Lost and Found: Letterdipity

David John Phillips Lost LetterEvery once in a while, I do a Google News search on the term “lost letter” because I enjoy the serendipity — let’s call it Letterdipity — of what pops out, everything from an 1800 letter from an Egyptian soldier to a World War I-era letter discovered behind an Orkney fireplace.

Letters arrive mysteriously in the mail decades after they are sent, are discovered tucked inside books and occasionally leave behind only their envelopes.

We even sometimes deliberately lose letters, dropping a message in a bottle into the water or an envelope on the ground like P.G. Wodehouse to see if strangers really are kind enough to mail found letters.

Whatever their origins, whatever their hiding places, lost letters connect us with the past: our own, our ancestors’ or a small slice of someone else’s life story.

Here’s my latest find, a woman discovering a letter Roald Dahl (author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) sent to her son 35 years ago.

Of course, the best part of lost letters is finding one ourselves. Have you ever found a lost letter?

Roald Dahl Letter

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  1. Pingback: Lost and Found: Mary Shelley Letters | Post Whistle

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