Back to Basics: The lost art of the letter

Newstalk researcher Barbara Feeney joined George on High Noon this morning to discuss her long love affair with handwritten correspondence

Amidst the daily barrage of emails, texts and tweets many people have seen themselves putting down the pen - with handwritten correspondence relegated to the realms of the quaint, but quintessentially outdated pastime.

For many however, receiving a handwritten letter remains more meaningful, more thoughtful and generally more satisfying than any emoji-ridden digital dispatch.

Newstalk researcher Barbara Feeney has had a long love affair with the letter and she joined George Hook on High Noon today to discuss everything from penmanship to wax seals - and the pitfalls of licking your own envelope.

For Barbara, it is a joy to find a handwritten letter amongst bills and bank statements and she told George that many people still love the old way of wishing loved ones well - with a little piece of the writer left on every page.

As part of George’s Back to Basics campaign, Barbara ran us through the best ways to get going on the perfect letter for a loved one.

Some of Barbara’s top tips include:

  • Write as you speak - Put down on paper exactly what you feel; what you would say if your correspondent was sitting next to you.
  • There is no need for expensive stationary - even a foolscap page projects thought and meaning.
  • Unless you want to impress - in which case choose some nice notepaper or card, with a pen that suits your handwriting.
  • While you're at it - use a nice envelope.
  • Most importantly, seal the letter with wax.

With everything from advice on the best letter writing clubs, the best brands for stationary and the books to reignite your love of the written word, Barbara’s back-and-forth with George is a must listen for anyone interested in getting Back to Basics.

You can listen back to the whole conversation here: