Carolyn Porter | A polite dismissal
A letter written by Mrs. William Phipps in 1944.
1944, manners, polite, dismissal, Carolyn Porter, Marcel Heuzé,
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A polite dismissal


Most often, the pieces of handwritten ephemera I collect have to do with serious topics: war, legal contracts, pleas for emergency assistance.

Every once in a while, content is lighter: recipes, family gossip, a note saying hello.

Recently I found this letter, and while I believe the author — a woman named Mrs. William Phipps — may have been furious when she wrote it, I couldn’t help but find it a little funny.

“This is to notify you,” she wrote to a Mr. and Mrs. Rogers, “that I do not care for your presence in my home. It will be in perfect accord for Mr. Phipps to visit you at his leisure.”

Did Mr. and Mrs. Rogers do something to offend?
Does this letter reveal a split between Mr. and Mrs. Phipps?

The answer is lost to history. But, I admire that even in her anger, she writes with flourished formality. And she is much more polite than any message of the sort written (or texted) today would likely be.

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