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The epistolary muse : women of letters in England and France, 1652-1802

Author: Adrian Kempton
Publisher: Oxford : Peter Lang, [2017] ©2017
Series: European connections, 39.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Epistolary fiction was in full flower during the period from 1652 to 1802, featuring the masterworks of Guilleragues, Richardson, Rousseau and Laclos. This study traces the development of the art of letter-writing and familiar correspondence and its adaptation by women writers into a remarkable range of literary genres, both fictional and non-fictional. In addition to the better known categories of the monodic  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
History
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Adrian Kempton
ISBN: 9781787074880 1787074889
OCLC Number: 1019657736
Description: xxv, 341 pages ; 23 cm.
Series Title: European connections, 39.
Other Titles: Women of letters in England and France, 1652-1802
Responsibility: Adrian Kempton.

Abstract:

Epistolary fiction was in full flower during the period from 1652 to 1802, featuring the masterworks of Guilleragues, Richardson, Rousseau and Laclos. This study traces the development of the art of letter-writing and familiar correspondence and its adaptation by women writers into a remarkable range of literary genres, both fictional and non-fictional. In addition to the better known categories of the monodic love-letter sequence and the polyphonic epistolary novel, these sub-genres include letter miscellanies, essays, travelogues, educational novels and verse epistles. To all these, women writers made a valuable, and sometimes totally original, contribution. Indeed, it could be said that it was essentially through letter-writing that women achieved literary recognition. This volume examines each of these epistolary categories in turn, revealing how women writers from either country excelled in a particular genre: the French, for example, in the epistolary monody and fictional foreign correspondence, the English in the miscellany and verse epistle, and both in the polyphonic letter-novel. Finally, the study notes how, despite the rapid decline of epistolary fiction in the nineteenth century, a select number of letter-novels by American, English and French women writers still continue to be published.

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