Mock turtles and email omissions

The BBC’s website applies some historical tips on letter-writing to the world of email.

Lewis Carroll’s advice on attachments and enclosures rings down the years and in my ears…

“”leave off writing for a moment – go and get the document referred to – and put it into the envelope. Otherwise, you are pretty certain to find it lying about, after the post has gone!”

Every day it seems that I’m doomed to rediscover that you don’t even get the option of un-sticking and re-sealing the envelope before the electronic post goes.

More from Carroll, Dickens, Austen and Aristotle here.

Mention of Lewis Carroll gives me an excuse to share a wonderful piece of trivia.

In the car the other day, I caught an episode of Radio 4’s Book of the Week, featuring Heston Blumenthal’s Historic Heston – an exploration and dissection of recipes from history. In Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, one of the cast of surreal characters is the Mock Turtle (from which Mock Turtle Soup is made, of course).

Mock Turtle Soup became popular in the 19th century. Originally a cheaper substitute for soup made from a genuine turtle, Mock Turtle Soup became a recognised dish in its own right and was generally made from the discarded parts of calf (head, hooves etc).

What I delighted to learn is that in John Tenniel’s illustrations to the original edition of Lewis Carroll’s book, the Mock Turtle is depicted as a turtle’s shell with a calf’s head, hooves and tail.  How very cool 🙂


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I should listen to Mr Carroll’s email tips!

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