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‘An exquisite book’ | Letters to Michael | Perfect Christmas Present

‘An exquisite book’ | Letters to Michael

Letters to Michael: a father writes to his son 1945–1947

An antidote to troubled times and a perfect Christmas present

‘Between early 1945 and autumn 1947, Charles Phillipson, an illustrator in the publicity department of an electrical company, wrote 150 letters to his young son, Michael – amusing drawings of daily life accompanied by a few cheerful words . . . His wife, Marjorie, kept them all and they have been gathered into an exquisite book, Letters to Michael, published by Slightly Foxed.’ Country Life, 2021 advent calendar issue

‘What a charming, sweet dream of a book . . . Charles Phillipson wrote and illustrated letters to his son Michael between 1945–1947. The weight of love for his child just pours out of these short letters – little accounts of the goings on of his day. The words are brought to life by the quite simply exquisite drawings that made me laugh and at times made my heart ache . . . What a treasure to have kept and what a beautiful thing for us now to be able to share in.’ Siobhan via Instagram @thehalcyondaysofsummer

‘I don’t think Slightly Foxed has ever published a book which is not both beautiful and interesting . . . This winter they have published two very different books, both completely charming . . .

The letters in this wonderful collection were written to Michael by his father between February 1945 and October 1947 and follow a set format: half letter, half drawing. The letters are short, usually relating a single item of home news or something that his father has noticed which has amused him or sparked his imagination. For as well as being a talented artist, Charles Philipson has a vivid imagination and a splendid sense of humour. The pictures range from everyday life, often seen from a slightly quirky angle, to fantasies such as having a pet kangaroo or riding on a firework. The pictures were often drawn quickly during Charles’ lunch-break on office scrap paper but they capture a moment just as perfectly as Adrian Bell does in his Countryman’s Notebook.

The drawings contain a wealth of detail and often tell a story themselves: the artist hard at work at his desk, a very upright man on a penny farthing bicycle or the joy of V. E. Day. The letters can be read straight through or dipped into at random, either way each page is an utter delight; it is impossible to look at any of these letters and not smile. The introduction, written by Michael, supplies the background information to the letters and tells the story of his father – clearly a remarkable man I would love to have received letters from and met.’ Jane McMorland Hunter, Hatchards Piccadilly Blog

The final post of the year will leave the office on Wednesday (22 December). Please order as soon as possible to give us enough time to pack and post your goods out in time for Christmas. For delivery before the 25th (UK) we suggest you also select First Class or Special Delivery as your postal option on the website or over the phone.

For any last-minute presents, or for items to be posted outside the UK, you can order all goods on our website and have a printable gift card sent to you or directly to the gift recipient by email. Your items will follow in the post.

And if you need an emergency gift card to tide you over, you can download one of our plain printable gift cards.

With best wishes for a very happy Christmas from the SF office staff
Jennie, Anna, Hattie, Jess & Iona

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