The study of handwriting (graphology) is a useful science – law enforcement can use experts to identify characteristics of a writer, such as level of impulsivity, degree of extroversion, or even the writer’s level of stress.
This is interesting, but what is most intriguing about old letters is the romance that still clings to them so many years later.
The handwriting of most educated people prior to the 1930s was ornate. Their typical, everyday letters have the look of calligraphy.
This type of romance may never return to the world, since all of today’s communication is instant. Children aren’t even learning to write in cursive any longer, since most correspondence is electronic.
The old-fashioned phrasing also plays a part in creating the magic of old letters, though they would have been commonplace to the reader and the writer. But today, they have an unfamiliar beauty.
But the most important part of a handwritten letter is the time the writer has devoted to communication. Email, Skype, instant message, and texting are great, but they require little effort. A handwritten letter is a gift.