'The Most Universal Intelligencers': The Circulation of the London Gazette in the 1690s

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This article examines for the first time the accounts for the newspaper the London Gazette from May 1695 to February 1697. These accounts show that the Gazette’s circulation in this period was spectacular. I argue that this does not simply represent the triumph of print; the Gazette was produced and consumed within the wider context of the exchange and evaluation of manuscript and oral news. Moreover, the Gazette does not easily fit the categories employed in some current scholarly debates about seventeenth-century print culture. It was read as much for its foreign political news as for its domestic announcements, it had an afterlife as a journal of record and although profitable in this period it was not simply a commercial enterprise. Furthermore, it had various companion publications: a French translation and various occasional sheets. In many and diverse ways the London Gazette was ‘the most universal Intelligencers’.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)256-280
Number of pages25
JournalMedia History
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 24 Apr 2017

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  • London Gazette
  • Seventeenth century
  • circulation
  • newspapers
  • print culture
  • reading practices

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