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Travelling Chronicles: News and Newspapers from the Early Modern Period to the Eighteenth Century

Travelling Chronicles: News and Newspapers from the Early Modern Period to the Eighteenth Century

Siv Gøril Brandtzæg
Paul Goring
Christine Watson
Series edited by Andrew Pettegree
Volume: 66
Copyright Date: 2018
Published by: Brill
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  • Book Info
    Travelling Chronicles: News and Newspapers from the Early Modern Period to the Eighteenth Century
    Book Description:

    Travelling Chronicles presents fourteen episodes in the history of news and newspapers, from the early modern period to the eighteenth century, written by some of the leading scholars in the rapidly developing fields of news studies.

    eISBN: 978-90-04-36287-1
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

  1. Acknowledgements
    (pp. IX-X)
    Siv Gøril Brandtzag, Paul Goring and Christine Watson
  2. PART 1: Introduction

    • A Network of Networks: Spreading the News in an Expanding World of Information
      (pp. 3-24)
      Paul Goring

      News has become such a familiar and everyday element of modern societies that the complexity of the systems which lie behind news and which produce it rarely attract more than passing reflection. News is experienced literally every day; it has become ‘the news’ – the phenomenon has become a definitive presence and normalised as a basic fact of existence. The forms through which we consume the news may change, and we quickly adjust to the periodical and ongoing alterations in the ways in which news is mediated: the Nine O’Clock News becomes the Ten O’Clock News, newspaper titles come and...

  3. PART 2: Exordium

    • CHAPTER 1 Truth and Trust and the Eighteenth-Century Anglophone Newspaper
      (pp. 27-48)
      William B. Warner

      Newspapers carry accounts of events that have happened, but which are not yet known to the reader. How did the early readers of the newspaper come to trust these accounts as true? We can open some of the complexity of that question by noting that there are at least five constituents for the news: novelty, mediation, spatial transport, temporal lag, and truthfulness. News draws on two senses of novelty. News is novel because it is newly known. Although it can include the banal, the routine and the everyday, the most compelling news is ‘novel’ in another sense: rare, surprising and...

  4. PART 3: Archival Limits

    • CHAPTER 2 Searching for Dr. Johnson: The Digitisation of the Burney Newspaper Collection
      (pp. 51-71)
      Andrew Prescott

      As you enter the Rare Books and Music Reading Room of the British Library, the bookshelves on your left-hand side are full of boxes of microfilm which few readers ever touch. These are the microfilms of the Burney Collection of newspapers which twenty five years ago were one of the most frequently used microfilm sets in the British Library. The microfilms are no longer much used because of the release in late 2007 by Gale Cengage Learning in partnership with the British Library of a searchable database of the Burney Newspapers which provides more convenient access to the collection both...

    • CHAPTER 3 Spreading the News within the Clerical Profession: Newspapers and the Church in the North of England, 1660–1760
      (pp. 72-92)
      Daniel Reed

      In 1748, Montesquieu observed that the British knew better “than any other people upon earth how to value [the] three great advantages, religion, commerce, and liberty”.¹ The provincial newspapers that appeared in Britain from the first decade of the eighteenth century strongly reflected a society in which these strands of life were tightly intertwined. As Jonathan Clark describes, in this period the Church often acted as the ubiquitous agent of the State, “quartering the land not into a few hundred constituencies but into ten thousand parishes”.² In many respects, the early provincial newspapers that served this national mosaic of parochial...

  5. PART 4: Manuscript, Print, Word of Mouth

    • CHAPTER 4 All the News that’s Fit to Write: The Eighteenth-Century Manuscript Newsletter
      (pp. 95-118)
      Rachael Scarborough King

      In 1717, Sir Richard Steele sent a letter from London to his wife, Mary Scurlock Steele, at her family estate in Wales to update her on the talk of the town. “I do not write news to you because I have ordered the letter from the Secretarys office to be sent to you constantly”, he noted in a postscript to his letter.¹ Steele was a former editor of the London Gazette, the official state newspaper produced by the Secretary of State’s office, and by 1717 a famous periodicalist as the collaborator with Joseph Addison on the Tatler, Spectator, and Guardian....

    • CHAPTER 5 Christoff Koch (1637–1711): Sweden’s Man in Moscow
      (pp. 119-139)
      Heiko Droste and Ingrid Maier

      During the seventeenth century, diplomatic relations constituted for the most part elaborated news services, run by news experts. These news experts relied both on their international networks as well as their local expertise in collecting and distributing news. In the case of Sweden, about half of these experts had their backgrounds in wealthy merchant families.¹ These news services were complemented, when necessary, by official embassies, carried out by members of the higher nobility. A great deal of our knowledge about seventeenth-century politics and culture is owed to their reports, which have only begun to be investigated with the rigour they...

    • CHAPTER 6 What the Posol’skii prikaz Really Knew: Intelligencers, Secret Agents and Their Reports
      (pp. 140-156)
      Daniel C. Waugh

      The first part of this essay’s title is a reference to two earlier publications about the knowledge level of the Muscovite Posol’skii prikaz, the ambassadorial office (diplomatic chancery). One is Knud Rasmussen’s article about its information level in the sixteenth century, and the other Mikhail Alpatov’s essay on the same subject focusing on the seventeenth century.¹ Rasmussen and Alpatov reached rather different conclusions. Relying mainly on the instructions to Muscovite ambassadors, Rasmussen showed that, to a considerable degree, the Kremlin was out of touch with current events in Europe. Alpatov, on the other hand, citing the reports (stateinye spiski) written...

