures the humour, seriousness, sadness and brilliance that make up all of our lives.

In this volume is a letter from Mick Jagger to Andy Warhol that contains a wonderfully laid-back design brief for a Rolling Stones album cover; 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; Virginia Woolf’s heart-rending final letter to her husband, written shortly before taking her own life; a beautiful, delicate letter of advice from Iggy Pop to a troubled young fan that could warm the coldest of hearts; 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, Iggy Pop, Fidel Castro, Leonardo da Vinci, Bill Hicks, Anaïs Nin, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Amelia Earhart, Charles Darwin, Roald Dahl, 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.

Above photos: Letters of Note (Hardcover edition, Canongate Unbound, 2013)

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.”
Spectator

“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.”
Metro

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