By Yvonne Reddin
Do you remember when we used to write letters on paper and then post them?
Well we did, and thankfully, gathering, and archiving letters became more than a hobby for Liz Maguire.
FleaMarketLoveLetters.com began as a project for Liz, originally from Washington, now living in Dublin.
Her vintage collection is all archived and reveals stories of people in a moment of time, preserving a piece of history.
Liz told Dublin Gazette: “While the name of the archive is Flea Market Love Letters it’s not just romantic love that we feature. Letters between friends and family also have that essence of magic.”
Liz grew up collecting vintage photographs, books, and magazines from flea markets and auctioneers along the US east coast. She bought her first letter collection for the archive for five dollars.
When she moved to Dublin in 2018, she had a binder of letters from the 1940’s in her luggage. The project now contains at least a thousand individual letters from several collections and two countries since she began archiving them in 2017.
In a 1930’s series of Irish letters in the collection, there was a love story of sorts between a young man called Felin from Derry to a woman called Cicely.
Liz explained: “The collection while incomplete is an example of how love letters can reveal two natures – flirt and flake. It doesn’t seem that Cicely ends up with her Felin but the letters are good fun to read from the perspective of 1930’s jargon.”
In this letter from December 1931, Felin’s charm begins to slide:
“I am sorry, Cis, that I wasn’t able to send you a present for Xmas not having been paid yet. You see my payday is on the thirteenth of the month and having started in a broken month I don’t get anything till the 13th January.
“However, I get then £18-10 for about five weeks work, so you see the pay isn’t bad. I want you to keep the little rose on the card in remembrance of me. The rose is the emblem of love you know, and I’m so fond of you, kid.”
A unique and nearly extinct form of letter writing worth archiving for generations to come.
For more visit www.fleamarketloveletters.com.
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