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Viewing Topic "Batch letters 1937 to 1940"
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Posted by: Scriv I am an antique dealer living in France and have bought a whole batch of wonderful letters all tied up in yearly bundles from the mid 1930s to 1940.
They are letters from a young mademoiselle to her beau and his replies to her. They start with their meeting, their romance and then as the war begins he is posted to war in the military airforce and she becomes a nurse.
Their letters continue and some of his replies to her are on amazing letter heads from hotels, cafes, railways stations etc as he travels. The letters show their marraige, children`s births and then become very detailed when he leaves for war and then become a military diary.
In 1940 the letters stop and there is a batch of letters returned to the wife unopened. I have opened just one and it is a very moving letter worrying why she has not heard from him with a poignant statement I thought I saw your shadow in the garden. I have not touched the other unopened mail so I assume he did not return from war. There is also an old sepia photograph of them both in their uniforms.
So here is my point!
I had the first few translated and it was proving too costly to do them all ( there are hundreds!).
I know that there is the most wonderful war story here. I have his service numbers his full names etc but have not researched what happened to him as I don`t know where to start.

So should I send them to a publishing company who might want to deal with them?
Any suggestions welcomed!!
Posted on: 04/01/2015 15:27:00

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Posted by: Alex E
Total Posts: 4
Joined Date: Sunday, 16 November 2014
Sounds like an interesting discovery.

I wouldn't send the originals to anyone as you never know if you'd ever get them back. You are in France, so send copies of the best ones to a French publisher or literary agent as they won't need to translate them and can do the research. If they publish a book of the letters in French, it can be translated to English later.
Posted on: 04/01/2015 17:34:00
Posted by: Digedags
Total Posts: 2
Joined Date: Thursday, 26 December 2013
Nice find.

You should be able to find an organisation who lists french casualties without too much problems. Practically every participating nation has one of those.

You also should look if you can find the kids (or more likely grandkids) of the couple if you know their names from the letters. They might love to get copies of the letters. The fact that they were on the market doesn´t mean that the family might not be interested.

Finding out if there are any living relatives also most likely would be necessary before any publisher would consider doing something with the letters. I don´t know French law but most likely the rights to the content of the letters are owned b the heirs while you owe the physical letters.

Good luck with your project.
Posted on: 05/01/2015 21:05:00

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