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When it rains, it pours (just got a mental image of lovely letters fluttering down from the sky, but we digress).

Just yesterday we enjoyed hearing a letter written by Tom Hanks at the age of 18, to The Sting director George Roy Hill, read aloud by Benedict Cumberbatch as part of the Letters Live series.

And now, Sir Ian McKellen has stepped up to the podium. In 1967 a young girl named Elizabeth wrote to author Roald Dahl. She expressed concern over her new school in her letter to the writer, who at the time had recently published James and the Giant Peach (1961) and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964).

We don’t hear Elizabeth’s original letter, but Dahl was kind enough to write her back. And not just once, but twice, first sending her a postcard, followed by a letter. His initial correspondence is a sort of a pep talk and the second lets us in on Elizabeth’s progress, but through Dahl’s words.

This is one of, if not the, sweetest of the Letters Live readings we’ve heard to date (and, of course, a lot of credit for the care exuded goes to the reader):

You can see the actual postcard and letter over at the Roald Dahl website.

The Letters Live event this year will take place this coming October 4 – 8, and the guest list is strictly top-secret but guaranteed to be packed with celebrity talents.

Have you ever written a fan letter? Did you hear back! 

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By Brigid Brown