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Printed Images in Early Modern Britain [Hardcover]

Michael Hunter

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Book Description

1 May 2010
Printed images were ubiquitous in early modern Britain, and they often convey powerful messages which are all the more important for having circulated widely at the time. Yet, by comparison with printed texts, these images have been neglected, particularly by historians to whom they ought to be of the greatest interest. This volume helps remedy this state of affairs. Complementing the online digital library of British Printed Images to 1700, it offers a series of essays which exemplify the many ways in which such visual material can throw light on the history of the period. Ranging from religion to politics, polemic to satire, natural science to consumer culture, the collection explores how printed images need to be read in terms of the visual syntax understood by contemporaries, their full meaning often only becoming clear when they are located in the context in which they were produced and deployed. The result is not only to illustrate the sheer richness of material of this kind, but also to underline the importance of the messages which it conveys, which often come across more strongly in visual form than through textual commentaries. With contributions from many leading exponents of the cultural history of early modern Britain, including experts on religion, politics, science and art, the book's appeal will be equally wide, demonstrating how every facet of British culture in the period can be illuminated through the study of printed images.

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About the Author

Michael Hunter is Professor of History at Birkbeck, University of London, UK.

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