Epistolary Fiction in Europe, 1500-1850

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Cambridge University Press, Mar 28, 1999 - Literary Criticism - 277 pages
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Thomas O. Beebee offers a history of epistolary fiction as a major phenomenon practiced across Europe from the Renaissance to the mid-nineteenth century. He shows how epistolary fiction appropriated the status and power the letter had already acquired, and goes on to explore a number of related discourses and themes, including the letter writing manual, self-referential aspects of the letter, news and travel reporting, the relationship between letters and gender, and historically-specific letter writing by eighteenth- and nineteenth-century authors including Austen, Balzac, and Dostoevsky. There is a bibliography of major European epistolary fiction to 1850.

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Contents

the letterwriter in the machine
18
Selfreflexive letters
48
Epistolary defamiliarization
76
The lettered woman as dialectical image
103
A revolution in letters
137
The ghost of epistolarity in the nineteenthcentury novel
166
Postscript
199
Notes
206
Select bibliography of European epistolary fiction to 1850
231
Bibliography of epistolary theory and criticism
259
Index
267
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