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Title: The French government and the policing of the extra-territorial print trade, 1770-1789
Author: Seaward, Louise
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis argues that censorship in eighteenth-century France was highly focused and could be remarkably successful. It considers the way in which the French government attempted to impose its will on authors, journalists and publishers who operated outside France in the years 1770 to 1789. By examining the way French and foreign officials worked together to manage the print industry, this study sheds light on the practicalities of external censorship. The French government developed a relatively effective system for managing the spread of news information about French affairs of state. The Bourbon regime also experienced particular successes in its attempts to keep the book trade in check. It concentrated on curbing the dissemination of defamatory texts or libelles and was often able to stop these kinds of works from circulating in huge numbers. The year 1783 was critical in the French government’s strategy of policing print beyond the borders of the kingdom. It was at this point that the French state shifted its approach by combining a stronger system of inspection for imported books with a more pragmatic outlook abroad. In doing so, it was able to intensify its hold over the print industry. This thesis makes the case for a more nuanced interpretation of censorship in old regime France and underscores the need to appreciate how control fluctuated according to chronology and geography. By pointing to the successes of censorship, it suggests that that forbidden book trade was perhaps weaker than once thought whilst the ancien régime government was considerably stronger.
Supervisor: Burrows, Simon Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available