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Renaissance Journalism and the Birth of the Newspaper


Curators: Chris R. Kyle (Syracuse University) 

and Jason Peacey (University College, London)

with Elizabeth Walsh (Folger Shakespeare Library)

 

September 25, 2008-January 31, 2009



Bruno Ryves. Mercurius rusticus. Oxford, 1646

The first newspaper arrived in England from an Amsterdam publisher on December 2, 1620. Containing the latest foreign news, this publication immediately sparked a huge demand for up-to-the-minute reports on domestic and world events. From stories of war to lurid accounts of celebrity scandals among the royal families of Europe, journalism exploded into the world of Renaissance England. Gossip in the taverns and conversations among the political classes gave way to the phenomenon of a wide cross-section of the populace reading the events of the days and weeks in cheaply-printed serial publications.

 

The early English newspaper has left an indelible mark upon modern news culture. Even in its earliest manifestation, we see the emergence of the dramatic headline and the editorial, the development of tabloids and advertising, and the advent of attempts at state censorship and control over the presses. The content of the newspapers on exhibit reflects not only politics but the wider cultural, social and economic life of the times they covered.

 

This exhibition traces the development of journalism and the newspaper in England, from the manuscript antecedents of the coranto form to the introduction of newspapers in America in the late seventeenth century, and the birth of the first daily newspaper in England in 1702.

  Additional Information

Dates and Times:

September 25, 2008–January 31, 2009

10am–5pm Monday–Saturday

 

Location:

Great Hall

 

Questions? Comments?

Contact us at exhibitions@folger.edu




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