Newsbooks, Style, and Political Rhetoric
This chapter gives a general account of the varieties of rhetorical strategies deployed in newsbooks and how they developed and expanded through the decade. Though they were increasingly the voice of faction, the dominant styles of 1642 newsbooks combined familiar elements: plain narrations of fact, and, increasingly, the reproduction of documents; occasional commendations of the monumental efforts made for the good of the kingdom by the dedicated and godly members of parliament; sometimes they twitched at the threat of sanctions or recriminations. The execution of the king was the most shocking political event of the 17th century, yet it did not have any great immediate impact on the newsbooks. One innovation that followed the regicide is symbolic of the transformation of, and perhaps damage done to, royalist aesthetics in early 1649. John Crouch's The Man in the Moon delineated new directions in reportage, representing the end of the journalism of the 1640s.
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