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By David Barton, Nigel Hall

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Additional resources for Letter Writing As a Social Practice (Studies in Written Language and Literacy, V. 9)

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1976. Letters and Letter Collections. Fasc. 17. Typologie des sources du moyen age occidental. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols. Danet, B. 1997. “Speech, writing and performativity: An evolutionary view of the history of constitutive ritual”. In B. Gunnarsson, P. Linell and B. Nordberg (eds) The Construction of Professional Discourse. London: Longman, 13–41. G. 1973. Letters in Primitive Christianity. Philadelphia, Fortress Press. Freedman, A. and P. Medway. (eds) 1994. Genre and the New Rhetoric. London: Taylor & Francis.

1978. “The Early ‘Ars Dictaminis’ as Response to a Changing Society”. Viator: Medieval and Renaissance Studies 9:133–155. F. 1981. John Locke and Children’s Books in Eighteenth-Century England. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press. F. 1993. Moral Instruction and Fiction for Children, 1749–1820. Athens: University of Georgia Press. H. 1975. “The New World of Children in Eighteenth-Century England”. Past and Present 67:70–85. Robertson, J. 1942. The Art of Letter Writing: An Essay on the Handbooks Published in England during the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries.

The origins of the novel are complex and under continuing critical scrutiny (see for examples McKeon 1987; Hunter 1990). It is clear, however, that the epistolary novel was one of the first forms of extended prose fiction written for print. It is further clear that the epistolary novel grew immediately out of several traditions of letter writing and letter writing manuals. The tradition of literary letters went back to the Roman exemplars of Pliny and Cicero and continued most notably by the eighth century monk Alcuin and the fourteenth century poet Petrarch; such letters had been collected and widely disseminated long before Gutenberg.

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