Laid up in bed for three months with a broken hip, 13-year-old George Fellowes was determined not to bow to his misfortune.
Instead the middle-class Edwardian teenager set to work on a mammoth letter-writing campaign to the great and the good of turn-of-the century Britain.
The participants were between 18 and 47-years-old, and the average age was 20.
Participants were told their name would be put in a $100 prize draw for their participation in the study.
Powerful: A reply letter from Lord Kitchener was written to the teenager Auctioneer Charles Hanson, who uncovered the collection, said: 'It represents an amazing feat by one young boy with time on his hands.'Assembling something remotely comparable today, even in the age of the worldwide web and instant communication, would take some doing.'Many of the people who wrote back to Cyril were the A-listers of the age - people of enormous power and what passed for celebrity back then.