Letters from Amelia began with the discovery of four neglected cardboard boxes in an attic in Berkeley, California. Inside were more than 100 revealing letters the legendary pilot wrote to her beloved mother. The first was a four-year-old’s thank-you note. The last, three short lines, was written just prior to her final 1937 flight when she vanished into a Pacific mist of conjecture. Fitted together, they portray the evolution to adulthood of a warm, sensible, fun-loving tomboy who would become the first woman to fly the Atlantic solo.
Amid these captivating letters, Jean L. Backus skillfully weaves accounts of Earhart and her family’s joys and squabbles from an aristocratic mother who was the first woman to scale Pike’s Peak to husband George Putnam who made her a media sensation, secured financing for her flights, and led her to reject any “medieval code of faithfulness.”
Written under all conditions – in school, on trains, at the White House – the engrossing messages show devotion, wisdom, and a hilarious talent for playing with the English language, as well as a rare ability to stand apart from her own legend. Letters from Amelia is an apt testimony to the totality of an extraordinary person.