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By Randy Robertson

Censorship profoundly affected early sleek writing. Censorship and clash in Seventeenth-Century England deals a close photograph of early smooth censorship and investigates the pressures that censorship exerted on seventeenth-century authors, printers, and publishers. within the 1600s, Britain witnessed a civil conflict, the judicial execution of a king, the recovery of his son, and an unremitting fight between crown, parliament, and folks for sovereignty and the appropriate to outline liberty and estate. This conflict, occasionally refined, occasionally bloody, entailed a fight for the keep watch over of language and illustration. Robertson deals a wealthy learn of this censorship contest and of the craft that writers hired to outflank the licensers. He argues that for many events, victory, now not international relations or consensus, was once the final word objective. This booklet differs from most modern works in reading either the mechanics of early smooth censorship and the poetics that the licensing method produced the kinds and pressures of self-censorship. one of the concerns that Robertson addresses during this ebook are the workings of the licensing equipment, the designs of artwork and obliquity lower than a regime of censorship, and the involutions of authorship attendant on anonymity.

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78 In many cases, however, the truth is more prosaic. Take, for instance, Thomas Middleton’s A Game at Chess, produced in London in 1624. Patterson interprets the long run of Middleton’s play, which was bitterly critical of the Spanish and tacitly critical of James’s recent pro-Spanish policy, as a sign of the Crown’s connivance: ‘‘James I ‘allowed’ Middleton’s Game at Chess . . ’’79 But the king was not in London when the play was performed— indeed the first he heard of it was from the Spanish ambassador Don Carlos, at which point he suppressed it.

113 As surveyor of the press, L’Estrange exercised a rigorous surveillance over authors, publishers, printers, and printing houses. He sometimes relied on a network of spies in the Stationers’ Company; sometimes he went undercover himself to gather information about seditious printers. ’’—a book of the company’s sins—‘‘which . . ’’119 L’Estrange communicated often with the secretaries; Arlington and Williamson shared intelligence with him, and he with them. 120 With a team of deputies and delators, L’Estrange pried into every corner of the book trade.

In early modern England, the term ‘‘censor’’ often lies on the border between moral and literary categories: ‘‘censor’’ imports both the ancient Roman censor who superintended public morality and the early modern licenser. ’’143 Milton uses both ‘‘censor’’ and ‘‘censorship’’ in his writings: he conjoins the classical and modern senses of these terms in his idiolect. ’’ Blount refers to Bohun not only as a ‘‘Censor,’’ but also as ‘‘Mr. ’’149 The words ‘‘censor’’ and ‘‘censure’’ frequently occupy a gray area between ‘‘correct’’ and ‘‘criticize,’’ and a ‘‘censor’’ could be both a critic of morals and a literary critic.

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