Print and Power in Early Modern Europe (1500–1800)


Print, in the early modern period, could make or break power. This volume addresses one of the most urgent and topical questions in early modern history: how did European authorities use a new medium with such tremendous potential? The eighteen contributors develop new perspectives on the relationship between the rise of print and the changing relationships between subjects and rulers by analysing print’s role in early modern bureaucracy, the techniques of printed propaganda, genres, and strategies of state communication. While print is often still thought of as an emancipating and disruptive force of change in early modern societies, the resulting picture shows how instrumental print was in strengthening existing power structures.

Contributors: Renaud Adam, Martin Christ, Jamie Cumby, Arthur der Weduwen, Nora Epstein, Andreas Golob, Helmer Helmers, Jan Hillgärtner, Rindert Jagersma, Justyna Kiliańczyk-Zięba, Nina Lamal, Margaret Meserve, Rachel Midura, Gautier Mingous, Ernesto E. Oyarbide Magaña, Caren Reimann, Chelsea Reutchke, Celyn David Richards, Paolo Sachet, Forrest Strickland, and Ramon Voges.
Open Access
Download PDF

Prices from (excl. shipping):

Nina Lamal, PhD (2014, KU Leuven and University of St Andrews) is a postdoctoral researcher at the Humanities Cluster at the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW).

Jamie Cumby, PhD (2018, University of St Andrews) is Assistant Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts at the Linda Hall Library in Kansas City, MO.

Helmer J. Helmers, PhD (2011, Leiden University) is senior researcher in Dutch history at the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). He is the author of The Royalist Republic (Cambridge University Press, 2015), and co-editor of the Cambridge Companion to the Dutch Golden Age (Cambridge University Press, 2018).
List of Figures and Tables
Notes on Contributors

Introduction: The Printing Press as an Agent of Power
Helmer Helmers, Nina Lamal and Jamie Cumby

Part 1: Governing through Print

1 Policing in Print: Social Control in Spanish and Borromean Milan (1535–1584)
Rachel Midura

2 On Printing and Decision-Making: The Management of Information by the City Powers of Lyon (ca. 1550–ca. 1580)
Gautier Mingous

3 Printing for Central Authorities in the Early Modern Low Countries (15th–17th Centuries)
Renaud Adam

4 Rural Officials Discover the Printing Press in the Eighteenth-Century Habsburg Monarchy
Andreas Golob

Part 2: Printing for Government

5 Printing for the Reformation: The Canonical Documents of the Edwardian Church of England, 1547–1553
Celyn Richards

6 Newspapers and Authorities in Seventeenth-Century Germany
Jan Hillgärtner

7 The Politics of Print in the Dutch Golden Age: The Ommelander Troubles (c. 1630–1680)
Arthur der Weduwen

Part 3: Patronage and Prestige

8 The Rise of the Stampatore Camerale: Printers and Power in Early Sixteenth-Century Rome
Paolo Sachet

9 State and Church Sponsored Printing by Jan Januszowski and His Drukarnia Łazarzowa (Officina Lazari) in Krakow
Justyna Kiliańczyk-Zięba

10 Ferdinando de’ Medici and the Typographia Medicea
Caren Reimann

11 Royal Patronage of Illicit Print: Catherine of Braganza and Catholic Books in Late Seventeenth-Century London
Chelsea Reutcke

Part 4: Power of Persuasion

12 The Papacy, Power, and Print: The Publication of Papal Decrees in the First Fifty Years of Printing
Margaret Meserve

13 Pictures and Power: The Visual Prints of Frans Hogenberg
Ramon Voges

14 Collecting ‘Toute l’Angleterre’: English Books, Soft Power and Spanish Diplomacy at the Casa del Sol (1613–1622)
Ernesto Oyarbide Magaña

15 Prohibition as Propaganda Technique: The Case of the Pamphlet La couronne usurpée et le prince supposé (1688)
Rindert Jagersma

Part 5: Religious Authority

16 Illustrating Authority: The Creation and Reception of an English Protestant Iconography
Nora Epstein

17 Between Ego Documents and Anti-Catholic Propaganda: Printed Revocation Sermons in Seventeenth-Century Lutheran Germany
Martin Christ

18 Learned Servants: Dutch Ministers, Their Books and the Struggle for a Reformed Republic in the Dutch Golden Age
Forrest C. Strickland

This volume will appeal to historians of early modern print culture as well as historians of media and anyone with broad interest in early modern cultural and political history.
  • Collapse
  • Expand