  6. PART 5: Foreign Reporting

    • CHAPTER 7 News of Travels, Travelling News: The Mediation of Travel and Exploration in the Gazette de France and the Journal de l’Empire
      (pp. 159-180)
      Marius Warholm Haugen

      The study of an eighteenth-century gazette or an early nineteenth-century French newspaper quickly reveals that the terms ‘voyage’ (‘travel’) and ‘voyager’ (‘to travel’) appear regularly. The news bulletins that constitute a central element of these publications are filled with information about the movements of royals, diplomats and other ‘celebrities’.¹ News from long-distance voyages and expeditions, in the shape of letters from or about travellers, provided the press with intriguing and ‘exotic’ material. Non-fiction travel writing also had a place in the press, notably through reviews and book advertisements. Primarily preoccupied with the transmission of events happening outside of the community...

    • CHAPTER 8 Foreign News Reporting in Transition: James Perry and the French Constitution Ceremony
      (pp. 181-202)
      Johanne Kristiansen

      In the last decade of the eighteenth century, there was a shift in the practice of how British newspapers gathered news from abroad. The traditional method for acquiring such news had primarily taken the form of copying from official documents, from foreign newspapers, or from the foreign news reports printed in rival British newspapers. This copying was in some cases supplemented by short news bulletins provided by news writers based in certain European capitals, and by occasional letters from part-time correspondents stationed abroad, typically soldiers, merchants and travellers.¹ However, neither the news bulletin writers nor the occasional correspondents were hired...

    • CHAPTER 9 Diplomatic Channels and Chinese Whispers: Reception and Transformation of the Moscow Uprising of 1648 in Sweden and France
      (pp. 203-230)
      Malte Griesse

      The Moscow uprising of 1648 took place almost simultaneously with innumerable other large-scale revolts throughout Europe and civil wars further afield. Contemporaries were well aware of this wider, simultaneous social upheaval and they drew parallels between events in countries with diverging political orders. They sought explanations of these phenomena, which they often attributed to common causes. Adler Salvius, one of the Swedish diplomats at the Westphalian Peace Congress, wrote:

      It seems to be a great miracle that in the whole world people talk about revolts of the people against their sovereigns, for instance in France, Germany, Poland, Muscovy, Turkey …...

  7. PART 6: Advertising

    • CHAPTER 10 From Piety to Profit: The Development of Newspaper Advertising in the Dutch Golden Age
      (pp. 233-253)
      Arthur der Weduwen

      Johann Hermann Knoop (1706–1769), a gardener at the court of the Frisian Stadhouder, was a bestselling author of guidebooks on horticulture, mathematics and astrology.¹ His weakness was drink, and he spiralled into poverty by 1758.² Abraham Ferwerda (1716–1783), the first newspaper proprietor in the Frisian capital, Leeuwarden, came to his rescue. In order to boost the readership of his bi-weekly Leeuwarder Courant (1752–), Ferwerda made use of Knoop’s expertise as a handbook-writer. He employed Knoop to write a short tract: the Kort Onderwys, hoedanig men de Couranten best lezen en gebruiken kan (Brief education, on how one...

    • CHAPTER 11 Mercury as Merchant: The Advertisement of Novels in Eighteenth-Century Provincial English Newspapers
      (pp. 254-276)
      Siv Gøril Brandtzæg

      The advertisement of Phebe; or, Distressed Innocence in the Chelmsford Chronicle is a small notice of a now forgotten novel in a provincial newspaper that no longer exists (see Figure 11.1). But despite this obscurity, this promotional text can prompt a number of queries: why was a newspaper such as the Chelmsford Chronicle interested in including an advertisement for a novel? How did this novel travel from its place of origin, London, and end up advertised in the Chelmsford Chronicle? Who was W. Clacher, the bookseller listed in this advertisement, and how did he go about distributing the novel to...

  8. PART 7: Control

    • CHAPTER 12 Establishing a State-Controlled Network for News Trading in the Swedish Baltic Provinces in the Late Seventeenth Century: Causes and Consequences
      (pp. 279-298)
      Kaarel Vanamölder

      The beginning of printed periodicals in Estonia and Latvia dates back to the last quarter of the seventeenth century when the majority of the territories of the present Baltic States were part of the Swedish kingdom. For historical reasons, German culture and language dominated in the Livonian, Estonian and Ingerian provinces. The first periodical newspapers printed in the provincial centres – Riga, Tallinn and Narva – were also published in German and they have been rightfully dealt with in the wider context of the early modern German press. Their layout and contents did not differ from the other newspapers of...

    • CHAPTER 13 News versus Opinion: The State, the Press, and the Northern Enlightenment
      (pp. 299-318)
      Ellen Krefting

      The absolutist kingdom of Denmark-Norway may have been situated on the geographical as well as the cultural outskirts of eighteenth-century Europe, but this twin kingdom nonetheless took part in the transformation and expansion of news transmission at the beginning of the Enlightenment period. Handwritten newsletters, printed broadsheets, pamphlets and ballads began circulating early in the seventeenth century. Networks of postal routes were connected directly and regularly to several European networks through Hamburg, a centre for the dissemination of news about Europe and beyond. These networks made possible the first newspapers regularly printed in Copenhagen, which were published from the 1660s...

  9. PART 8: Endpiece

    • CHAPTER 14 Was there an Enlightenment Culture of News?
      (pp. 321-342)
      Andrew Pettegree

      Friday 28 November 1721 was to be a busy news day in Paris, for now, at last, the notorious thief Cartouche was to be put to death. Cartouche was the Parisian equivalent of London’s Jonathan Wild, the leader of a notorious criminal gang. Now, along with several hundred of his confederates, he had been arrested, and after several weeks of interrogation and trial he was to die. Paris had been consumed by all things Cartouche for several months, including an opportunistic musical comedy, Cartouche: the Thieves. The enterprising players had made their way into the prison to interview the gangmaster,...