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New publication: How the Press Began by Henry Ettinghausen

Henry Ettinghausen, who joined the Department of Spanish in 1965 and was Professor of Spanish at Southampton from 1983 until he retired in 2001, has just published online How the Press Began. The Pre-Periodical Printed News in Early Modern Europe (304 pages, incl. 90 illustrations, SIELAE, 2015. JANUS DIGITAL, ANEXO 3).

It can be downloaded for free at

janusanexo3cub_peqThis book is the first substantial attempt at surveying the beginnings of the press – the news that came out of the printing shops from the late fifteenth to the early seventeenth century – on a European scale. Its purpose is to sketch out the remarkable variety and the conceptual cohesion of the earliest printed news publications and to indicate the extent to which, virtually from the outset, the news that came off the presses was the product of a Europe-wide industry. It enables us to see how early modern European readers of, and listeners to, the news were invited or conditioned by the press to perceive themselves and the world at large.

The topics covered are: ‘The News. Letters, Posts, the Earliest European Press’, ‘Royalty. Births, Marriages, Journeys, Festivities, Deaths’, ‘Discovery, Conquest and War’, ‘Catholics, Protestants, Heretics, Infidels and Jews’, ‘The Devil, Sex and Violence, Crime and Punishment’, ‘Natural Disasters, Signs, Portents, Wonders and Miracles’, and ‘Monsters: Human, Animal and Fantastical’. The book includes 90 illustrations: for the most part, reproductions of late 15th- to early 17th-century news broadsheets and first pages of early news pamphlets.

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