How Steinbeck drew his novel to a proper close | Brief letters

The Grapes of Wrath | Long-lived clothing | Insulate Britain | Soap operas

Your report (4 October) about the handwritten manuscript of John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, which sheds light on the author and his process, is fascinating. The article mentions the faint “slut” written at the end of the manuscript, which is considered “an archival mystery”. It is worth noting that “slut” is a Swedish word that can mean “final”, “ending” or “close”. It’s not likely that the manuscript was defaced, only that it ended naturally.
John Walton
Stockholm, Sweden

• I think Margaret Squires’ problem (Letters, 4 October) has to do with the inferior quality of women’s clothing. My husband bought a pair of wool gabardine trousers during his first year at university in 1957. They were still in excellent condition – and he could fit into them – 60 years later.
Leslie Taylor
Cambridge

• David Prothero writes that at 75 he can still get into the shoes he wore at 21 (Letters, 4 October). That’s nothing! My husband, at the same age, frequently boasts that he can still wear the tie that he sported on our wedding day.
Christine Lock
Wokingham, Berkshire

• I suggest that if Insulate Britain wishes to get its message across to the government (39 Insulate Britain activists arrested after halting traffic on M1 and M4, 1 October), a hefty donation to Tory party coffers should do the trick.
Alistair Gregory
Burton in Lonsdale, North Yorkshire

• Surely our royal family outdates the Tory party as Britain’s oldest soap opera (Letters, 4 October)?
David Godfrey
Willingdon, East Sussex

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