Stacks Of 265-Year-Old French Love Letters Sat Sealed And Untouched Until A Historian Decided To Read Them For The First Time, Revealing The State Of Society During The Seven Years’ War

He also found that 59 percent of the letters were written by women, which offered rich insights into literacy across all social classes in the 18th century and what life was like for French folk who were separated from their loved ones by events out of their control.

“I could spend the night writing to you,” wrote Marie Dubosc to her husband and first lieutenant of the ship, Louis Chambrelan. “I am your forever faithful wife. Good night, my dear friend. It is midnight. I think it is time for me to rest.”

Her husband never received the letter, and he never saw his wife again. Marie died in 1759 before he was released. After returning to France, he remarried in 1761.

Another woman named Anne Le Cerf wrote to her husband, Jean Topsent, “I cannot wait to possess you,” before signing off with her pet name, “Nanette.”

According to Morieux, most of the letters contained poor spelling, a lack of punctuation, and cramped handwriting to maximize every inch of expensive paper. They reflected a lack of literacy among the lower classes.

Overall, the letters provide a sense of the resilience that people had in times of distress. They revealed that men are not the only ones who struggle during war. While the men are away, women make up for their absence by running the household and calling the shots on important economic decisions.

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