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Tessa Whitehouse

attached to sharing details of their physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being with friends as well as family members. 3 The letters considered in this essay span the 1690s to the earliest years of the nineteenth century. Joseph Standen (1672–1749) and Benjamin Colman (1673–1747), Jane Attwater (1753–1843) and Mary Steele (1753–1813), and Mercy Doddridge (1734–1809) and Sally Wesley (1759–1828) are the three pairs of correspondents introduced. Their practices of letter-writing enabled writers

in Religion and life cycles in early modern England
John Welshman

9 Wardens, letter writing and the welfare state, 1944–74 John Welshman The previous chapters have concentrated on the large-scale, long-stay facilities that have been the main focus of asylum histories in the United Kingdom. These institutions still dominated the landscape of care in the third quarter of the twentieth century, although reformers were already advocating alternative forms of provision that were closer to patients’ homes and families and better integrated with other health and welfare services. This shift in the locus of care was associated with

in Mental health nursing
Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Richard Wragg

In 1805 Susannah Middleton travelled with her husband, Captain Robert Middleton, to Gibraltar where he was to run the naval dockyard. Abroad for the first time, Susannah maintained a regular correspondence with her sister in England. Casting light on a collection of letters yet to be fully published, the paper gives an account of Susannah‘s experiences as described to her sister. Consideration is given to Susannah‘s position as the wife of a naval officer and her own view of the role she had to play in her husband‘s success. Written at a time when an officers wife could greatly improve his hopes for advancement through the judicious use of social skills, the Middleton letters provide evidence of an often overlooked aspect of the workings of the Royal Navy.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
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Gender, writing and the life of the mind in early modern England

Women of Letters writes a new history of English women’s intellectual worlds using their private letters as evidence of hidden networks of creative exchange. This is the first detailed study to situate correspondence as the central social practice in the development of female intellectual thought in the period c.1650-1750. The main argument of the book is that many women of this period engaged with a life of the mind through reading and writing letters. Until now, it has been assumed that women’s intellectual opportunities were curtailed by their confinement in the home. Women of Letters illuminates the household as a vibrant site of intellectual thought and expression. By using an original definition of ‘intellectual’, the book offers a new and inclusive view of intellectual life: one that embraces a broad range of informal writing and critical discourse and abandons the elitism of traditional definitions of scholarly achievement. Amidst the catalogue of day-to-day news in women’s letters, are lines of ink dedicated to the discussion of books, plays and ideas. Through these personal epistles, Women of Letters offers a fresh interpretation of intellectual life in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, one that champions the ephemeral and the fleeting in order to rediscover women’s lives and minds.

Leonie Hannan

3 Writing and thinking L etter-writing represented the most accessible form of written expression available to individuals during this period. Correspondence also provided crucial links between people who only met rarely in person. As a result, in many cases it is difficult to deduce whether women intended to use letter-writing to exercise their minds, or whether, conversely, the daily routine of corresponding provided a starting point for intellectual exploration. Either way, letter-writing represented a crucial space for female (and male) intellectual

in Women of letters
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Commentary and notes
Peter Redford

the interests and concerns of English gentlemen of Parkhurst’s time. But they do more: they present us with a view of the art of letter-writing itself as it was practised in the early seventeenth century. About the beginning of that century, John Hoskyns wrote for a pupil of his at the Middle Temple a long essay called Direccions for Speech and Style, which opens 352 The Burley manuscript with a treatise on ‘Penninge of Letters’, Hoskyns evidently seeing this as the most important field of communication.105 There are, he says, two aspects to be considered when

in The Burley manuscript
Politics, friendship, and intimacy in suffragists’ letters
James Keating

write themselves ‘in’ to the metro-centric history of women’s rights activism through their letters with renowned British and American feminists. And yet, letters were as much a force for disruption as cooperation. By the turn of the century, the advent of the Imperial Penny Post and widespread female literacy had profoundly democratised letter writing. 17 With pen and paper alone, activists marginalised in colonial women’s movements forged bonds with their counterparts overseas and leveraged these connections to shape the course of national and international

in Distant Sisters
Margret Fetzer

individual expression of oneself, the abundance of theoretical treatises on the art of letter writing seems paradoxical. However, owing to the letter’s close relatedness to oral genres, the writer’s selfexpression is governed by numerous rhetorical strategies and retains much of the public character of classical oration (Müller, 1980: 141–3, 153). Even though early modern epistolary theory compares the letter to the less prescriptive form of dialogue, the idea of the epistle as ‘speculum animi’ or ‘imago cordis’ is supplemented by elaborate catalogues on the conventions of

in John Donne’s Performances
Leonie Hannan

’ has been under-explored by scholarship.1 In letters, emotional responses to life were articulated and both the expression of those feelings and the manner in which they were expressed provide important insights into the history of emotions. Relationships were forged and fostered through letter-writing and, thus, correspondence played a critical role in the continuation of significant friendships. The reciprocal nature of letter-writing prompted some correspondents to cover pages in ink at a staggering pace and regularity, using the expanding postal network to their

in Women of letters