The Material Letter in Early Modern England: Manuscript Letters and the Culture and Practices of Letter-Writing, 1512-1635

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Palgrave Macmillan, Apr 24, 2012 - Literary Criticism - 357 pages
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The first major socio-cultural study of manuscript letters and letter-writing practices in early modern England. Daybell examines a crucial period in the development of the English vernacular letter before Charles I's postal reforms in 1635, one that witnessed a significant extension of letter-writing skills throughout society.

 

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Contents

1 Introduction
1
2 Materials and Tools of LetterWriting
30
3 Epistolary Writing Technologies
53
4 Interpreting Materiality and Social Signs
85
5 Postal Conditions
109
6 Secret Letters
148
7 Copying LetterBooks and the Scribal Circulation of Letters
175
8 The Afterlives of Letters
217
9 Conclusion
229
Notes
234
Select Bibliography
291
Index
335
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About the author (2012)

JAMES DAYBELL is professor of Early Modern British History at Plymouth University, UK, and Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He is author of Women Letter-Writers in Tudor England (2006); editor of Early Modern Women's Letter-Writing, 1450-170(2001), Women and Politics in Early Modern England, 1450-1700 (2004), and (with Peter Hinds) Material Readings of Early Modern Culture, 1580-1730 (2010).