Letters of Note

I occasionally lament not writing many letters, but seldom do anything about it. My girlfriend found this splendid blog, called Letters of Note. It’s full of wonderful old correspondence throughout history, and many of the letters are fascinating. Here’s an example of one – it’s a 9th century Chinese form letter, found in a sealed cave, for apologising to one’s dinner party hosts for getting too drunk (read the transcription below the image):

It says:

Yesterday, having drunk too much, I was intoxicated as to pass all bounds; but none of the rude and coarse language I used was uttered in a conscious state. The next morning, after hearing others speak on the subject, I realised what had happened, whereupon I was overwhelmed with confusion and ready to sink into the earth with shame.

Sometimes the past can be reassuring. Visit the site for more.

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About Mark Newton

Born in 1981, live in the UK. I write about strange things.


  1. Having worked in a pub, I think that letter should still be in use.

  2. That is rather wonderful. I need to use that next time I’m drunk in charge of the Internet.

  3. Brilliant. I love sites like this, those little peeks into people’s every day lives.

  4. I think it should encourage us all to attend dinner parties at other houses just so we can reply with this letter the next day.

  5. Oh, you read that too, eh? It’s a wonderful blog. They’ve had all kinds of amazing stuff on there, including scifi-related things (there have been a few dozen Star Trek ones).

  6. I’m fairly new to it if I’m honest (my girlfriend is very good at finding quirky sites!) though I remember seeing one of the more comical ones in the past. Anyway, it’s certainly added to my RSS feed now.