Writing Edwardian postcards

Gillen, Julia (2013) Writing Edwardian postcards. Journal of Sociolinguistics, 17 (4). pp. 488-521. ISSN 1360-6441

[thumbnail of Writing Edwardian Postcards post-print]
PDF (Writing Edwardian Postcards post-print)
Writing_Edwardian_Postcards_post_print.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (794kB)


The Picture Postcard was an extraordinarily popular innovation at the beginning of the twentieth century in Europe, enabling writers to send brief, multimodal messages through a cheap communications channel, in a ‘culture of speed’ (Keep 2001). With several deliveries a day, this could be experienced as closer to the synchronicity of the digital communications than vernacular written communications in the intervening period. I examine the writing of ten British Edwardian picture postcards from a collection of three thousand. Analysis of the writing, writtenness and multimodality (Lillis and McKinney this volume) of the postcards is combined with historical investigations of public records. Through this innovative approach to the construction of text histories, I demonstrate the value of applying the ethnographic sensibility of Literacy Studies to these communications that accomplished diverse and rich purposes and explore connections with claims made about contemporary digital practices.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Sociolinguistics
Additional Information:
This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Gillen. J. (2013) Writing Edwardian Postcards. Journal of Sociolinguistics 17 (4) 488-521, which has been published in final form at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/josl.12045/abstract. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? literacy practiceswritingmultimodalityearly twentieth centurypostcardslanguage and linguisticshistory and philosophy of sciencephilosophylinguistics and languagesociology and political science ??
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
08 Jul 2013 11:55
Last Modified:
03 Mar 2024 01:11