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The First Resort: Pamphleteering and Politics in Early Modern Britain

31st October 2018 · 7:00pm - 8:30pm

In person | Virtual event

 The First Resort: Pamphleteering and Politics in Early Modern Britain

This talk by Prof Joad Raymond is first in the series Writing Wrongs, curated by Deborah Lavin as part of the Heritage Lottery funded project Victorian Blogging.

Before printing, governments got their message out from the church pulpit. Maverick, alternative ideas were only spread with difficulty by word of mouth. There were riots when times were bad, but no real organisation to challenge power. Printing changed that, as suddenly dreamers of a better world could communicate to wide audiences through pamphleteering.

In this talk, Prof Joad Raymond charts the rise of the pamphlet as a material, commercial and literary form, used to convey news and argument and to influence politics. The main focus is on the turbulent mid-seventeenth century, but the talk also looks back to the pamphleteering of the Reformation and forwards to the revolutionary (and reactionary) late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries. Joad argues that the pamphlet was central to the idea of publics and publicity, and was the first resort at times of political crisis.

Prof Joad Raymond was born and grew up in Cardiff, and studied at the University of East Anglia and Oxford University. Having taught at Oxford, Aberdeen, and the University of East Anglia, he is now Professor of Renaissance Studies at Queen Mary University of London. His various books on history and print culture include The Invention of the Newspaper: English Newsbooks, 1641–1649Pamphlets and Pamphleteering in Early Modern Britain and Milton’s Angels: the Early-Modern Imagination. He has edited various books including The Oxford History of Popular Print Culture, vol. 1: Cheap Print in Britain and Ireland to 1660 and News Networks in Early Modern Europe. He has recently edited Milton’s Latin Defences for the Oxford Complete Works of John Milton, and is presently writing a history of news communication in early modern Europe for Penguin Books. He is also recording a series of songs about prophets and visionaries of the seventeenth century with the musician Darren Hayman.

Heritage Lottery funded project

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