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Introduction Abstract

A review of new archival evidence for Behn’s marriage and genteel status opens the discussion. The Digital Corpus section describes and delimits the texts that constitute Behn’s literary corpus and therefore structure the arguments made from the data. The plain-text files are traced back through multiple mediations to the first edition publications of the works in the Restoration. The history of relevant quantitative criticism is summarized for comparison, and the distinctions between linguistics and literary criticism are highlighted. The tools of concordance software and digital spreadsheets are described and assumptions explained, in particular how concordances can benefit literary criticism by providing a fuller scope of evidence for literary analysis. The signature methodology of synchronic reading is explained as an iterative process of reading vertically stacked examples of key words in context to discern how Behn uses her words across her corpus. The use of a self-made General Language Reference from the period for comparative purposes is detailed. Introducing history of emotions research, the historical context for love is outlined, and the introduction closes with a chapter breakdown.

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Intro csv files.zip (153 kB)
Concordance data for introduction.