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Philocothonista, Or THE DRUNKARD, Opened, Dissected, and Anatomized
...The number of imprints in England rose dramatically during the early 1640s.. After Charles I and his government demonstrated their weakness by failing to bring the Calvinist Scots into line with the liturgy and hierarchy of the English established Church, events tumbled over each other, and readers in London and in the counties were starved for news and for certainties. The London printers could barely satisfy the demand. In 1620, 410 imprints were published, in 1639, 464 and in 1640, 577 appeared. According to Frederick Stephens' Catalogue of Personal and Political Satirical Prints of the British Museum, twenty-five imprints-broadsides and pamphlets--were published on March 1, 1641 alone; all refer to the impeachment of Archbishop William Laud on that day.7

While the whole structure of censorship was falling apart along with the demise of the authority of the bishops, the Star Chamber and the High Commission, the number of unlicensed printers was multiplying. In 1642, John Taylor, "the water poet", expressed his dismay at "the many unlicensed licentious pamphleteers that have been scattered about the kingdom within these 23 months." Henry Parker bemoaned the general confusion about printing and the appearance of "strangers such as drapers, carmen and others to set up presses in diverse obscure corners of the city."8 The excitement of events in London and in the kingdom could only incite the printers to find woodcuts old or new to illustrate their newsbooks....

by Cat on Thu Oct 22nd, 2020 at 09:23:46 PM EST
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