The John Lennon Letters – New Book

“John Lennon lived and died in an era before computers, emails, twits, tweets, and twitters, hence he handwrote or typed letters and postcards to his family, friends, fans, strangers, newspapers, organisations, lawyers and the laundry.  Most of his letters were funny, informative, campaigning, wise, mad, anguished, poetic.  Sometimes they were heartbreaking.  We know from his lyrics and his two books of poems that he had a way with words, but his letters have up to now never been collected and published, and in many cases their very existence has remained unknown.” – Hunter Davies

In the month that should have seen John Lennon’s 72nd birthday comes a great new and very insightful book – “The John Lennon Letters”:

This book features almost 300 letters that were recovered by famed Beatles biographer Hunter Davies with the help of major auction houses in the UK and US.  They include a page from the “Daily Howl,” a  homemade newspaper John created when he was 12 or 13; a page from a homemade book John penned at age 11; letters to relatives including his mother, father, son, half-sister, cousins and aunts; to his first wife Cynthia (including his first ever written correspondence to her which was a homemade card celebrating their first Christmas together); early fan letters, countless items to friends, journalists, dignitaries, record executives, and of course to the other Beatles.

It is all compiled and edited by Hunter Davies, who this week gave an interview to Australian radio host Philip Clark on the ABC’s Radio National Breakfast program:

The book reveals Lennon’s emotional states – highs and lows – and much about his songwriting. It includes hand-written Beatles set-lists, drawings, lyrics to never-recorded songs, and even grocery lists from the later parts of his life.

It is the first-ever compilation of John Lennon’s musings and paints a unique, intimate, and rather emotional portrait of one of music’s – and the world’s – most beloved and enigmatic figures.

(click images to see larger versions)

“The John Lennon Letters” is published by Little, Brown and Company.

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