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Friday, 8 January 2016


The first known letter from North America was sent by John Rut on August 3, 1527 while at St. John's, Newfoundland.

The only surviving letter written by Joseph Merrick (Elephant Man)

French Enlightenment writer Voltaire wrote more than 20,000 letters in his lifetime.

The last letter written on the Titanic was written by Esther Hart and her seven-year- old daughter Eva (who both survived) eight hours before the ship hit an iceberg in 1912. It  sold at auction for £119,000 in 2014.

"Mit brennender Sorge," a papal letter secretly smuggled into Germany, was read from every Catholic pulpit on Palm Sunday, 1937. It condemned the Reich Government and implied that everyone in Heaven was laughing at Hitler, a "prophet of nothingness".

The longest letter ever printed in The London Times was 11,071 words long. Today, the whole letters page carries only 2,000 words.

The world record for the longest time between a letter being posted and delivered is 89 years. In 2008, Janet Barrett, from Weymouth, Dorset, received the letter that had been posted in 1919. A RSVP to a boxing day party invitation, from Buffy to Percy, it was delivered with a note from the Royal Mail apologizing for any damage. There was no explanation for the delay.  

The world's most expensive letter sold for £4 million in 2013. It was from Francis Crick to his son in 1953, outlining his discovery of DNA structure.

84% of writers to the letters page of The London Times are men.

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