`P.S.': The dangerous logic of the postscript in eighteenth century literature

Richard Terry

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Abstract

This article examines postscripts both as a feature of eighteenth-century letters and as a literary device. Although postscripts could be used for entirely banal purposes such as sending regards or expressing thanks for a gift, their fictional usage was governed by a more specialized set of conventions.. e main contention of this article is that the temporal lag between a letter and its postscript allowed novelists such as Richardson to explore new ways of manipulating narrative time. Henry Fielding's spoof novella Shamela, with its numerous postscripts, can be seen as an ironic reflection on that aspect of Richardson's novelistic practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-53
JournalModern Language Review
Volume109
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014

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