Bottling Niagara

Christopher Reid

in Imprison'd Wranglers

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199581092
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745621 | DOI:
Bottling Niagara

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This chapter looks closely at the work of parliamentary reporters at a time when reporting practices were unusually fluid and diverse. Questioning the conventional distinction between the inventiveness of the speaker on the floor and the drudgery of the reporter, who relied on memory alone, it argues that speakers and reporters employed a continuum of skills. Beginning with an examination of the methods used by eighteenth-century MPs who kept parliamentary diaries, the chapter examines the editorial conventions that shape a variety of printed reports, including newspapers, collections of debates, and speeches published in pamphlet form, and considers the different reading experiences these forms offered. The chapter asks what reliability meant in an eighteenth-century context, and what sort of fidelity to the rhetorical event reporters with different responsibilities and ambitions claimed for their work.

Keywords: parliamentary reporting; invention; memory; reliability; print; rhetorical event

Chapter.  11718 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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