A book is a sneeze

In September of 1952,  a few weeks before the publication of Charlotte’s Web—the now-classic tale of a pig, Wilbur, who becomes friends with a heroic spider named Charlotte—its author, E. B. White, was asked to explain why he wrote the book by his editor at Harper & Row, Ursula Nordstrom. On the 29th of that month,

The morning mail is my enemy

In March of 1961, nine years after the publication of Charlotte’s Web, author E. B. White received a letter from a young fan named Cathy Durham who wanted to know when, if ever, his next children’s book would see the light of day. He replied, in part: “I would like to write another book for children but

E. B. White on the Free Press

Late-1975, Esquire magazine announced that a forthcoming 23-page article by Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalist Harrison Salisbury, to be published in their February 1976 issue, had been sponsored by Xerox. After hearing of the arrangement, E. B. White — author of Charlotte’s Web and long-serving contributor to The New Yorker — wrote a letter to his local newspaper and voiced his disapproval. In the coming

She doesn’t answer the phone

In 1951, E. B. White — the novelist responsible for, most notably, Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little — was accused by the ASPCA of not paying his dog tax and, as a result, “harboring” an unlicensed dog. He responded by way of the following delightful letter. (Source: Letters of a Nation; Image: E. B. White with

A library is many things

Early-1971, in an effort to attract as many youngsters to the premises as possible, Marguerite Hart — children’s librarian at the newly-opened public library in Troy, Michigan — wrote to a number of notable people with a request: to reply with a congratulatory letter, addressed to the children of Troy, in which the benefits of

The trouble with Chinese…

Following the 1946 release of The Wild Flag (a collection of essays previously published in The New Yorker) author E. B. White – now best known for his novels Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little – was contacted and questioned by a Mr. Wells with regard to his usage of the word ‘Chinaman’. White responded with the