Published by Oxford University Press in 2006, 328 pages. Hardback with Dust Jacket (S8295BWSO)
From the rear side cover: The most comprehensive study of women's letters and letter-writing during the early modern period so far undertaken, Women Letter- Writers in Tudor England acts as an important corrective to traditional ways of reading and discussing letters as private, elite, male, and non-political. Based on over 3,000 manuscript letters, the book reveals how letter-writing was a larger and more socially diversified area of female activity in the sixteenth -century than has been previously assumed and it initiates a reassessment of women's education and literacy in the period. The letters yield physical evidence of rudimentary writing activity and abilities, document 'higher' forms of female literacy, and highlight women's mastery of formal rhetorical and epistolary conventions.
James Daybell reveals how female letter-writers were integral in cultivating and maintaining patronage and kinship networks, were active as suitors for crown favour, and operated as political intermediaries and patrons in their own right, using letters to elicit influence. As intimate and immediate records of family relationships and media for personal and self-reflective forms of female expression, these letters help us to locate differing forms of female power within the family, locality, and occasionally on the wider political stage, and offer invaluable primary evidence from which to reconstruct the lives of early modern women.
The condition of the book is generally excellent. The dust jacket has one or two very minor scuffs, and some light wear along the edges and corners, but the spine is tight and intact, and all pages are clean, intact, unblemished and tightly bound.