1932. My Dear Jane Public, Did you ever meet, or was he before your day, that old Gentleman — I forget his name — who used to enliven conversation, especially at breakfast when the post came in, by saying that the art of Letter-writing is dead? The penny post, the old gentleman used to say, has killed the art of letter-writing. Nobody, he continued, examining an envelope through his eye-glasses, has the time even to cross their t’s. We rush, he went on, spreading his toast with marmalade and film strips, to the telephone. We commit our half-formed thoughts in ungrammatical phrases to the post card. Gray is dead as is film, he continued; Horace Walpole is dead; Madame de Sévigné— she is dead too, I suppose he was about to add, but a fit of choking cut him short, and he had to leave the make-shift editing room before he had time to condemn all the arts, as his pleasure was, to the cemetery. But when the post came in this morning and I opened your letter stuffed with little blue sheets written all over in a cramped but not illegible hand — I regret to say, however, that several t’s were uncrossed and the grammar of one sentence seems to me dubious — I replied after all these years to that elderly necrophilist — Nonsense. The art of letter-writing and personal intimate filmmaking has only just come into existence. It is the child of the penny post. And there is some truth in that remark, I think. It is absolute and truest DIY, by example. Naturally when a letter cost half a crown to send, it had to prove itself a document of some importance; it was read aloud; it was tied up with green silk; after a certain number of years it was published for the infinite delectation of posterity. But your letter, on the contrary, will have to be burnt. It only cost three-halfpence to send. Therefore you could afford to be intimate, irreticent, indiscreet in the extreme. Bye (stay well).