Letters from the past

I spent last week writing 3 papers. And I realized that much of our view of past is shaped by the letters that people wrote to each other.

Because letters were documentation of cultural views, events and relationships, it is understandable why we use them in shaping our vision of the past. YET it also feels like a breach of privacy.

Had they had known their correspondence would be read by thousands of people would they have written as intimately as they did? Is it justified to read them?

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