Category Archives: 18th-century letters

From Letters to Legislature

Do you love 18th/19th century letters and/or documents? Do you love to transcribe? If you answered Yes, then the Transcribe Bentham Initiative might be just up your alley! Transcribe Bentham is an initiative started by University College London, with the … Continue reading

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Officially out today

Though the book was published several weeks ago already, the true publication date, so its actual birthday, is today, 20 February 2014. For a description of the book’s contents, look at OUP’s website, and feel free to get in touch if … Continue reading

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Just out

Earlier this week, my book In Search of Jane Austen: The Language of the Letters (OUP) was published. This is how it is described in the OUP linguistics catalogue that came in today: And here is the missing image:

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Letters to Sir Joseph Banks

This year, in our course Philology 3 (History of the English Language), the students did a project on the correspondence of Sir Joseph Banks (1743-1820). Banks is described on Wikipedia as a “naturalist, botanist and patron of the natural sciences” … Continue reading

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The spelling of a president’s daughter

Inge Otto, research master student at the University of Leiden, wrote her BA thesis this summer on the letters of Abigail Adams, the daughter of one of the presidents of the United States. What follows is a summary of her … Continue reading

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Ever yours?

The first letter by Jane Austen that has come down to us, addressed to her sister Cassandra, ends as follows: I condole with Miss M. on her losses and with Eliza on her gains, and am ever yours,/J. A. (letter 1, … Continue reading

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William Clift’s correspondence with Elizabeth

While I was preparing for my presentation and working on my paper, I though it would be a good idea to tell a few things about William Clift’s correspondence with his eldest sister Elizabeth. In 1792, William arrived in London … Continue reading

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Finding new norms of usage

William Clift (1775-1849) has been mentioned several times on this blog already. One of the reasons his language is interesting is that by studying the letters you can see how he substitutes one linguistic model, that of his sister Elizabeth … Continue reading

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Self-corrections and prepositions

This week, we are reading Anita Auer’s article on self-corrections in Late Modern English letters (Auer 2008). In this article, Auer discusses three case studies, and one of them concerns the letters of Lucy Whitaker (1759-1837), the wife of a … Continue reading

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Lowth letters in Leiden

Great news: Leiden University Library owns two letters from the most authoritative 18th-century English grammarian, Robert Lowth (1710-1787). They were identified accidentally by Myrte Wouterse, BA English and Honours Academy student at the University of Leiden. Myrte and a fellow student had been taken … Continue reading

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