Humans have been making lists for even longer than they’ve been writing letters. They are the shorthand for what really matters to us: our hopes and aspirations; likes and dislikes; rules for living and loving; records of our memories and reminders of the things we want to do before we die.
Just as he did with Letters of Note
, Shaun Usher has trawled the world’s archives to produce a rich visual anthology that stretches from ancient times to present day. From a to-do list of Leonardo da Vinci’s to Charles Darwin on the pros and cons of marriage or Julia Child’s list of possible titles for what would later become an American cooking bible, Lists of Note
is a constantly surprising A-Z of what makes us human.
In its pages you’ll find 125 lists with facsimiles or illustrations, including: a shopping list written by two 9th-century Tibetan monks; a handwritten list of the BFG’s favourite words by Roald Dahl; the 19 year-old Isaac Newton’s list of the 57 sins he’d already committed; Galileo’s list of parts needed to build his telescope; Einstein’s punitive list of conditions imposed on his first wife; 29-year-old Marilyn Monroe’s inspirational set of New Year’s resolutions; Martin Luther King’s advice for black people starting to use buses; Johnny Cash’s list of ‘things to do today’; Michelangelo’s illustrated shopping list; and Advice for ‘chick rockers’ by Chrissie Hynde And many, many more…