February 2, 2014 · 6:15 am
“I am not worrying about whether you will love my future wife or not—if you know her twenty-four hours & then don’t love her, you will accomplish what nobody else has ever succeeded in doing since she was born.“
Mark Twain was happily married to Olivia Langdon for 34 years. In 1869 he seemed to anticipate his family’s disapproval of the marriage and tried to win them over with a love-filled and humble letter that was last seen at Christie’s New York, June 9, 1992, lot 35, when it sold for $9,500.
Read more, including the full transcript at Open Culture and BookTryst
January 16, 2014 · 6:15 am
E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web is the first ‘chapter book’ that I remember truly loving. It was the book that made me think of myself as a reader; that made me want to find another book and keep reading – right away.
I inscribed it myself…
I still have the copy I was given in 1968
I would read it to my granddaughters but am happy that our Grade 3 teacher does it as a novel study every year. (This year she is tying it in with a spider study for which I made a research page as well as providing books from our library and through inter-library loan.)
E.B. White took his responsibility as a writer seriously.
“Anyone who writes down to children is simply wasting his time. You have to write up, not down. Children are demanding. They are the most attentive, curious, eager, observant, sensitive, quick, and generally congenial readers on earth. They accept, almost without question, anything you present them with, as long as it is presented honestly, fearlessly, and clearly. I handed them, against the advice of experts, a mouse-boy, and they accepted it without a quiver. In Charlotte’s Web, I gave them a literate spider, and they took that.”
E. B. White, The Art of the Essay No. 1, Paris Review interview by George Plimpton and Frank H. Crowther.
Maybe Not the Reason, But at Least the Inspiration For this Particular Sneeze
One of the 15 most read letters in 2013 posted on the Letters of Note and now published in Letters of Note: Coorespondance Deserving of a Wider Audience, complied by Shaun Usher is one written by E.B. White in September of 1952, a few weeks before it’s publication, to his editor responding to a request to explain why he wrote Charlotte’s Web.
Article and transcript: A Book is a Sneeze.
October 31, 2012 · 6:00 am
In 1971, Marguerite Hart, the children’s librarian at Troy, Michigan’s Public Library wrote to dozens of celebrities. She asked them to help celebrate the library with a letter of support to the children of the city.
Below are a few of my favourites from the 97 responses she received. Clicking on them will open larger images that are easier to read and if you go to the library’s history page you can read more of the story and see the rest of the letters as images or PDFs.
Via 22 Words