Fanny to William

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This paper applies Norman Fairclough’s Critical Discourse Analysis approach (1992, 2001, 2003) to the correspondence of Frances Leonora Macleay (1793–1836) with her brother William, a well-known naturalist. Frances Leonora (Fanny) Macleay was born in England, but moved to New South Wales in 1826. Frances’s letters to William span twenty-four years, and though William’s letters to Fanny have not survived, it is still possible to deduce their content from Fanny’s intertextual references. Thus, the letters shed some light on a sister/brother relationship, in an English middle class family of the period. As Fairclough’s three dimensional model will be used, the analysis will take into consideration text, social practice, and discursive practices. In the area of social practice, the domains of science and gender will be given special attention.


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