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Best free collections of literary letters


JD Salinger

Who knew the famously reclusive JD Salinger was such a flirt? A cache of letters to an admiring female fan was found in a shoebox in Toronto last week. “Sneaky girl. You’re pretty”, he writes in reply to her letter and portrait, “I sent off my last photo to a little magazine, but I’m having some more made. Rest assured, though, I’m a doll.” To this day, Canadian pensioner Marjorie Sheard isn’t that impressed: “He was tall, dark and handsome but he was one of those people that didn’t age terribly well because he didn’t stay that way.” If you enjoy nosing through authors’ correspondence, we’ve raided Project Gutenberg to bring you the best free collections of literary letters.

1. The Love Letters of Mary Wollstonecraft to Gilbert Imlay by Mary Wollstonecraft

2. The Letters of Jane Austen by Jane Austen

3. Private Letters of Edward Gibbon (1753-1794) Volume 1 (of 2) by Edward Gibbon

4. Love Letters of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Volume I (of 2) by Nathaniel Hawthorne

5. The Letters of Henry James (Vol. I) by Henry James

6. Louisa May Alcott : Her Life, Letters, and Journals by Louisa May Alcott

7. Letters of John Keats to His Family and Friends by John Keats

8. The Love Letters of Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn by King of England Henry VIII

9. The Letters of Charles Dickens by Charles Dickens

10. The Letters of Robert Burns by Robert Burns

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