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The Pen and the People – English Letter Writers 1660-1800 - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Pen and the People: English Letter Writers 1660-1800

Susan Whyman


The Pen and the People shows how 18th-century men and women learned to write letters, why and how they used them, and the impact of letter writing on their lives and the wider culture. Based on over sixty unknown collections of family papers discovered over a ten year period, it tells the stories of middling and lower-sort people — a Yorkshire bridle maker, a domestic female servant, a Derbyshire wheelwright, an untrained woman writing poetry and short stories, as well as merchants and their families — all over many generations. Their ordinary backgrounds and extraordinary writing ... More

Keywords: eighteenth-century, popular literacy, letter writing, letters, Post Office, novel, bridle maker, female servant, wheelwright, poetry

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2009 Print ISBN-13: 9780199532445
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199532445.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Susan Whyman, author
Independent Scholar, formerly Lecturer in British History at Princeton University