Letter-writing and telegrams were an important form of communication amongst the literate population. Letters were written to particular individuals and thus typically represented a dialogue between individuals. Telegrams were shorter and often contained urgent messages. Nonetheless, historians exercise care in how they interpret and use these forms of communication in their research. The form the letters took was shaped by time and distance between the writer and the recipient. Writers might have felt their freedom restricted with respect to how much to disclose or how explicit they could be in their letters. And while letter-writing was often clustered around important family events, historians do not know how representative extant letters are concerning the letter writer’s assessment of the event. Famous letter writers include Jane Austen and Sigmund Freud.