To the Letter

To the Letter : A Celebration of the Lost Art of Letter Writing

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The "New York Times" bestselling author of "Just My Type" and "On the Map "offers an ode to letter writing and its possible salvation in the digital age. Few things are as exciting--and potentially life-changing--as discovering an old letter. And while etiquette books still extol the practice, letter writing seems to be disappearing amid a flurry of e-mails, texting, and tweeting. The recent decline in letter writing marks a cultural shift so vast that in the future historians may divide time not between BC and AD but between the eras when people wrote letters and when they did not. So "New York Times" bestselling author Simon Garfield asks: Can anything be done to revive a practice that has dictated and tracked the progress of civilization for more than five hundred years? In "To the Letter," Garfield traces the fascinating history of letter writing from the love letter and the business letter to the chain letter and the letter of recommendation. He provides a tender critique of early letter-writing manuals and analyzes celebrated correspondence from Erasmus to Princess Diana. He also considers the role that letters have played as a literary device from Shakespeare to the epistolary novel, all the rage in the eighteenth century and alive and well today with bestsellers like "The Guernsey Literary and""Potato Peel Pie Society." At a time when the decline of letter writing appears to be irreversible, Garfield is the perfect candidate to inspire bibliophiles to put pen to paper and create "a form of expression, emotion, and tactile delight we may clasp to our heart."show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 464 pages
  • 139.7 x 213.36 x 38.1mm | 635.03g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1592408354
  • 9781592408351
  • 1,020,680

About MR Simon Garfield

Simon Garfield is the author of fourteen acclaimed books of nonfiction including "Just My Type "and "On the Map." He lives in London and St. Ives, more

Review quote

Praise for Simon Garfield's On the Map: "Innumerable modes of seeing the world unfold in this exuberant history of maps. [...] His droll humor and infectious curiosity will keep readers engrossed as he uncovers surprising ways in which maps chart our imaginations as much as they do the ground underfoot."" -Publishers Weekly"" "" """A vivid foray into the romance of maps. [...] A fine, fun presentation of the brand of cartography that continues to whet our imaginations." --Kirkus" "" """Delightful... If maps be the fuel of wanderlust, read on." -- From the foreword by Dava Sobel, author of Longitudes" "" """There couldn't be anyone better to write about our love for maps than Simon Garfield, who is a master at unearthing strange facts and mixing them with a lively personal narrative...fascinating." --Giles Foden, Conde Nast Traveller (UK)""" Praise for Simon Garfield's Just My Type: "This is a smart, funny, accessible book that does for typography what Lynne Truss's best-selling Eats, Shoots & Leaves did for punctuation: made it noticeable for people who had no idea they were interested in such things." --Janet Maslin, "The New York Times " "An engaging look at the world of fonts. [...] Just My Type urges us to put on the brakes and take in the scenery as far as typography goes. Whether you're a graphic designer or a layperson with no background in this area, reading what Garfield has to say will change the way you perceive the written word forever." "--The Los Angeles Times "" ""Reading Simon Garfield's Just My Type can transform your daily life into an endless quest for knowledge of the typefaces in which signs, books, magazines, newspapers, etc. are set." "--The Washington Post"" " "Highly entertaining ... Garfield takes readers on a rollicking tour of the world of typography, from book jackets to road signs, TV shows to computers." "--USA Today "" " "A deliriously clever and entertaining booshow more

Rating details

451 ratings
3.73 out of 5 stars
5 19% (84)
4 46% (206)
3 27% (123)
2 8% (35)
1 1% (3)
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