Fawlty Towers TV - Vincent: The Untold Story of Our Uncle TV - Star Trek: Voyager TV - Scott of the Antarctic 1948 - Che Guevara - Emily Dickinson - Dorothy Osborne - Kim Kardashian - Arthur & George TV - The Remains of the Day 1993 - Jane Austen - Henry Root - Elizabeth I: The Secret Life TV - Peaky Blinders TV - Queen Victoria’s Children TV – Lucy Worsley TV - Smiley’s Game TV - The 2000s: The Decade We Saw It All TV - Shot Caller 2017 - What We Do in the Shadows TV - Lydia Wilson: The Secret History of Writing TV - Adam Curtis TV - Night Mail 1936 - The Royal Family: Shame at the Palace TV - Albert Einstein - Horizon TV -
This will explain. A letter. A letter from the Chef. Fawlty Towers: Waldorf Salad s2e3, Basil to guests
670 of his [Van Gogh] letters have survived. Vincent – The Untold Story of Our Uncle I, BBC 2014
You haven’t mentioned your letter. Who was it from? Star Trek: Voyager s4e15: Hunters, Chakotay to Janeway
Dear Kathleen, a last note from a hopeful position. I think it’s going to be all right. Scott of the Antarctic 1948 starring John Mills & Christopher Lee & Diana Churchill & Harold Warrender & Anne Firth & Derek Bond & Reginald Beckwith & James Robertson Justice & Kenneth More & Sam Kydd et al, director Charles Frend, music Ralph Vaughan Williams, Scott's last letter home
Above all, try always to be able to feel deeply any injustice committed against any person in any part of the world. It is the most beautiful quality of a revolutionary. Che Guevara, letter to children written @1965, to be read in event of death
This is my letter to the world
That never wrong to me. Emily Dickinson, 1830-86, American poet
All letters, methinks, should be free and easy as one’s discourse, not studied as an oration, nor made up of hard words like a charm. Dorothy Osborne, Letters of Dorothy Osborne to William Temple, 1653
I get letters from little girls begging me to adopt them. Kim Kardashian
Seven years ago there was a letter writing campaign against the vicar. Arthur & George II starring Martin Clunes & Charles Edwards & Arsher Ali & Hattie Morahan & Art Malik; viz also Julian Barnes’, ‘Arthur & George’, geezer, ITV 2015
Dear Mr Stevens, you will be surprised to hear from me. The Remains of the Day 1993 starring Anthony Hopkins & Emma Thompson & James Fox & Christopher Reeve & Peter Vaughan & Hugh Grant & John Haycraft & Caroline Hunt & Ben Chaplin & Tim Pigott-Smith et al, director James Ivory, her letter to him
Oh, Mr Stevens, I so often think of the good old days. ibid.
Let us never underestimate the power of a well-written letter. Jane Austen, Persuasion
Dear Mr Edwardes,
As a patriot, I am becoming increasingly distressed by the farce that the mere mention of ‘British Leyland’ by a music-hall comedian gives rise to gales of ignorant laughter ...
I would remind you, Sir, that every time someone laughs at ‘British Leyland’ they are laughing at Great Britain.
In the circumstances I would earnestly suggest that you change the name of the company either to ‘Japanese Leyland’ or to ‘Jamaican Leyland’ … Henry Root, The Henry Root Letters, to Michael Edwardes 31st March 1979
My Lord, [The First Sea Lord]
I was alarmed to read a recent article in The Spectator by Mrs Thatcher’s chiropodist, Dr Patrick Cosgrave, concerning the imminent outbreak of hostilities with the Soviets.
Has a definite date been fixed? Mrs Root is pressing me to take her on a sun-shine holiday for two to the Canary Isles, but as an ex-serving officer I naturally don't want to be out of the country when the balloon goes up ... Henry Root, The Henry Root Letters, to The First Sea Lord 17th April 1979
Mr President! [General Zia-ut-Haq]
In recent weeks you will have read unflattering reference to yourself in our so-called liberal press. Pay no attention! Most of us realise that a backward people such as yours needs, and appreciates, the smack of firm government ...
