News, Pamphlets, and Public Opinion

Jason Peacey

in The Oxford Handbook of Literature and the English Revolution

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199560608
Published online January 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

News, Pamphlets, and Public Opinion

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  • Literature
  • Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)



This article reviews studies relating to pamphlets and newspapers during the Civil Wars. It outlines why such material has proved fascinating and contentious, and what scholars have made of it, in terms of the genres which emerged and the people who produced them. It also addresses claims about the emergence of a ‘public sphere’ and of ‘public opinion’, by analysing the ‘dynamic’ of print during the 1640s, in terms of how it was used and exploited, the forces which affected its production, and the ways in which it was perceived and consumed. By examining issues such as censorship and propaganda, authorship and journalism, reading and consumption, it highlights emerging trends within the field, and new avenues of enquiry, and it suggests that the importance of newspapers and pamphlets lay in how they affected political practices and the shape of the political nation.

Keywords: newspapers; Civil War; public sphere; print culture; censorship; propaganda; authorship; journalism; political practices

Article.  8129 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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