Matthias A. Shaaber (essay date 1929)
SOURCE: “Personal News,” in Some Forerunners of the Newspaper in England, 1476-1622, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1929, pp. 13-34.
[In the following excerpt, Shaaber shows that broadside ballads and other inexpensive verse often served as a means of disseminating news about the British royalty and popular heroes, and he notes that these publications eventually evolved into newspapers.]
Personal news, as we may call it, is probably the oldest kind. It is a record or, more often, merely a celebration of the achievements of a personage of importance, from the sovereign himself to a prominent London merchant, written by one of his liegemen, retainers, or clients,...
(The entire section is 7093 words.)