Chapter published in:Diachronic Developments in English News Discourse
Edited by Minna Palander-Collin, Maura Ratia and Irma Taavitsainen
[Advances in Historical Sociolinguistics 6] 2017
► pp. 39–60
Religious lexis and political ideology in English Civil War newsbooks
A corpus-based analysis of Mercurius Aulicus and Mercurius Britanicus
In this article I provide a corpus-assisted discourse analysis of two influential English Civil War newsbooks which dominated the arena of seventeenth-century adversarial journalism: the royalist Mercurius Aulicus and the parliamentarian Mercurius Britanicus. Given the major role played by religion in the outbreak of the Civil War, my paper focuses on religious words and examines their collocational behavior in concordances and larger stretches of discourse. The analysis highlights the discourse strategies adopted by the two editors in order to frame, confirm and legitimate opposite versions of the news events and construe ideological consensus in their readership. In a period of intense experimentation in news rhetoric and political propaganda, this corpus-based investigation documents the development of a strongly factious news style for a growing, politically biased readership.
Keywords: English Civil War newsbooks, adversarial journalism, Royalist, Parliamentarian, religious words, collocational behaviour, political ideology, propaganda, editors, readership
Published online: 29 August 2017
Corpora and on-line resources
Early English Books On-line (EEBO)
Florence Early English Newspapers (FEEN)
Compiled by Nicholas Brownlees and Francesca Benucci. Available through the Lancaster Corpus Query Processor Web.
A confutation of the Earle of Newcastle reasons for taking under his command and conduct divers Popish recusants in the Northerne parts
The parliamentary history of England from the earliest period to the year 1803
Millar, Robert McColl
Orr, Alan D.
Sharpe, Kevin & Steven N. Zwicker