On the Perry Como Show, the chorus customarily sang: “Letters, we get letters. We get stacks and stacks of letters.” However, during the Regency Period, the mail was expensive. MPs were the only ones who had a “free” ride for the mail delivery. Until 1840, MPs could “frank” their own letters.
In Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, Edmund tells Fanny to have a friend or relative who was an MP to frank the letter for her and, therefore, save the Price family from the cost of the letter. “As your uncle will frank it, it will cost William nothing.”
Postage was based on the number of miles the letter traveled from point A to point B. Recipients paid, rather than the sender of the letter. These were the going rates for a single page: fourpence for the first fifteen miles, eightpence for eighty miles, etc., etc., up to seventeen…
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