Women's Epistolary Utterance

A study of the letters of Joan and Maria Thynne, 1575-1611

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Located at the intersection of historical pragmatics, letters and manuscript studies, this book offers a multi-dimensional analysis of the letters of Joan and Maria Thynne, 1575-1611. It investigates multiple ways in which socio-culturally and socio-familially contextualized reading of particular collections may increase our understanding of early modern letters as a particular type of handwritten communicative activity. The book also adds to our understanding of these women as individual users of English in their historical moment, especially in terms of literacy and their engagement with cultural scripts. Throughout the book, analysis is based on the manuscript letters themselves and in this way several chapters address the importance of viewing original sources to understand the letters' full pragmatic significance. Within these broader frameworks, individual chapters address the women's use of scribes, prose structure and punctuation, performative speech act verbs, and (im)politeness, sincerity and mock (im)politeness.

Subjects: Historical linguistics; Pragmatics; English linguistics

  • Affiliations: 1: University of Sheffield

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