Getting the News and Getting Ahead: Correspondence and News Culture in Early Stuart England
Type of DegreeMaster's Thesis
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In early seventeenth-century England, court politics and the spread of news were closely connected. Many outside of James I’s inner political circle were deeply concerned with what was happening at the center of power. This preoccupation with court affairs and court politics was reflected in the news of the day, specifically in the epistolary correspondence of men looking to advance their own political careers. This project uses the letter collections of Sir John Chamberlain and several of his contemporaries to discuss how they gathered, sent, received, used, and understood the news of court. For Chamberlain and his correspondents, letters and epistolary exchange were a type of access and a means to gain favor. They used them to understand the intricacies of the Stuart court, and in doing so, they hoped to gather the knowledge and favor necessary to establish themselves in positions of political power.