“Strange and rare news”: information about foreign events in the English broadsi...

“Strange and rare news”: information about foreign events in the English broadside literature of 1540–1570

Natalia V. Karnachuk
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The article provides a brief analysis of English broadside ballads of 1540–70, which to a certain extent covered foreign events. The purpose of the analysis is to retrace the emergence and initial steps in the development of interest in foreign events in the broadside literature and to identify the genre features which influenced this process. The author notes the importance of the broadside ballad as a means of disseminating information in the middle and lower strata of English cities and countryside. The article raises the question about the influence of the royal power, private interests of the ballads’ authors, and the demand of the audience on the formation of the texts devoted to foreign events. The author of the article concludes that all of the abovementioned influences did take place, but none of them was dominant. It is noted that the events of 1569–70 associated with the Northern Rebellion played a special role in the formation of the sub-genre of ballads about foreign events. It is shown how under the influence of these events, the political and ideological message of ballads about foreign events was formed, which, in turn, contributed to the formation of mass ideas about the place of England in European politics. The data on the quantitative growth of ballads about foreign news are also presented.
Natalia V. Karnachuk
Candidate of Historical Sciences, Associate Professor of the Department of English Philology, the Faculty of Foreign Languages
Tomsk State University, Tomsk, Russia
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Early Modern England, public sphere, broadsides, broadside ballads, foreign news, Northern Rebellion
For citation:
Karnachuk, N. “’Strange and rare news’: information about foreign events in the English broadside literature of 1540–1570.” Historia Provinciae – the Journal of Regional History, vol. 5, no. 2 (2021): 336–92,

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