Thousands of pieces of centuries-old undelivered correspondence were found packed into a leather trunk in the Netherlands. The letters were sent between 1680 and 1706 and were kept by the postmaster and mistress in The Hague, likely because they were undeliverable. The collection includes letters from aristocrats, spies, merchants, publishers, actors and musicians. The unopened letters, now being studied by an international team of academics, including scholars from Leiden, Oxford, MIT and Yale, shed a light on 17th century society.
"Something about these letters frozen in transit makes you feel like you’ve caught a moment in history off guard. Many of the writers and intended recipients of these letters were people who travelled throughout Europe, such as wandering musicians and religious exiles. The trunk preserves letters from many social classes, and women as well as men."
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