Conduct Book (2396 words)

Historical Context Essay

Jennie Batchelor (University of Kent at Canterbury)
Download PDF Save to Bookshelf Tweet Report an Error


Other Resources

Originating in medieval courtesy literature, and recently re-branded in the self-help manual, the conduct book has proved one of the most enduring literary forms. For at least five centuries conduct books have appeared in the form of sermons, devotional writings, familiar letters, chapbooks and instruction manuals offering advice on mores and manners, spiritual guidance and practical information on state and household duties. Recent critical attention has focussed particularly upon the sizeable body of conduct literature for women (often for women of the middle or upper classes), but in fact advice manuals have also been directed at men and children, as well as governesses and servants. This vast (and often doggedly predictable) body of …

Citation: Batchelor, Jennie. "Conduct Book". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 July 2004 [, accessed 04 December 2022.]

216 Conduct Book 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.