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date: 19 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The system of pre-publication censorship laid down in 1662 finally collapsed when the Printing Act expired in 1695. Yet even in the interim censorship rarely took the form of a direct confrontation between a writer and the state. In practice, the authorities simply lacked the means to police a regime of censorship of the kind now associated with the impersonal agency of the state. More representative of the way in which the Stuarts managed the press is the career of George Larkin (c.1642–1707), a printer, bookseller, and author overlooked in standard accounts of the London literary underground. This chapter provides a case study of Larkin against the background of these legislative developments.

Keywords: censorship, seditious libel, treason, printing, literary underground, informers, search warrants, dissenters, prison

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