Could you oblige with a photo, Mr President? It would have pride of place, next to the late lamented Generalissiomo Franco, in my gallery of great international Conservatives. Henry Root, The Henry Root Letters, to General Zia-ut-Haq 26th April 1979
... I find it extraordinary that at a time when our Leader, Mrs Thatcher, has appealed to the public to support the police, you, a public person, should see fit to go on television to blackguard them.
No doubt your assessment, ringingly broadcast to the country at large, that 95% of the Metropolitan CID are as bent as a kangaroo’s hind-leg is largely correct … Henry Root, The Henry Root Letters, to Peter Barnes at DPP Office 11th May 1979
... In my opinion a policeman should never be sent to prison, no matter what he’s done. It’s outrageous that he should be obliged to mingle with common criminals, many of whom he will have been obliged to ‘fit up’ in the execution of his duty … ibid. to Parole Board chairman 30th May 1979
... Here’s a pound. I would have sent it to you during the trial, but I was advised that you might rule this contempt of court and pack me off with my tooth-brush for a night or two in Brixton! It might also have been construed as an attempt to pervert the course of justice, and I knew I could safely leave that to you. Henry Root, The Henry Root Letters, to Sir Joseph Cantley 6th July 1979
Henry’s love-letters to Anne gushed with desire to marry, but the Pope refused to grant him a divorce. Elizabeth I: The Secret Life, National Geographic 2022
This letter says our dad’s dead. He was in a bar in Boston called The Mickey Free. Two men waiting in an alley – he was shot twice. Peaky Blinders s3e4, brothers in forest, BBC 2016
… and they’ve signed it The Angels of Retribution. Peaky Blinders s5e1: Arthur to Thomas, anonymous letter
The pair [Victoria & Vicky] exchanged 8,000 letters in what would be a life-long correspondence. Queen Victoria’s Children II: A Domestic Tyrant, BBC 2013
These letters … betray Leopold’s dawning realization that Georgian London could be a very unforgiving place. Lucy Worsley: Mozart’s London Odyssey, BBC 2016
He received a letter here to this address. It was from Paris, Max. Addressed to the General personally, not Mr Miller. I pressed him: he claimed it was a military secret. Smiley’s People II, BBC 1982
Two more anthrax-laced letters bearing the same Trenton, New Jersey, postmark arrive at the senate. The 2000s: The Decade We Saw It All II, National Geographic 2015
Make your mark in this world, son. Always be your mom’s protector. And no matter what you hear about me, you keep moving forward and never look back. Shot Caller 2017 starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau & Omari Hardwick & Lake Beell & Jon Bernthal & Emory Cohen & Jeffrey Donovan & Evan Jones & Benjamin Bratt & Holt McCallany & Juan Pablo Raba et al, director Ric Roman Waugh, father’s letter
Here we are [lifts small studded box]. I keep all of my correspondences from the past seven and half centuries in this box. What We Do in the Shadows s2e4: The Curse, Nandor, BBC 2020
In the year of our Lord 1448 in Mainz, Germany, a goldsmith by the name of Johannes Gutenberg was experimenting with a lead alloy and a hand-held mould. His aim was to speed up the process of putting ink on paper but what he did was to speed up history. Gutenberg’s invention spelled the end of the Middle Ages and ushered in the modern world of science and industry. Lydia Wilson, The Secret History of Writing II: Words on a Page, BBC 2020
The fall of the Roman Empire is one of the great inflection points of history and it coincides with a change in the technology of Europe. As papyrus disappeared so did the book as a relatively inexpensive everyday commodity. ibid.
The fact that parchment could be folded made it possible to stitch leaves together into a codex, the modern form of the book. ibid.
Brush calligraphy produced works of art that were prized in China every bit as much as illuminated manuscripts were in Europe. But in a medieval manuscript the art is in the decoration around the text. The nature of the Latin alphabet and the characteristics of parchment produced letters that were regular and repetitive. But in Chinese brush-calligraphy the art is in the brushwork that produces the characters themselves. And that is made possible by the nature of the writing surface. Paper was invented in China in 2nd century A.D. ibid.
Paper was key to another Chinese invention: woodblock printing. Each handwritten page of text was glued to a wooden block and then the characters were carved out by a skilled craftsman. This step was laborious and expensive. ibid.
The Islamic Golden Age: the arts and sciences flourished … We still count using an Arabic numbering system. ibid.