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Daily News and the Construction of Time in Late Stuart England, 1695–1714

Claydon, T. (2013) Daily News and the Construction of Time in Late Stuart England, 1695–1714. The Journal of British Studies, 52. pp. 55-78. DOI: 10.1017/jbr.2012.5

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Abstract

Recent scholarship has suggested that frequent receipt of news, especially in new media such as newspapers, altered conceptions of time in the early modern period. In particular, a new and modern �present� was born. This occupied a half-known and semifluid point between the fixity of the past and the unpredictability of the future. It created an imagined contemporaneous moment that linked geographically dispersed events. It was progressive, appearing to move the world ever forward into a novel state. However, close examination of English newspapers in the period 1695�1713, the first era of sustained news periodicals, calls these suggestions into question. Certainly the press of this era provided a constant and corrective update of information from all over Europe. This might have encouraged a sense of a fluid, contemporaneous, and progressive present. However, newspapers also tended to catalog information like a chronicle, which had the potential to fix contents as established history rather than fluid news. Delays in communication from distant places and journalistic practices of holding back stories for later publication ensured that information of different ages was presented on the same page. This destroyed any clear sense of a contemporaneous moment. The requirement to print the next issue even when there was no new information drew explicit attention to the lack of progressive development in some stories. This article posits a highly fractured presentation of time in later Stuart newspapers. It suggests that this is perhaps best analyzed by concepts drawn from �postmodern� theory rather than a hunt for emerging features of �modernity.�

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Research Publications
Departments: College of Arts and Humanities > School of History, Welsh History and Archaeology
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2014 16:47
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2015 03:08
ISSN: 0021-9371
URI: http://e.bangor.ac.uk/id/eprint/1054
Identification Number: DOI: 10.1017/jbr.2012.5
Publisher: Unknown
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