Frankly, history books tend to be boring. They give only dates, times, and names for events and people who you never get to know. But in letters, people sat down to take the time to write something which may give clues about emotions, thoughts, feelings, and/or desires in their daily lives. You get to know the person, without ever meeting him, rather than just read about him. With letters, it's more personal. Not in every case, but in the letters presented here it is. Here you can ache over a blossoming romance become destroyed, sympathise with a lonely cowboy on the western plains writing to his former Sunday-School teacher after 30 years, smile at a young Edwardian boy simply describing his current place and thoughts of the "mound" and ice cream, a WW1 soldier depressed on Christmas Eve, and much more.