Read a Letter


Dear Reader,

Since 2013 our friends at Letters Live have been celebrating the universality of literary correspondence by holding events around the world where contemporary actors read historical letters live on stage. It is a beautiful way to share the timelessness of the handwritten word and shows that letters, even today, have a power and intimacy that no email or text message can yet replace. To date, readers such as Ian McKellen, Olivia Coleman, Stephen Fry, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston and Caitlin Moran have entranced audiences with the hand-crafted words of Elvis Presley, Kurt Vonnegut, Janis Joplin, David Bowie and many more.

In these corona times, where public events are currently not possible, the Letters Live organisers have come up with a way to continue to spread words of “hope, education, love, appreciation, respect, thanks, solace and support” by opening the stage to everyone through their #ReadALetter campaign. They ask for you to film yourself reading “letters to the heroes on the frontline; letters to relatives in need; letters to strangers who have stepped up and made a difference; letters to neighbouring families, streets, towns and countries; letters from teachers to their isolated pupils or to the parents who now find themselves home-schooling; letters to those in power; letters to a population crying out for words of comfort.” Selected readings are then shared by Letters Live on Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

This is a campaign that Hieronymus can wholeheartedly support. To participate, simply film yourself reading a letter, nominate others to do so and send your submissions into Letters Live – more information here. You can listen to and enjoy some of the wonderful letters read and submitted to the #ReadALetter campaign so far here.

Stay safe and share those beautiful words.

With love, Hieronymus

Lucy Clayton reads a letter to her son Kit about homeschooling, 2020, ©Letters Live

Minnie Driver reads a letter from Marguerite Louise D'Orleans, 1677, ©Letters Live

Maike reads a letter from her childhood friend Julia, sent over 20 years ago while Julia was in hospital battling cancer, ©Letters Live