Newswriting and satire during the Second and Third Anglo-Dutch wars (1665-1674)

Thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of English Literature at the University of Bristol (July 2020).

This thesis demonstrates for the first time the extensive intertextual relationship which existed between newswriting and satire.

Satirists offered selective criticism of the practices of newswriting, but also possessed an imaginative indebtedness to literary conventions developed between newswriting and panegyric. This study sheds new light on that relationship by combining literary criticism with an extensive archival reconstruction of the conditions of Restoration newswriting: comparing drafts of news documents held at The National Archives with their published counterparts allows the development of rhetorical techniques to be newly identified.

Analysing newswriting, panegyric, drama and satire together offers a fresh reading of the literary and political culture of the early Restoration, challenges long-standing assumptions about state newswriting, and reveals how satiric works traditionally understood to be highly critical of the Restoration mainstream actually participated in a sophisticated intertextual exchange, which developed precise rhetorics in response to ongoing news events.

The research for this thesis was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council Collaborative Doctoral Award scheme and The National Archives.