Letters Of Note

posted by Louise January 17, 2014 at 2:06 pm Recipe No comments , , , , , ,

Letters of Note

During a last minute Christmas spree in Derby, Dan desperately headed to Waterstones in a bid to find the elusive final present on his list, scouring what felt like every item in store. Whilst waiting for him near the entrance, my eyes rested upon a coffee table book called ‘Letters of Note‘. Predicting I would be stuck in the same spot for at least an hour as he made up his mind and promptly changed it again, I decided to have a little read and instantly fell in love with the compendium of fascinating letters, postcards and telegrams compiled by Shaun Usher.

I will admit to being a little nosy at times which is probably part of the reason I love my job so much, and this book certainly satiates that aspect of my personality, however the most attractive impression I took from it is the sense of intimacy you feel with the Celebrities, Politicians, artists and other characters of note who are the authors. As you discover these often clandestine correspondence, learning of the insecurities, desires and friendships, you become aware that fundamentally we are all ‘made of the same stuff’, which can often easily be forgotten in daily life when the media can colour your judgement of those in the public eye.

The reason I am posting about it here is because the very first letter in the book is from our very own head of state and WI member, the Queen. It is a handwritten letter sent on January 24th 1960 to the then US President Dwight D. Eisenhower, enclosing the recipe for her ‘Drop Scones’. Five months prior to the letter being sent, the President and his wife had been guests of the Queen at Balmoral and although nothing is known of the discussions or events during their visit, what later became apparent was that he had fallen in love with the scones they had been served and the Queen had promised to send the recipe. The full letter is displayed on the Guardian website here.

I really love the idea that recipes are shared even between some of the most powerful people in the world. They are a way of sharing and giving and bringing people closer together, similar to handwritten letters themselves. Ironically as I sit and write this online (and then probably tweet about it afterwards), I actually feel quite inspired to pick up a pen and write a letter myself to bring a smile to a friend- even if the smirk stems from the awful state of my handwriting.

The book now resides eagerly on my coffee table, and I look forward to working my way through in the comfort of my own home rather than a packed store!

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