Dear friend…

I have a friend named Sherri who is quietly starting a revolution, I think. In an age of text and email and Snapchat, Sherri has been writing letters–short notes to let her friends know she’s thinking of them. Sometimes they include coloring pages with elegant swear words, and sometimes they are postcards, but they are always messages of thoughtfulness and heartfelt affection. They’ve gotten me to pick up my own pen from time to time; I’ve been inspired to dash off a few notes of my own to let people know I’m thinking about them and wishing them well. (And isn’t it FUN to get proper mail? My heart thrills just a little when I see an envelope with actual handwriting emerge from the box…)

And while I love to receive letters, I also love to read other people’s. My nonfiction rec today is IN TEARING HASTE, a collection of letters between the Duchess of Devonshire and Patrick Leigh Fermor. The duchess was Deborah Mitford, youngest of the glamorous Mitford sisters, and Leigh Fermor was a travel writer and war hero. Their relationship was platonic and often epistolary, but their friendship was one of warm devotion. They chattered on about shared acquaintances and offered their takes from front-row seats of historic events–President Kennedy’s inauguration and funeral, Prince Charles’s wedding to Lady Diana Spencer, etc. Edited by the duchess’s niece, the book is a charming relic of days gone by. (And thank heavens it’s properly footnoted because between the two of them, they knew EVERYBODY.) I picked up a paperback copy in London last year with a cover such a beautiful shade of blue that I have painted my nightstands to match…