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Writing Through the Decades: "Everybody's Complete Letter Writer"(Pre-1970s)

It was over a few weekends in the Winter of 2020 when I decided to start the Writing Through the Decades series for 2021. When I found this on Ebay I knew it would be a perfect addition to the collection. This letter guide promises to have something for every one and if not? Something like something for every one. Join me as we lift the soft cover of this vintage letter writing guide together in September's Writing Through the Decades.

Many of these letter guides have been vague to the point of frustrating when trying to find a publication year. Normally we'd try to date the book in traditional ways with a copyright stamp but where's the fun in that? (Also, where's the stamp?!) so instead we'll look at the "Sixpence" note on the cover.

The Sixpence was a type of currency in the U.K. which was minted until 1970. So voila, we can already peg this guide before Nixon. The Sixpence today in US Dollars would be about $10.00. Making this a nice, affordable but sophisticated solution to all your letter writing needs.

This is by far the thickest of the letter writing guides on my shelf. Affordability was certainly on the minds of publisher London, W. Foulsham & Co. LTD when this edition hit bookshop shelves.

"There You Have Exactly What You Want"

Without sounding like a broken record, many of these letter guides reprinted letter templates from at least a decade -- sometimes more -- previously. Besides some interesting sample templates, I've found the introductions the most revealing.

In this the anonymous author -- it seems that by this mid-way point in the 21st Century they'd lost the mythical female protagonist -- promises that the reader will find something for what ails them in the pages. However, warns the omniscient voice: Do not glue two letters together. The letter "Everybody's Complete Letter Writer" warns must make sense and they guarantee that yours will if you follow their formula. Outside of the recipe you are on your own.

Letter Templates:

Ha! Recently having become engaged myself, the line : "The time has at last arrived when I feel I can ask you to be my wife" gave me a real laugh. If my husband-to-be rolled out "weary with the battle of life" I would love him more than I already do! There's something to be said for old-school romance and this letter template takes the cake.

Here at Flea Market H.Q. we're a big fan of the handwritten 'Thank You" note. This "Letter Thanking Somebody for Being 'Taken-Out' (By a Youngster)" is a great example of what today you might text someone after a particularly enjoyable lunch or catch up.

I'm particularly partial to "In fact, every moment of the time was good." Imagine receiving that line and not feeling chuffed!

That's All Folks.

The cover art alone on this guide is worthwhile for display. Before we head back to our letters and return to the most recent series, we'll close this blog with the fantastic back cover of this month's Writing Through the Decades.

Get in Touch.

Thanks for reading! Have you been enjoying these flip through history blogs? Let us know! Have a guide you'd like to see featured? Or a letter story you're eager to share? Send us an email at

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