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Gibson, Jonathan (2000). Letters. In: Hattaway, Michael ed. A Companion to English Renaissance Literature and Culture. Blackwell Companions to Literature and Culture. Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 615–619.

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A survey of the role played by the genre of the letter in early modern literature and culture. I discuss the nature of early modern epistographical theory, arguing that letter-writers in the period were pulled in three directions: by the medieval ars dictaminis, geared to the registering of hierarchical social distinctions, by Renaissance rhetorical theory, and by the revived theory of the 'familiar' letter. I also highlight the importance of secretaries and messengers in early modern letter-writing and of the widespread anxiety this caused. The chapter concludes with a description of the influence of epistolary structures on printed literature.

Item Type: Book Section
Copyright Holders: 2000 Blackwell Publishers Ltd
ISBN: 0-631-21668-5, 978-0-631-21668-1
Extra Information: A revised and expanded version of this chapter was printed in the second edition of the Companion in 2010. I have summarised the differences in a separate entry.
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Arts and Humanities > English & Creative Writing
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Arts and Humanities
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
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Item ID: 36865
Depositing User: Jonathan Gibson
Date Deposited: 18 Jun 2013 15:59
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2019 08:44
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