The Lives and Letters of an Eighteenth-century Circle of Acquaintance

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Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2006 - Literary Collections - 295 pages
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In recent years, there has been a remarkable resurgence of interest in women's letters, for they tell us much about women's and men's lives. The Lydia Clerke letters, which form the basis of this book, are no exception. Including 31 letters written by nine different people, they render an intimate portrait of English life during the second half of the eighteenth century. Meticulous transcriptions of the letters are accompanied by interpretive essays which provide historical and biographical contexts. Illuminated by extensive archival research, the letters give new insight into the importance of female friendship, the predicament of the woman intellectual, the sexual vulnerability and power of the young unmarried woman in aristocratic society, and the economic and emotional instability of wives even in companionate marriage. The letters also touch on the volatile world of eighteenth-century India and on the courage and cruelty of the men who built the British Empire

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Contents

Contents
4
The Rise of the Novel the Death of the Author and the Lydia Clerke Letters The Letters the Letter Writers and Their Worlds
7
Overview
31
John Clerke
87
Thomas Winstanley 4 Susannah Dobson
127
Ann Clerke One 6 Charles Clerke One 7 Charles Clerke Two 8 Ann Clerke Two 9 Charlotte Lennox
139
Ann Clerke Three
145
Ann Clerke Four
151
Closing the Circle
235
1
242
Biographical Sketches of the Letter Writers
249
23
250
25
251
Chronology
259
33
264
55
272

Sylvia Brathwaite
157
Sylvia Thornton
198
Authors Collection
201
Sylvia Parkhurst
210
Sarah Clerke
226
103
283
115
284
157
285
235
287

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About the author (2006)

Temma Berg is Professor of English at Gettysburg College, USA.

Bibliographic information