Why We Write Letters
From English literature evolved one of the greatest love affairs in history; not that of Darcy and Elizabeth, or even Willoughby and Marianne, but of a readership for an author. Jane Austen penned six novels and with them stole the hearts of women and men, the world over. She continues to win new devotees through film and theatrical adaptations, derivative works, and the books which have given her pop status two and a half centuries after her birth.
No less high art than painting and poetry is letter writing. We choose our paper, a gossamer air mail stock or sturdy laid, then we take up our fountain pen or maybe a handy ballpoint that tends to smudge. Or we sit down to a PC or a trusted vintage Underwood. And we write. And if we are in a certain mood we may add a doodle or a drawing or two or maybe cover our pages with sketches of the street below our window or even the sunset, if we're brave enough to take it on. The paper may be monogrammed or coffee-stained, but either way, when we are finished we have a masterpiece, maybe crafted in a few stolen moments on the bus or built one day at a time, as if it were our diary. Letter writing is to communication what slow food is to cuisine. Let's savor, linger and ponder on the page. Let's share and dream out loud. And above all, let's make more friends, for one can never have too many friends who love Jane Austen.
The 'Jane Austen Pen Pal Club'
The 'Jane Austen Pen Pal Club' was created to facilitate the connection of Austen fans the world over. Whether curled up on a cafe couch in Boston, Sydney, or Madrid, Janeites share a common bond - an undying affection for this exceptional author and her characters and great esteem for her storytelling and wit. We are prone to gather in libraries, coffee shops and classrooms, around the kitchen table, on park benches and very nearly anywhere in order to discuss at length the six novels and all things Austen.
And so it is our intention that this site would be yet another gathering place. Membership includes exclusive access to a Lookbook of Austen fans who wish to connect via email or post. This listing of JAPC Members includes fun facts and conversation starters that will get you started on your correspondence journey. Members are invited to share their letter writing aspirations and adventures on our Message Board and to visit the News & Blog page for new articles on letter writing and all things Austen. Lastly, as we are a group of literature lovers, Members are invited to submit their Austen-inspired original poetry, short stories, and dramatic pieces for publication on our Writers' Page. Book, television, and film reviews are also welcome. Please consult the Submission Guidelines by
So take up your pen, your PC or quill and join us.
New friendships and adventures await.
To connect, to slow down, to preserve an art form.
And if we have the chance to combine this practice with the sharing of our love for an
author who over time has become like a treasured friend, how lucky we are!
"Letter writing is probably the most beautiful manifestation in human relations, in fact, it is its finest residue."
"Letter writing is the only device for combining solitude with good company."
"A letter is a blessing, a great and all-too-rare privilege that can turn a private moment into an exalted experience."
"Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God's handwriting."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
"To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere without moving anything but your heart" Phyllis Theroux
"Without 'tis autumn, the wind beats on the pane;With heavy drops, the leaves high upwards sweep. You take old letters from a crumpled heap, And in one hour have lived your life again." ~Mihai Eminescu (1850–1889), translated from Romanian by Corneliu M. Popescu
"I'm a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world."
"Let us never underestimate the power of a well-written letter."
Jane Austen, 'Persuasion '
"Behold me going to write you as handsome a letter as I can. Wish me luck"
Cursive may no longer be the mode, but writing will never go out of style....