Eight or nine wise words about letter-writing

Eight or Nine Wise Words About Letter-Writing is a pamphlet issued by Lewis Carroll in 1890 to accompany his Wonderland Postage-Case. As its name suggests, it gives advice on how to write letters, much of which is still very relevant. Im very brief summary, his points include:

  • When answering a letter, start by reading that letter.
  • Ensure that you have the right address to reply to.
  • Address and stamp the envelope before you start writing the letter.
  • Put your own address and the date in full at the top.
  • Write legibly, especially unusual proper names.
  • Begin by replying to your correspondent's points before you make fresh ones.
  • If you write that you enclose something, find that thing and put it in the envelope immediately.
  • When you have written a stinging letter, put it aside, read it again the next day and see if it should be toned down.
  • Use the postscript as a tool to make some things seem less important.

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