Men of letters
Saturday 09 August 1997
Anthony Trollope was Clerk to the Surveyor of the South Western District of the Post Office in the 1850s. It was Trollope who initiated the design of the first Royal mail box and bullied customers into cutting holes into their doors so that the post man didn't have to ring twice.
American author, William Faulkner was a post master in the town of Oxford, Mississippi. Indeed this was the fictional setting for much his work. Hinting at the slow and introspective life of a postman (and writer), he described Oxford as where "the past is not dead, it isn't even past".
After his days in Burma and his stint down and out, George Orwell tried his hand at running a grocers shop and sub post office in Hertfordshire during the mid Thirties. The enterprise was not a success, however, the former shop is now a bijou residence that was recently sold for more than pounds 250,000.
Rising novelist Stephen Blanchard (author of Gagarin and I, and Wilson's Island) works in a Clapham sorting office in South East London. "It provides me with a routine, purpose and gives me time to write. I'm quite good at it, too," he says.
Frank McCourt won this year's Pulitzer prize for his childhood memoirs Angela's Ashes. Towards the end of the book he records his experiences as a Limerick telegram boy in the Forties - a job that ultimately enabled him to escape an existence of relentless poverty in Ireland and start a new life in the States.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
£240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...
Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...
£27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...
£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful group of compan...