Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Cultures of proclamation : the decline and fall of the Anglophone news process, 1460-1642
Author: MacCannell, Daniel
ISNI:       0000 0004 2690 6134
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2009
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This is a sustained critique of the historiography of oral, scribal and printed news processes in the English language in the early-modern period.  Focusing on central-government proclamation it suggests that the early-modernist consensus that news media were a sudden invention within the period 1569-1641 is fundamentally flawed. In particular, it refutes the notions 1) that proclamations were always commands, and should be understood as laws; 2) that the Tudors were master communicators whose efforts to ‘speak’ to the entire populations they ruled surpassed those of their Yorkist predecessors, Stuart successors, and foreign contemporaries; 3) that physical communication within, between, to and from Britain and Ireland in the period 1460-1642 was so difficult that the maintenance of any mass medium was tantamount to impossible; 4) that proclamation (and news in general) may be understood largely without reference to the Church; 5) that proclamation practices – especially in terms of geographic range – are impossible to reconstruct; 6) that if these practices were reconstructed, they would show that central-government attempts to inform the subject were intermittent and rare; 7) that the sixteenth century was virtually devoid of serious journalistic activity; and 8) that there was a sudden evolution from ‘bad’ news media to ‘good’ ones, which occurred after 1600. The final chapter argues that proclamation as a news medium continued to dominate the communicative strategies of all parties in the early Civil Wars period (1637-1642).  The collapse of the proclamation system can be traced to strategies of widespread mimicry and iconographic theft.  The emergence of true party newspapers from January 1643, and other important subsequent developments, represent not innovation in a vacuum, but the death throes of proclamation as a system of news distribution and management.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Proclamations ; Oral history ; Great Britain