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Affectionately Yours

Title: Affectionately Yours: Women's Correspondence Networks in Eighteenth-Century British America.
Name(s): McLallen, Wendy Weston, 1974-, author
Hadden, Sally, outside committee member
Edwards, Leigh, committee member
Laughlin, Karen L., committee member
Department of English, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2007
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: This dissertation examines epistolary manuscripts circulated among networks of women in eighteenth-century British America. The women saved and collected correspondence, copied important letters into commonplace books, and composed entire journals in letter format for family member or close friends. These writings, as they circulated from hand to hand, helped to solidify culturally significant social networks. This dissertation delves into the markedly performative nature of these writings and asks: even though these women writers, ostensibly, did not intend their texts for public consumption, to what extent did those texts provide public stages on which the women could rehearse, control, inscribe, or elide the fluid, yet often conflicting subject positions of the era? This dissertation examines five specific networks of writing women in eighteenth-century British America. Chapter one focuses on the writings of Elizabeth Fergusson, Annis Stockton, Hannah Griffitts, Milcah Moore, and Susannah Wright, the group of writers known as the "Philadelphia coterie," and uses their letters to establish epistolary patterns that inform my readings of the other networks of women writers—the same patterns that will ultimately influence the earliest epistolary fiction. Chapter two examines the diary of Grace Galloway and the letters of Anne Hulton, two avowedly loyalist women in British America. Chapter three focuses on the life and letters of shopkeeper Elizabeth Murray and her network of women merchants while chapter four examines the letters of the two most historically recognizable women in this study: Abigail Adams and Mercy Otis Warren. The networks of women I address in these chapters span multiple generations, and this multi-generational dynamic leaves a legacy of friendship that can help us better understand and locate the belles lettres of British America. However, the writings generated by these networks also leave a literary legacy that allows us to reconsider other writings in other genres, and it is to that endeavor I turn in the conclusion. The conclusion looks at Hannah Foster's epistolary novels in the context of early-American networks of writing women and uses the women's manuscripts to reposition the early-American novel.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-2527 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation submitted to the Department of English in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Spring Semester, 2007.
Date of Defense: March 30, 2007.
Keywords: Correspondence, Manuscript Cutlure, Epistolarity, Commonplace Books
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Sally Hadden, Outside Committee Member; Leigh Edwards, Committee Member; Karen L. Laughlin, Committee Member.
Subject(s): English literature
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU

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McLallen, W. W. (2007). Affectionately Yours: Women's Correspondence Networks in Eighteenth-Century British America. Retrieved from