Once nearly as ubiquitous as dictionaries and cookbooks are today, letter-writing manuals and their predecessors served to instruct individuals not only on the art of letter composition but also, in effect, on personal conduct. Poster and Mitchell contend that the study of letter-writing theory, which bridges rhetorical theory and grammatical studies, represents an emerging discipline in need of definition. In this volume, they gather the contributions of eleven experts to sketch the contours of epistolary theory and collect the historic and bibliographic materials - from Isocrates to email - that form the basis for its study.
Carol Poster is an associate professor of English at York University in Toronto. Poster has won the 2003 Kneupper Award for best article in Rhetoric Society Quarterly and the 1997 Gildersleeve Prize for best article in American Journal of Philology. Linda C. Mitchell, a professor of English at San Jose State University, is the author of Grammar Wars: Language as Cultural Battleground in Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century England and coeditor of Studies in the Cultural History of Letter Writing.