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date: 18 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article discusses letter writing in the early modern period. After face-to-face conversation, the letter served as the second form of communication between people, and was the principal means of contact between parties at any distance. Information was passed on, trade facilitated, orders given, and ties maintained through the exchange of letters. Letters were also composed and written according to — and sometimes in contravention of — protocols that became increasingly highly elaborated. And they were never without their creative or imaginative or even duplicitous elements, which during the early seventeenth century started to develop into what would become one of the leading literary genres in English, the epistolary novel.

Keywords: letter writing, written communication, early modern period, epistolary novel

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