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The construction of the credible: Epistolary transformations and the origins of the business letter


  • Ingrid Jeacle
  • Tom Brown


The letter is the formal mechanism for communication in the business community. Even contemporary advances in electronic mail have not yet displaced the legitimacy invested in this form of correspondence. However, its very functionality has detached it from the fabric of its social history. This history locates its roots in early letter writing manuals and reveals an epistolary transition from fawning flattery to professional neutrality. The paper examines the history of this particular transformation and suggests its lasting influence in constructing notions of credibility around the contemporary business letter.

Suggested Citation

  • Ingrid Jeacle & Tom Brown, 2006. "The construction of the credible: Epistolary transformations and the origins of the business letter," Accounting History Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(1), pages 27-43.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:acbsfi:v:16:y:2006:i:1:p:27-43 DOI: 10.1080/09585200500505540

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jeffrey R. Brown, 2014. "Introduction," Tax Policy and the Economy, University of Chicago Press, pages 1-1.
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