Ever wondered where The Chap gets its inspiration from? I'm guessing from genuine period publications - like our latest Junkshop Gem, Ward Lock's Complete Letter-Writer for Gentlemen.
Words cannot do this book justice, but I'll do my best. It's seemingly part of a series that also includes 'The Young Wife's Advice Book', 'Games For Parties' and 'Etiquette For Gentlemen - Don't!', all of which are now high on my wants list. But let's look at this one first. Published (I'm guessing) in the early 50s, the book is packed with letter-writing advice for every conceivable eventuality, from business to pleasure and (amazingly) wedding proposals (should you feel a little nervous about the prospect).
Or if you fancy a day off work tomorrow, the following letter might be useful:
I am sorry to inform you that, in consequence of a bad attack of gout, I am quite unable to get to business to-day. I hope, however, to be able to attend in the course of a day or two. Trusted that my enforced absence will cause you no inconvenience,
I am Sir,
our obedient servant,
The book cost just £1 - secondhand copies are unlikely to be going for much more. See Abebooks for availability.