Stephen Bardle

in The Literary Underground in the 1660s

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199660858
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191749001 | DOI:

Series: Oxford English Monographs


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This chapter provides an introduction to the Restoration literary underground. It outlines how the trade survived harsh conditions of censorship and government regulation by deploying a number of protective strategies like shared printing. By isolating a substantial body of the nation, especially Presbyterian and Independents, the passing of a narrow religious settlement increased public demand for satire and oppositional polemics. It is argued that this demand was met and intensified by the literary underground through coordinated publishing campaigns. The use of Habermas's public-sphere theory as an analytical methodology is justified with reference to recent revisions to the theory by Steve Pincus and Peter Lake, who incorporate religion as a driving factor behind what they term the ‘post-Revolutionary public sphere’.

Keywords: public sphere; literary underground; methodology; Habermas; censorship; satire

Chapter.  4946 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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