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Work in HandScript, Print, and Writing, 1690-1840$
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Aileen Douglas

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198789185

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198789185.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Work in Hand

Aileen Douglas

Oxford University Press

Drawing on Daniel Defoe’s Essay upon Literature, the introduction defines the term ‘hand’ in relation to manual writing. It outlines how Defoe understands the ‘work of writing’ in relation both to manual writing and engraving, and emphasizes the importance of the rolling press to reproductions of script in print. The introduction continues by discussing how the term ‘work of writing’ appears in theory and contemporary scholarship. Referring both to eighteenth-century writing masters and to contemporary philosophy, and their shared recognition of writing’s materiality, the introduction disputes notions of the eighteenth century as a ‘logocentric’ period. The introduction concludes by outlining the arguments of the chapters to follow.

Keywords:   Daniel Defoe, Essay upon Literature, manual writing, rolling press, work of writing, hand, logocentricism

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