Letters, well acutally, the envelopes they're mailed in, speak volumes. Not, literally speaking, as in the way a Rowlingesque envelope would purse its 'lips'. But rather, speaking through the information that is given upon receiving the sealed letter, and before ripping open the tacked down lip.
The main areas from which to derive this information are from three aspects of the envelope face. One, the envelope itself. Is it letter sized? Short and squat? Or long and narrow, which is ideal for sending an word processed letter folded three times vertically?
The first type usually entails a business matter; memos, contracts, or divorce papers.
The second normally comes from the hands of cheapskates, unwilling to pay the extra dollar to get the size that will actually fit a letter, without unecessary squishing. Apparently these 'small envelope' individuals find no harm in sending a letter to the addresse folded an obscene number of times, and buldging from its envelope that acts primarily as a restraint.
And this third type comes as bills, notices, and individuals who find that stationary is where you do not scrimp on pennies!
Along with the size and shape of the envelope, the most informing area is the address; return and to. The return address, if given, allows for the recipient to identify the sender before digging in to their long awaited mail. Also, when the relationship between the sender and the sendee is questionable, looking at the addresses allows for greater clarification on whether or not this particular piece of mail is in fact welcomed. The typeface, or print is also important. What it comes down to is: typewritten means business, and handwritten means personal. That is that, no cursive analysis needed.
And finally, an envelope speaks through one last means, the stamp. This tiny square of licked splendour is in fact the most deceiving piece of information, as it remains exceedingly difficult to find a stamp that displays a picture totally devoid of emotion. Even when a letter bears news of business, the envelope ironically proudly displays a stamp with a flower, scene from nature or even a historic individual. The joy (no matter how limited) that results from seeing this stamp, and in the case of a business letter, is horrendously undermined by the contents of the envelope. Such letdown must be avoided.
While these ways of speaking letters seem dismally drab and trivial, in Lucy Caldwell's case, despite it being the culmination of a much awaited letter, her envelope was saying nothing.
Not a word.