Rumours of Revolt: Civil War and the Emergence of a Transnational News Culture in France and the Netherlands, 1561–1598

Rosanne M. Baars @RosanneBaars ‘Never was there a time more suited for the dissemination of rumours. After all, people mostly follow their emotions; they forge and shape news reports as they like to favour their own party, by adding something, leaving fragments out, even by inventing news reports and re-creating them from their own imagination. … Continued

Artisan-authors at the early modern Tower Mint

Jasmine Kilburn-Toppin, Cardiff University Kilburn-ToppinJ@cardiff.ac.uk There are few heritage sites as iconic as the Tower of London. For most twenty-first century Londoners and tourists, the Tower is associated with famous prisoners, grisly executions, and the Crown Jewels. To the early modern mind, the Tower had a more varied range of associations. As well as being … Continued

Connecting centre and locality: Political communication in early modern England

Prof. Chris R. Kyle, Syracuse University & Prof. Jason Peacey, UCL (Editors) chkyle@maxwell.syr.edu j.peacey@ucl.ac.uk Historiography on early modern Britain arguably suffers from two related problems: the divergent approaches of social and political historians; and an inadequate conceptualization of the distinction between – and relationship between – ‘centre’ and ‘locality’. In this situation, there is a … Continued

‘Some choice directions’: Early modern suicide advice literature

Imogen Knox, University of Warwick @Imogen_Knox Society has long been troubled by the prevalence of suicide, with concerns around mental health rising through the COVID-19 pandemic. Late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century England similarly believed itself to be facing the ‘prodigious frequency’ of ‘diabolical transports of despair, and self-murther’. The devil reaped ‘a plentiful (but most … Continued

Sympathy for the Robber: Stories of Crime in Early Modern England

Dr Lena Liapi, Keele University e.liapi@keele.ac.uk @LenaLiapi While doing research for my book on rogue pamphlets (narratives of criminals in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries), I came upon the case of James Turner. As a solicitor who had defrauded many of his clients, Turner was an unlikeable character. Even more egregiously, he betrayed a friend’s … Continued

‘All her copies’: The will of Anne Boler as evidence for her career as a Stationer

Joseph Saunders, University of Glasgow j.saunders.1@research.gla.ac.uk @joe_saunders1  This blog was commended in the 2020 SHS Postgraduate Prize. In her will of 1638 Anne, widow of James Boler bequeathed her husband’s estate to her children with ‘such increases and improvements’ as she had made. James had been a bookseller and member of the Company of Stationers, … Continued

On the historical value of ‘bumfodder’ – Loyalty, Memory and Public Opinion in England, 1658-1727

Ted Vallance, University of Roehampton Edward.Vallance@roehampton.ac.uk In a rather pungent outburst, the earl of Lauderdale once told Charles II that loyal addresses were ‘fit for nothing but to wipe his Royal A…’ Until recently, historical opinion on the value of these texts has been no less severe: J. T. Rutt, the editor of Thomas Burton’s … Continued

A good send-off in the strange new world of Covid-19

Dr Helen Frisby, independent historian Helen.Frisby@uwe.ac.uk Just over twelve months ago, fuelled by coffee, toasted bagels and an impending deadline, I noted in the concluding chapter of my book Traditions of Death and Burial how, over the past millennium: The ideal (if not always the practice) of a ‘good’ death nonetheless has remained remarkably consistent … Continued

Singing the News: Ballads in Mid-Tudor England

Dr Jenni Hyde, Lancaster University j.hyde2@lancaster.ac.uk I came to history through music.  As a child, I loved folk songs, both traditional and contemporary, about the past.  I still do.  So you can imagine my delight when I found a set of ballads, or popular songs, on the downfall of Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII’s right-hand man … Continued