IN the news today: a Jane Austen manuscript sold for $1.6 million. Poor old Jane, who was always desperate to make money from her books, must be turning in her grave in frustration.
I've often thought the same about email correspondence. Sometimes I'll be corresponding via email with an important writer and it will suddenly hit me--when I hit the delete key this will all be lost. No more books of the collected correspondence between Rhys Bowen and Jacqueline Winspear or Laurie R King. No future PhD candidates will be able to delve into our characters through our letters. In fact the art of letter writing has vanished. All those bundles of long letters between Victorians and Edwardians will never happen again. I suppose one can say that we now connect via the phone so have no reason to write letters, but I find them so interesting, so poignant. John has letters written by his grandmother to his father,away at school. She signs them Your Affectionate mother, B. Quin-Harkin. Very formal when writing to a little boy, and full of news of activities. No message that she loves and misses him. No wonder the Brits grew up cold in those days.
Anyway, I'm off to the closet under the stairs to see if any old scribbles in notebooks might be suitable to be auctioned off--or prepared for the Rhys Bowen collection at a university library some day!