An Inky Business
Matthew J. Shaw
An Inky Business is a book about the making and printing of news. It is a history of ink, paper, printing press and type, and of those who made and read newspapers in Britain, continental Europe and America from the British Civil Wars to the Battle of Gettysburg in the United States nearly 200 years later. But it is also an account of what news was and how the idea of news became central to public life. Newspapers ranged from purveyors of high seriousness to carriers of scurrilous gossip.
Our current obsession with ‘fake news’, the worrying revelations or hints about how money, power and technology shapes and controls the press and flows of what is believed to be genuine information, has dark early-modern echoes.
'Matt Shaw's An Inky Business is a vivid and incisive account of the origins of newspapers and their extraordinary role in the transformation of society over 200 years. With the very concept of news under threat, this book could not be more timely.'-Paul Lay, editor of History Today and author of Providence Lost: The Rise and Fall of Cromwell's Protectorate (2020)
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