Thanks to the instant gratification of sharing delights between like-minded individuals across t’interweb, I was introduced to Letters of Note (I think by Tess?) where author Shaun Usher posts ‘Correspondence deserving of a wider audience.’
This correspondence takes the form of letters to loved ones, not-so-loved ones, bosses, fans, idols, constituents, mentors, criminals and more. He has letters from Joan of Arc to Einstein; Pixar’s Pete Docter* to a fan, or the touching thanks of a young boy enjoying renewed health through the discovery and isolation of insulin as a Diabetes treatment. The originals of each letter are posted, along with a transcript which is often necessary due to handwriting or language.
Mr Usher aims to provide a letter a day, and yesterday’s contribution was from the Comedy Script Editor at BBC Television, Jonathan Main, who thought a new script he’d read wasn’t much chop. He wrote in 1974:
I’m afraid I thought this one as dire as its title. It’s a kind of “Prince of Denmark” of the hotel world. A collection of cliches and stock characters which I can’t see being anything but a disaster.
Just as well someone saw the surreal splendour of the proprietor’s personality and the actor’s ability to portray it: the script was by John Cleese and then-wife Connie Booth for the pilot episode of Fawlty Towers.
If you enjoy a journey into the minds of people whose job it is to write, or just those who have been moved to put pen to paper across the ages, then this is the site for you.
* Being in receipt myself of a letter from the assistant of Pixar’s John Lasseter and a signed ‘Toy Story’ picture (another story) I know the joy of receiving these gems of correspondence from another world.