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"The Bedlam Academy": Royalist Oxford in Civil War news culture

Bowen, Lloyd ORCID: 2017. "The Bedlam Academy": Royalist Oxford in Civil War news culture. Media History 23 (2) , pp. 199-217. 10.1080/13688804.2016.1270747

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This article explores the polemical presentation of Oxford, the royalist capital between 1642 and 1646, in parliamentarian newsbooks. It argues that the novel seriality of the form offered opportunities for constructing political identities and identifying enemies through strategies of repetition and echoing within and across parliamentarian news media. Discussion of Oxford in these news titles suggests ways in which seriality helped establish and elaborate anti-royalist discourses by repeated reference to the corrupted centre of royalist politics. Sustained attention given to Oxford in weekly newsbooks built up a cumulative and complex picture of the city, and by extension royalism more broadly, as variously mired in Catholicism, subject to the damaging influence of female and foreign rule, riven by deviant sexualities, and possessed of a form of collective madness. The composite image of Oxford built up across parliamentarian news media helped construct a journalistic shorthand in which ‘Oxford’ came to denote a wealth of polemicised meanings readily accessible to comparatively humble readers. The article thus argues for a better recognition of the ways in which civil war news authors adopted the opportunities of serial publication for the elaboration of novel political stereotypes.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D204 Modern History
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Uncontrolled Keywords: period, early modern, topics, periodicals, royalism, stereotypes, King Charles I, Queen Henrietta Maria, parliamentarianism
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 1368-8804
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 5 April 2016
Date of Acceptance: 7 December 2016
Last Modified: 15 May 2023 09:02

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