Paston Letters

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Paston Letters,

collection of personal and business correspondence, mostly among members of the Paston family of Norfolk, England. The letters cover the years from 1422 to 1529, together with deeds and other documents. The family was at that time actively acquiring land and properties in the area, some of it by questionable means, including the estates of Sir John FastolfFastolf, Sir John
, 1378?–1459, English soldier. He won distinction for his long service in the latter part of the Hundred Years War. He was knighted some time prior to 1418 for service at Agincourt (1415) and in other engagements, acted as governor of Anjou and Maine
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. The collection forms an indispensable source for the history, manners, morals, habits, customs, and moneys of the people of England at the close of the Middle Ages. A portion of the letters was published by James Fenn in 1787 and 1789, but the original manuscripts disappeared and doubt of their authenticity grew. However, they were rediscovered after 1865, with additional material. A definitive edition was edited by James Gairdner (1904), and a volume of selections edited with an introduction by Norman Davis was published in 1958.
References in periodicals archive ?
Possibly, that conservatism can be justified by the high social status of the Paston family.
Blood & Roses: The Paston Family in the Fifteenth Century.
While scholars agree that Margaret Paston's letters display a woman of considerable influence and consequence in the Paston family, less attention has been directed to the language of Margaret Paston's letters to determine how her linguistic and rhetorical choices contribute to this impression of her.
Taking this social dynamic into consideration, this essay examines the practice of quotation to illustrate its presence not only as a function of Margaret's subordinate reporting role and the social constraints upon her but also as an important rhetorical strategy instrumental in her self-fashioning as an administrative authority on household and estate matters and as an influential social agent, acting as mediator and ambassador for the Paston family and its interests.
Undoubtedly, it was this perceived absence that prompted Virginia Woolf to comment, upon reading the Paston family letters, that "Mrs.
This was the home of Sir John Fastolf, the original of Shakespeare's Falstaff, and later of the Paston family, whose intimate letters can bring the 15th century alive in a most remarkable way.
Many places and topographical features in the locality of Holkham are mentioned, and numerous holders of adjacent lands identified, either corporately, such as the Bishop of Norwich, the Prior of Walsingham, and the Abbot of Dereham, or personally, such as Sir William Calthorp, otherwise known as an associate of the Paston family.
Richmond, The Paston Family in the Fifteenth Century: The First Phase (Cambridge, 1990), pp.
For instance, after noting that among the fifteenth-century Paston family documents there are references to retellings of the Guy legends, Richmond remarks, "The Paston Letters are a detailed and vivid social history that explains much about the legend's appeal" (p.