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Please note that this session has been postponed.



This paper draws on thousands of familiar letters written between c1680-1820, by men and women from a broadly defined middling sort, a range of religious communities and different locations across Britain. Exchanged between family and friends, these letters contain a wealth of regular and detailed information about bodily experiences, all created and exchanged within a context of dynamic social relations. The paper introduces preliminary findings from an ongoing Leverhulme project that examines what these letters tell us about experiences of the body and their epistolary and social context. The project combines a range of historical and literary methods with those from digital humanities, and the paper will discuss the findings – and challenges – generated by these. The paper explores new ways of understanding the experiences of eighteenth-century bodies and their role in making both personal and corporate identities.

This seminar is held in conjunction with the Queen Mary Centre for Eighteenth-Century Studies