This book has brought to the fore some of the complexities and the beauties of the culture of letter-writing in the pre-modern Islamic period, and in focusing on the account of the secretary and his craft, has provided the reader with a narrative which evokes something of the literary, cultural and historical environment of that period. What was originally conceived as an idea to conduct a stylistic analysis of Arabic epistolary prose soon developed into an exploration of writerly culture in the 5th to 9th/11th to 15th centuries. This study has shown that literary culture surrounding epistolary prose evolved at a point in history of great intellectual vibrancy, and has also shown the nature of Arabic epistolary writing, which is dynamic. While the epistolary protocol of letter-writing was set out early in the life of Islamic society, the profile of the secretary and the function of epistolary communication changed and developed following the expansion of the Islamic world.
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