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Epistolary Writing Technologies

  • James Daybell
Part of the Early Modern Literature in History book series (EMLH)

Abstract

The practical side of letter-writing was learned and disseminated through pedagogy, print and practice. Formal letter-writing skills formed a central part of the curriculum for boys at grammar school and university; classical epistolary models (as taught in Erasmus’s De conscribendis epistolis) were a staple for anyone educated beyond the elementary level. Girls of elite families too were schooled in letter-writing by tutors and governesses, and were encouraged to practise writing letters to develop a useful social skill. More broadly, the writing of letters by children to parents formed a crucial part of the process of socialisation that inculcated deferential codes of filial obedience. In addition to these formal methods of tuition, knowledge of the intricacies of letter-writing was gained from contact with the form and through an increasing body of vernacular epistolary manuals, which sought to distil, popularise and disseminate rules and protocols of humanistic letter-writing.

Keywords

Seventeenth Century Sixteenth Century Material Letter Grammar School Latin Letter 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    On early modern writing materials see, Michael Finlay (1990) Western Writing Implements in the Age of the Quill Pen (Carlisle: Plains); Joyce Irene Whalley (1975) Writing Implements & Accessories: From the Roman Styllus to the Typewriter (David and Charles).Google Scholar
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  6. 17.
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    Daybell (2001) ‘The Social Conventions of Women’s Letter-Writing in England, 1540–1603’, in Daybell (ed.) Early Modern Women’s Letter-Writing in England, 1450’1700 (Basingstoke: Palgrave), pp.59-76.Google Scholar
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  12. 102.
    Juliet Fleming (2001) Graffiti and the Writing Arts of Early Modern England (Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P)Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© James Daybell 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • James Daybell
    • 1
  1. 1.Plymouth UniversityUSA

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