Epistolary Selves: Letters and Letter-Writers, 1600–1945, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Epistolary Selves

Letters and Letter-Writers, 1600–1945, 1st Edition

Edited by Rebecca Earle

Routledge

248 pages

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Hardback: 9781840142105
pub: 1999-07-28
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pub: 2016-12-05
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Description

This volume of ten essays discusses the pivotal role that letters have played in social, economic and political history from the seventeenth to the twentieth century. The recent scholarly interest in the history of reading has as yet yielded few studies which consider letters as a category of readable material. The contributors to this book seek to redress this oversight, viewing letters as texts which can reveal information, not only about their writers and readers, but about the wider historical context in which they were written. Topics covered include the mercantile letter, diplomatic correspondence, and what these epistolary forms suggest about the rise of a polite, literate culture in the eighteenth century; the experience of immigration from Europe to America during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; the relationship through the letter; and the working of gender in the epistolary form. Rebecca Earle provides an overview of how the study of letter-writing can open up new avenues of historical as well as literary investigation. This, together with contributions form leading international scholars, makes Epistolary Selves an essential text for those researching the letter genre.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction: Letters, writers and the historian, Rebecca Earle; Part One: The Letter Collection: ’Paper Visits’: The post-restoration letter as seen through the Verney Archive, Susan Whyman; The immigrant letter between positivism and populism: American historians’ uses of personal correspondence, David Gerber; Part Two: Letters, the Family and Public Life: Formative ventures: eighteenth-century commercial letters and the articulation of experience, Toby Ditz; The Sentimental Ambassador: The letters of George Bogle from Bengal, Bhutan and Tibet, 1770-1781, Kate Teltscher; Letters, social networks and the embedded economy in Sweden: some remarks on the Swedish bourgeoisie, 1800-1850, Ylva Hasselberg; Part Three: Women and the Letter Form: A woman writing a letter, Carolyn Steedman; The power to die: Emily Dickinson’s letters of consolation, Daria Donnelly; ’You let a weeping woman call you home?’: Private correspondence during the first world war in Austria and Germany, Christine Hämmerle; ’Letters are everything these days’: Mothers and letters in the second world war, Jenny Hartley; Bibliography; Index.

About the Series

Warwick Studies in the Humanities

Warwick Studies in the Humanities
The Humanities Research Centre of the University of Warwick in collaboration with Ashgate has re-launched its book series. Warwick Studies in the Humanities aims to bring together innovative work of a high academic standard which crosses disciplinary borders in the Arts and Humanities. It provides a forum for volumes exploring new dimensions of cultural history from the early modern period to the present, and for works that investigate aspects of contemporary cultural production within and across national boundaries. The series reflects the breadth of the interdisciplinary work carried out at Warwick's Humanities Research Centre, and includes work of both European and extra-European scope.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LIT020000
LITERARY CRITICISM / Comparative Literature