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Authors of Their Lives: The Personal Correspondence of British Immigrants to North America in the Nineteenth Century
     

Authors of Their Lives: The Personal Correspondence of British Immigrants to North America in the Nineteenth Century

by David A. Gerber, Ian Schott
 

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ISBN-10: 0814732003

ISBN-13: 9780814732007

Pub. Date: 07/01/2008

Publisher: New York University Press

Scholars have long used immigrant letters as a lens to examine the experiences of immigrant groups and the communities they build in their new homelands. Yet immigrants as individual letter writers have not received significant attention; rather, their letters are often used to add color to narratives informed by other types of sources.

In contrast, Authors of Their

Overview

Scholars have long used immigrant letters as a lens to examine the experiences of immigrant groups and the communities they build in their new homelands. Yet immigrants as individual letter writers have not received significant attention; rather, their letters are often used to add color to narratives informed by other types of sources.

In contrast, Authors of Their Lives analyzes the cycle of correspondence between immigrants and their homelands, paying particular attention to the role played by letters in reformulating relationships made vulnerable by separation. David A. Gerber reveals how ordinary artisans, farmers, factory workers, and housewives engaged in correspondence that lasted for years and addressed subjects of the most profound emotional and practical significance.

About the Author:
David A. Gerber is Professor of History at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780814732007
Publisher:
New York University Press
Publication date:
07/01/2008
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
422
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     ix
Introduction: Letters and Immigrants     1
Immigrant Epistolarity
Introduction     31
Traditions of Inquiry     33
Forming Selves in Letters     57
Writing with a Purpose: Immigrant Epistolarity and the Culture of Emigration     92
Using Postal Systems: Transnational Networks on the Edge of Modernity     140
Establishing Voice, Theme, and Rhythm     162
When Correspondence Wanes     201
Four Lives in Letters
Introduction     227
Thomas Spencer Niblock: A Dialogue of Respectability and Failure     230
Catherine Grayston Bond: Letter-Writing as the Practice of Existential Accounting     257
Mary Ann Wodrow Archbald: Longing for Her "Little Isle" from a Farm in Central New York     281
Dr. Thomas Steel: The Difficulties of Achieving the Reunited Family     309
Abbreviations for Archives and Repositories Consulted     337
Notes     339
Collections of Letters Consulted     399
Index     403
About the Author     422

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