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Tracking the relationship between the theory of press control and the realities of practicing daily press censorship prior to publication, this volume on the suppression of dissent in early modern Europe tackles a topic with many elusive and under-researched characteristics. Pre-publication censorship was common in absolutist regimes in Catholic and Protestant countries alike, but how effective it was in practice remains open to debate. The Netherlands and England, where critical content segued into outright lampoonery, were unusual for hard-wired press freedoms that arose, respectively, from a highly competitive publishing industry and highly decentralized political institutions. These nations remained extraordinary exceptions to a rule that, for example in France, did not end until the revolution of 1789. Here, the author's European perspective provides a survey of the varying censorship regulations in European nations, as well as the shifting meanings of 'freedom of the press'. The analysis opens up fascinating insights, afforded by careful reading of primary archival sources, into the reactions of censors confronted with manuscripts by authors seeking permission to publish. Tortarolo sets the opinions on censorship of well-known writers, including Voltaire and Montesquieu, alongside the commentary of anonymous censors, allowing us to revisit some common views of eighteenth-century history. How far did these writers, their reasoning stiffened by Enlightenment values, promote dissident views of absolutist monarchies in Europe, and what insights did governments gain from censors' reports into the social tensions brewing under their rule? These questions will excite dedicated researchers, graduate students, and discerning lay readers alike.
- International Archives of the History of Ideas Archives internationales d'histoire des idées 219
- Verlag: Springer Netherlands
- Artikelnr. des Verlages: 978-94-017-7345-4
- 1st ed.
- Erscheinungstermin: 17. März 2016
- Abmessung: 241mm x 160mm x 18mm
- ISBN-13: 9789401773454
- ISBN-10: 9401773459
- Artikelnr.: 43181290
Introduction: 1. Internalist censorship, externalist censorship 2. Europe and Asia: to what extent were they different?.- Was control inescapable?: 1. Two paradigms 3. The dream of the perfect repression 3. Internal fissures.- The difficult victory of freedom of the press in England: 1. From censorship to freedom of the press 2. From freedom of the press to the principle of self-restraint.- The functional ambiguity of censorship and French Enlightenment: "We live in a country where licence does not prevail" 2. Montesquieu's paradox 3. Practice and theory of the press 3. Devotion to the truth: d'Holbach, Diderot, Voltaire 4. Rousseau: self-censorship 5. Condorcet and the radical commitment to the public interest.- The censors as protectors of freedom of the press: 1. Malesherbes and the self-refashioning of the Librairie 2. The world of the royal censors 3. Attempts at dialogic censorship 4. "Freedom to think and write" and economic progress.- Misunderstandings and new meanings: 1. The "policy of the book" in Europe 2. The end of the paradigm of functional ambiguity and participated freedom.
"Tortarolo (humanities, Univ. of Eastern Piedmont, Italy) has produced a welcome addition to the rapidly growing literature on book and censorship history. He provides an excellent summary of the growing controversy over censorship amid the 18th-century Enlightenment, including the views of such luminaries as Thomas Hobbes, John Milton, Marie-Jean de Condorcet, Baron Paul d'Holbach and (French censor) Lamoignon de Malesherbes. ... Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above." (R. J. Goldstein, Choice, Vol. 54 (3), November, 2016)
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