Monthly Archives: September 2012

Possession by A.S. Byatt

A highly interesting novel to read is ‘Possession’. It typically fits into this blog for it is about a correspondence between two writers in the 19th century. Moreover, the main characters researching the works of these writers are two academics. This … Continue reading

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Penholder’s identity

Upon reading the article The Letter-Writing Manual in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries: From Polite to Practical by Lyda Fens-de Zeeuw, a number of interesting research questions came to mind. For me the most challenging and thought provoking question was the … Continue reading

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The Letter in Dutch Genre Paintings

Having learned that in the 18th and 19th century, people of high status liked to have themselves depicted writing a letter, I started wondering to what extent letter-writing was a central theme in the arts. In Dutch Genre Paintings in … Continue reading

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Transcription of Elizabeth Carter’s Letter

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Despite all the proposals my transcription has prompted, I have incorporated most of them by consensus. That is the reason why three words are still displayed in brackets since such expressions require further analysis. Therefore, I would be glad of … Continue reading

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Grammars, cookbooks and letter-writing manuals

What do Late Modern English grammars, cookbooks and letter-writing manuals have in common? They all show a remarkable increase in popularity during the 2nd half of the 18th century. I’ve described this for grammar books in Tieken-Boon van Ostade (2008), … Continue reading

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Dr Bell’s system

Reading the post on Julia Maitland’s letters, one of our readers, Tony Fairman, was struck by the reference to “Dr Bell his sytem”. He kindly sent us his notes on Dr Bell, for others to read. The notes relate to the work … Continue reading

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Late Modern Dutchmen writing English

For his MA thesis in Linguistics at the University of Leiden, Marijn Verschuure analysed two corpora of letters written in English by Dutch people. The first corpus consisted of 83 short commercial letters that were presumably written by the directors … Continue reading

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text crossing

Last night I came across a nice example of text crossing on someone’s blog. I haven’t seen one like this before, and it appealed to me immediately. I think it’s fascinating to see how letters could be written, in a certain pattern. … Continue reading

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Dodsley’s portrait

There is a lovely portrait of Robert Dodsley (1704-1764), one of the most important bookseller/publishers from the period, and who was also a writer. Dodsley was the instigator of Dr Johnson’s Dictionary (1755), and he also published Robert Lowth‘s Short Introduction … Continue reading

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