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Title: English personal letters and private diaries of 1640-1680 : a study of the general mental attitude of the period as illustrated by individual types, together with a brief examination of the colloquial language of the time
Author: Williamson, Margaret T.
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 1929
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The aim of this study is to re-create the mental attitude of men and women living in the period 1640-80. The record has been built up from close scrutiny of the personal writings of individuals representative, so far as the materials allow of different ranks of society and different schools of thought. The method has been to gather from the Letters and Diaries the general mental qualities of the age, to group these under three headings, Intellectual, Moral and Emotional, and to devote a chapter to a discussion of each group, with copious illustration from the sources. The attitude thus depicted is mainly that of ordinary people, not of specialists in religion, politics or science, and where evidence is drawn from the writings of the latter class, it is in what may be termed their human rather than their professional aspect. The discussion involves a consideration of the effect of seventeenth century civil troubles on the individual or national mind. In the Introduction an attempt is made to show that until the Great War England has suffered no strain equal in intensity to that of the seventeenth century and detailed consideration of the mental outlook of the period 1640-80 suggests a theory of a special psychological relationship between this period and the twentieth century. Each chapter concludes with an exploration of this theory and an examination of typical twentieth century features which illustrate the analogy. The fourth chapter deals briefly with linguistic details which attracted attention during the course of the study, including a comparison of the colloquial and literary language of the time, a summary of interesting features of phraseology and spelling and a few points supplementary to the data of the New English Dictionary.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: English Literature