Ballads and the development of the English newsbook

Authored by: Marcus Nevitt

The Routledge Companion to British Media History

Print publication date:  September  2014
Online publication date:  September  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415537186
eBook ISBN: 9781315756202
Adobe ISBN: 9781317629474

10.4324/9781315756202.ch15

 Download Chapter

 

Abstract

When the most brilliant journalist of seventeenth-century England launched the slickest, most informative newsbook of the era, he did so with a clear sense of aesthetic and political purpose. Marchamont Nedham announced Mercurius Politicus’s arrival in June 1650 with the swagger of a writer whose copious talent was backed by government subsidy; he represented his new professional identity in the service of Oliver Cromwell’s Commonwealth government as a repudiation of both monarchical politics and contemporary journalistic fashions:

Why should not the Common-wealth have a Fool, as well as the King had? ‘Tis a point of State … But you’ll say, I am out of fashion, because I make neither Rimes nor Faces, for Fidlers pay, like the Royal Mercuries; Yet you shall know I have authority enough to create a fashion of my own, and make all the world to follow the humour.

(Mercurius Politicus, 1650: 1)

 Cite
Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.