Pamphlets and Pamphleteering in Early Modern Britain

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By the end of the seventeenth century the most effective means of persuasion and communication was the pamphlet, which created influential moral and political communities of readers, and thus formed a 'public sphere' of popular, political opinion. This book is a unique history of the printed pamphlet in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Britain and traces its rise as an imaginative and often eloquent literary form. Using a long-term perspective and a broad range of historical, bibliographical and textual evidence, the book sketches a complex definition of a 'pamphlet', showing the coherence of the literary form, the diversity of genres and imaginative devices employed by pamphleteers; and it explores readers' relationship with pamphlets and how both influenced politics. Individual chapters examine topics such as Elizabethan religious controversy, the book trade, the distribution of books and pamphlets, pamphleteering in the English Civil War, women and gender, and print in the Restoration.