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Paston Letters

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 Fastolf. 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.

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"Paston Letters." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 27 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Paston Letters." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (June 27, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/paston-letters

"Paston Letters." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved June 27, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/paston-letters

Paston letters

Paston letters. Private correspondence (15th–17th cents.) of a Norfolk family, that of the 15th cent. in particular providing significant insights into the social history of the pre-Reformation period. Not only a family saga (Margery's clandestine marriage to their estate manager in 1469 caused consternation), business affairs, property matters, and associated litigation trace the progress of ‘new’ gentry, despite some archival fragmentation. Although property was confined mainly to East Anglia, their interests were far from parochial, so accounts of national events leaven those of regional politics and matrimonial negotiations, all reflecting social attitudes, culture, and the state of the English language.

A. S. Hargreaves

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"Paston letters." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. 27 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Paston letters." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. (June 27, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/paston-letters

"Paston letters." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved June 27, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/paston-letters