Political Controversy: A Study in Eighteenth-century Propaganda

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 1992 - 184 pages
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This work provides the first full-scale examination of the eighteenth century periodical Political Controversy and of the essay-sheets reprinted therein, Briton, Auditor, North Briton, and Monitor. These essay-sheets were published in England at the end of the Seven Years' War with France, in support of and in opposition to Lord Bute's proposed terms in the treaty negotiations. Political Controversy reprinted the essay-sheets weekly along with the editor's annotations, material from other publications, and original contributions from readers. The journal provides modern readers with a good example of eighteenth century propaganda techniques, and is a guide to the issues revolving around the war, the struggle for governmental control, the British Empire, and the liberty of the press.

This book provides a clear analysis of the methods used in the political propaganda of the journal and the essay-sheets, including the writings of three significant authors, Tobias Smollett, Arthur Murphy, and John Wilkes. The work opens with a discussion of the essay-sheets and their relationship to one another, and follows with two chapters devoted to Political Controversy. The final chapter covers the most significant case for freedom of the press in England up to that time, North Briton, No. 45. This book will be of interest to scholars and students concerned with journalism, history, political science, and literature.


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Great book. Very light read. It was an emotional roller coaster that I quite enjoyed. It is well worth the $90.


1 Masks Readers and Style
I The EssaySheets and Related Publications
II Editors Notes and Comments
North Briton No 45

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About the author (1992)

ROBERT D. SPECTOR is Professor of English and Coordinator of the Division of Humanities and the Division of Communications, Visual, and Performing Arts at Long Island University. His most recent books are The English Gothic (Greenwood Press, 1983) and Backgrounds to Restoration and Eighteenth-Century English Literature (Greenwood, 1989).

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