Skip to content

Tag: letters

Christian Høgel and Elisabetta Bartoli, eds. Medieval Letters: Between Fiction and Document

Christian Høgel and Elisabetta Bartoli, eds. Medieval Letters: Between Fiction and Document. Utrecht Studies in Medieval Literacy 33. Turnhout: Brepols, 2015. x, 471 p. ill. ISBN 9782503555201. EUR €110.00 (hardcover).

Born out of a 2013 Siena conference on the same subject, Medieval Letters: Between Fiction and Document presents a nuanced view of the medieval relationship to letters, and indeed, of a modern reader’s mediated relationship to these medieval letters. Consisting of 29 essays modified from conference presentations and with a new preface by Francesco Stella and Lars Boje Mortensen, this book is a valuable resource to scholars interested in the literary, rhetorical, or historical contexts of medieval letters and letter-writing.

Carl Dair. Epistles to the Torontonians, with Articles from Canadian Printer and Publisher

Carl Dair. Epistles to the Torontonians, with Articles from Canadian Printer and Publisher. William Ross, Introduction, and Rod McDonald, Notes. Toronto and New Castle, Delaware: Coach House Press with Sheridan College and Oak Knoll Press, 2015. 127p. ISBN 9781584563396. US $75.00.

There is something magical about discovering old letters. Whether it be in the attic or the archive, reading old letters provides a personal insight into the lives of both the sender and receiver that stands apart both from histories of their lives and the more self-conscious writings of autobiographies and diaries. Through letters we can eavesdrop on the past.

Epistles to the Torontonians captures the conversations that Canadian typographer Carl Dair (1912–1967), and his wife Edith, had with other members of the Toronto typographical community during 1956–57.

Lindsay O’Neill. The Opened Letter: Networking in the Early Modern British World / Diana G. Barnes. Epistolary Community in Print, 1580-1664

Lindsay O’Neill. The Opened Letter: Networking in the Early Modern British World. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015. viii, 264p. ill. ISBN 9780812246483. US $47.50 (hardback).

Diana G. Barnes. Epistolary Community in Print, 1580-1664Material Readings in Early Modern Culture. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate, 2013. xii, 250p., 11 ill. ISBN 9781409445357. US $99.95 (hardback).

The myriad of personal papers surviving outside the archives of official power, in homes, in the forms of diaries and letters, have informed historical, cultural, social and literary works over the recent years. Part of this resurgent interest, particularly for the early modern period and the eighteenth century, was a particular attentiveness to the materiality of letters, on the one hand, and on the other, the importance of epistolary networks.

Mary L. Shannon, Dickens, Reynolds, and Mayhew on Wellington Street: The Print Culture of a Victorian Street

Mary L. Shannon. Dickens, Reynolds, and Mayhew on Wellington Street: The Print Culture of a Victorian Street. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2015. xviii, 261p. ill. ISBN 9781472442048. £65.00 (hardcover).

As someone who designs guidebooks for different UK cities (in the Art Researchers’ Guide series), and who studies Victorian book illustration, I appreciate this well-researched volume by Mary L. Shannon on different levels. Shannon writes a social history of a specific part of London and Melbourne told through key figures of nineteenth-century literature and publishing. She not only records where the likes of Charles Dickens, G.W.M Reynolds, and Henry Mayhew worked, socialised, and went to be entertained, but she also maps a typography of invisible networks that encompass Britain’s print culture intersecting a greater Empire.

Kym Brindle. Epistolary Encounters in Neo-Victorian Fiction: Diaries and Letters

Kym Brindle. Epistolary Encounters in Neo-Victorian Fiction: Diaries and Letters. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014. vii, 240p., ill. ISBN 9781137007155. ₤50 (hardback).

Epistolary Encounters in Neo-Victorian Fiction explores the ways in which diaries and letters are used by neo-Victorian novelists to exemplify postmodern ideas about the unknowability of the past. The textual remains of the nineteenth century are necessarily incomplete, meaning that the past can never be entirely understood.