The Early Modern Conversation Manual
If you wanted to learn a foreign language in early modern England, the cheapest and most useful tool available was a multilingual conversation manual. Working from a corpus of over 300 editions, this chapter charts the changing place of these texts in the early modern print market: price, authorship, what languages they offered, and how they developed as a physical object. Using these books, readers engaged with the multilingual oral and aural worlds of early modern Europe. Changes in the form of these manuals over time were closely tied to developments in pedagogy and reading. The kind of reading advocated by these manuals was rarely silent or abstract. In teaching skills from correct pronunciation to social interaction, these manuals demanded that readers confer the text with the oral, sociable world beyond. This chapter offers a new way of understanding linguistic education, multilingual reading, and shifting ideals of linguistic competence.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.