From secreit script to public print: punctuation, news management and the condemnation of the Earl of Bothwell

Smith, J. J. (2017) From secreit script to public print: punctuation, news management and the condemnation of the Earl of Bothwell. Huntington Library Quarterly, 80(2), pp. 223-238.

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Abstract

The fall from power of James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell, in 1567 was as dramatic as it was sudden. The survival of documents associated with the event gives us a rare insight into the ways in which texts were adapted for different purposes and readerships. Initially recorded in the manuscript Register of the Acts of the Privy Council of Scotland, versions of these documents subsequently appeared as printed broadsheets for public display in prominent places such as Edinburgh’s Tolbooth next to the kirk of St Giles. They are the first Scottish documents of their kind known to have undergone this process of transition from script to print, and from the comparative privacy of the Privy Council’s Register to the public domain. Whereas the Register was an aide memoire for council use, the printed texts were public, performative acts. As these texts passed from one medium to another, their form and punctuation were changed, mirroring the changing function for which they were repurposed. In this essay, the differences in appearance between these two kinds of text will be shown to align quite precisely with the changing uses of literacy in early modern Scotland.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:All rights reserved. Except for brief quotations used for purposes of scholarly citation, none of this work may be reproduced in any form by any means without written permission from the publisher. For information address the University of Pennsylvania Press, 3905 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-4112.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Smith, Professor Jeremy
Authors: Smith, J. J.
Subjects:D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PE English
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Language and Linguistics
Journal Name:Huntington Library Quarterly
Publisher:University of California Press
ISSN:0018-7895
ISSN (Online):1544-399X
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery
First Published:First published in Huntington Library Quarterly 80(2): 223-238
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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