Posts Tagged ‘Letters’

The release of the Laurel and Hardy film biopic Stan & Ollie has brought the legendary comedy duo back into the public consciousness for a while.

And it reminded me that, among various things I’ve written for this site over the years but never posted, there was a piece on Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy that I had notes for. It was originally to mark the fiftieth anniversary of Laurel’s death; but it works just as well to put it here now.

Even if it’s mainly about Laurel and the last days of his life, you actually can’t write about Laurel without it being about Hardy: the pair were inseparable, both in public consciousness and, as it happened, even in life and death.

It is a remarkable sign of the longeivity potential in the medium of film, and a testatement to the talents of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, that we still talk about them even now.

We are soon coming up to 100 years since the pair starred in their first movie together. Most of the shorts considered their classics are 80 and 90 years old by now. When I developed my love of Laurel and Hardy as a kid in the eighties, they had both already been dead for around two decades and their prime era had begun before even my grandparents had been born. (more…)

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Letter from Fidel Castro to FDR, 1940, pgs 2&3 00968_2003_002

I’ve been fascinated by historic letters and correspondence for some time; and I wrote a post covering some of this a while ago.

Letters, particularly communications never meant for public consumption, provide a fascinating insight into significant historic or cultural events, times or figures. They also can help to humanise certain figures – both historic or contemporary – who might otherwise seem like remote, distant characters or one-dimensional archetypes. (more…)