The Restoration Newspaper and its Development by James Sutherland

By James Sutherland

This publication is a big survey of the English newspaper and how it built from 1660 to the early eighteenth century, a very important interval in its lengthy heritage. Professor Sutherland's method is finished and issues lined comprise: the management of newspapers, their resources of data, the reliability of reporting, the contributions of nation and international correspondents, and the level to which papers have been in a position to print political information and show political beliefs in a interval of presidency repression. a last bankruptcy presents an account of the chaotic and infrequently harmful lives of newspaper women and men. The emphasis all through falls on how a lot used to be really completed in tricky conditions, and the way frequently glossy advancements have been expected. it will be an invaluable paintings of reference for students of 17th- and eighteenth-century literature, in addition to for political and social historians.

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In England, the Gazette carried, on 22 October, a second royal proclamation announcing the great preparations being made 'to Invade and Conquer this our Kingdom', and ordering all horses, oxen and cattle 'which may be fit for Burthen or Draught . . to be driven and removed by the space of at least twenty Miles from the place where the Enemy shall Attempt to Land'. This was followed one week later by 'A Proclamation to Restrain the Spreading of FALSE NEWS', by writing, printing or other publication.

But when the Post-Boy first appeared on 14 May 1695 the news was confined to the front page, and the verso was blank. No. 2 has one short advertisement (for a book) after the news, and again the verso is blank. With No. 6 the news at last spills over to page 2; but Nos. 7 and 8 are again one-page issues. No. 9 manages to fill half the second page with more home news than usual; No. 10 just reaches page 2, again by increasing home news; No. 11, with no foreign news at all, but with three advertisements, is back to a single page.

Sometimes restrictions were imposed, not directly by the government, but by local magistrates, perhaps acting under instruction. In his Commentator (No. 20, 1720) Defoe tells how he visited Rochester, called for the newspapers at his inn, and found that it had nothing to offer but the Post Man and the St. James's Evening Post. The landlord explained what had happened: Why really, Sir, we had Mist's Journal here and Dormer's Letter; but they did so much Mischief among the Seamen and Tradesfolks, that our Magistrates and the Justices of the Peace have forbid the Publick-Houses taking them in, and have given me a particular Charge about it as Post-Master.

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