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date: 20 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article discusses news writing in the early modern period. News was disseminated by oral exchange, writing, and printing; the latter, which has generally been taken as the central focus in histories of news, growing out of the former two, but shaping them in turn. All three were interdependent. But in symbolic terms printed news acquired a particular force, and it was to prove, in a later period, a powerful component in the shaping of democracy. As it acquired social and political influence it developed a prominence in literary culture — symbolizing commerce, mendacity, addictiveness, the shape of time, the power of communication. Yet it also influenced the writing of history, as a way of thinking about evidence and testimony.

Keywords: news pamphlets, news books, English prose, prose writing, printed news

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