Full Text



Subject Literature » Renaissance Literature

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405194495.2012.x


Renaissance England avidly consumed news. From the bawdy ballads about the sexual peccadillos of senior government ministers to the printed newspapers of the 1620s that drily reported on the Thirty Years' War, news reached everywhere from the village square and raucous alehouse to the parlours of aristocratic houses. But the articulation and transmission of news in England was closely watched by the government. Writing about current events could be a dangerous pastime, and there was strict state control of the output of the printing press. Except in the cases of moralizing tales of repentant criminals or strange occurrences in the countryside, the printing of domestic news was banned in England. Somewhere between the extremes of gossip and, after 1620, newspaper war reports sat (somewhat awkwardly at times) the manuscript newsletter. The term ‘newsletter’ is not without problems of definition. As Ian Atherton (1999) has argued, it is not possible to delineate clearly the difference between a pure newsletter and what Richard Cust (1986) called an ‘unformalized newsletter’, which carried items of personal information as well as the news. Virtually all newsletters were personalized to some degree, and thus the definition remains somewhat opaque. But what is clear is that manuscript news became more formalized in the Renaissance, and this manifested itself in the increasing desire ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:


     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.

[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top