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Becoming a Woman in the Age of Letters
Author: Dena Goodman

ISBN: 9780801475450
Format: Paperback
Number Of Pages: 408
Published: 16 April 2009
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 25.4 x 17.8 x 0.5
Over the course of the eighteenth century in France, increasing numbers of women, from the wives and daughters of artisans and merchants to countesses and queens, became writers - not authors, and not mere signers of names, but writers of letters. Taking as her inspiration a portrait of an unknown woman writing a letter to her children by French painter Ad??la??de Labille-Guiard, Dena Goodman challenges the deep-seated association of women with love letters and proposes a counternarrative of young women struggling with the challenges of the modern world through the mediation of writing. In Becoming a Woman in the Age of Letters, Goodman enters the lives and world of these women, drawing on their letters, the cultural history of language and education, and the material culture of letter writing itself: inkstands, desks, and writing paper. Goodman follows the lives of elite women from childhood through their education in traditional convents and modern private schools and into the shops and interior spaces in which epistolary furnishings and furniture were made for, sold to, and used by women who took pen in hand. Stationers set up fashionable shops, merchant...

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