‘A perfect Christmas present’ in Five of the Most Compelling New Reads this Season’ Mail on Sunday YOU Magazine

‘[A] gloriously varied collection… Within these fascinating pages jostle Beethoven, John F. Kennedy, Van Gogh, Boris Johnson, Oscar Wilde, John Major and more — all putting pen to paper (or fingers to keys) and then thinking better of it.’ Bel Mooney, Daily Mail

WHAT A HAZARD A LETTER IS

The Strange Destiny of the Unsent Letter

Caroline Atkins

 

These days the news is full of the latest reckless and incendiary tweet that cannot be stopped or taken back…

‘What a Hazard a Letter is. . .’ wrote Emily Dickinson, thinking of ‘the Hearts it has scuttled and sunk’. Once sent, a letter is like a depth charge dropped into the future, into other people’s lives.

But what if, once written, a letter is not sent – or never arrives?

What a Hazard a Letter is is the first book to look at the strange phenomenon of the unsent letter. It collects together some of the most remarkable examples ever written, in literature and in history, and explores the fascinating reasons why they came to be unsent, and the consequences – sometimes farcical, sometimes agonisingly poignant, and sometimes actually changing the course of history.

From Ian McEwan to Iris Murdoch, Abraham Lincoln to Ernest Hemingway, and Virginia Woolf to Van Gogh

Magnificent tirades written in a red mist and mercifully unsent

Letters whose non-arrival sends a novel’s plot careering down a new track

Tender expressions of love that never quite got said

 September 2018         £14.99

Buy What A Hazard a Letter is


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