Abstract

Abstract:

This article examines the 1790s epistolary novels of radical women writers Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Hays in light of the British post office's rise to power under the Pitt administration. At a time when many writers abandoned letters in fiction because of mail's association with state surveillance, this particular community of radicals innovated a kind of epistolarity in which letters emphasized and exploited their association with the post's political power. Reading these novels in light of the emerging post and its effects on mail as legal evidence, I consider how such changes transformed the epistolary novel even as the genre lost popularity.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1522-9270
Print ISSN
0039-3657
Pages
pp. 625-645
Launched on MUSE
2019-08-22
Open Access
No
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