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A Provincial News Community In Sixteenth-Century France

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Chapter Summary

In recent years scholars have devoted increasing attention to the nature of public opinion in sixteenth-century Europe. In sixteenth-century societies the exercise of power was always persuasive; agreement must be cultivated, even where duty was formally commanded. In the last decades of the fifteenth century, one can witness a precocious battle to command public sympathy, as the French and Burgundian regimes promoted conflicting visions of current events. No-one has been able to document the existence of an equivalent provincial news community, beyond the routine publication and proclamation of official edicts. The indigenous printing industry of Rouen was small and provincial, concentrating on repeated editions of the most popular books, mostly school books and church primers. The complex events of the war of 1543-1544 stimulated the most active period in the lifetime of L'Homme's Rouen press.

Keywords: L'Homme's Rouen press; printing industry; provincial news community; sixteenth-century Europe; sixteenth-century France



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