Dear Uncle James,[i]
Thank you ever so much for the lovely birthday present. I know I’ve been dropping hints right and left,[ii] but I was still tickled to open the package on my birthday and find a tablet inside. It’s so sleek and small,[iii] I can tuck it right in with my school things. I love how I can write on it and also erase what I’ve written. Then I can write something new. My friend Emily[iv] uses paper. But I say a tablet is better than paper. There are so many more features to a tablet, like using chalk and then erasing the chalk. My other friend Annabelle has a tablet made by a different company[v], but it is not as good because it does not erase quite so nicely. I can’t wait to take it to school and write things on it with chalk and then erase them! But Mother says I mustn’t use it at home because I’m becoming obsessed. Anyway, you’re the greatest uncle ever![vi]
[i] Sergeant James Foyle of Bath, England.
[ii] In early 1850s England, saying you were “dropping” a hint was considered quite risqué.
[iii] Common tablet measurements of the time were 16×18 centimeters or 12×18 centimeters.
[iv] Not Emily Dickinson.
[v] Perhaps the notable American purveyor of chalkboards, Smith and Sons.
[vi] Historians believe this to be an embellishment.