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From the Treasure Piles - Effendi

Bubbling all over the place because of a wonderful pile of paper which has landed in my care. One of the most exciting things for me is a treasure box. Now, some may consider treasure a hoard of gold coins, or rare gems, but to me a box of paper is as precious. Unofficially, I’ve become one of the family history keepers. After scavenging boxes of letters in a grandmother’s attic destined for the trash, the word has gotten around that I care about the old stuff—the stuff nobody else wants.

Into my lap, has fallen, a pile of family heirlooms of paper: letters, photos, and documents—and a whole file of writing. It’s going to take months to piece it all together but I’ll leave you with one little gem today, so you can see why I’m so darned excited.

The family has a publishing past. One of the family members worked for Doubleday in the late 1800s and early 1900s. I was sorting through papers and I kept coming back to this enticing letter with no envelope. It’s folded and addressed with just a name. The cursive is so unique—and unreadable. Somehow, I knew it must be significant, but it was the signature that really caught me.


Could I be reading it wrong?

I went to the Internet and fell down the rabbit hole.

Effendi is



noun: effendi; plural noun: effendis

a man of high education or social standing in an eastern Mediterranean or Arab country.


a title of respect or courtesy in Turkey.

Effendi in Wikiwand - has this lovely article about Effendi being a Turkish title of nobility of Lord and Master.

But I knew this letter had nothing to do with Turkey. From what I could decipher it was a business note from Effendi to Sam.

So I dug deeper.

Frank Nelson Doubleday, the founder of Doubleday & Co, was known as Effendi. “His nickname "Effendi" was given to him by Rudyard Kipling, who derived it from his initials, F.N.D.” - Wikipedia

The letter, as I expected, had a little more history than just an odd note from one colleague to another. Now that I know who Effendi is, I’ll be scouring the stacks of paper to see if there’s another one.

I’ll leave you with a photo, translation to come, as the writing is tough to decipher!

P.S. And yes, I do have a story idea... more on that as it unfolds.

2 comentarios

11 sept 2021

Hi ggreat reading your blog

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That's pretty cool how they cane to the name "Effendi" from the initials. The title was very common in Egypt about a hundred or more years ago, with the Turkish rule. It later became common to call people with it, even if they didn't officially have it. Now, it's always jokingly or mockingly used to call people who display a bit of self importance!

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