Wednesday, May 11, 2005

I am a bringer of Truth and Enlightenment

In line with the UK's General Election fever this week I have been reading My Trade, A Short History of British Journalism by the BBC's Political Editor Andrew Marr.

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Excellent book, highly recommended. I was particularly intrigued by this section which seems to be a pre-echo of today's blog fever.

"The largest group of early writers who wrote for themselves and published weekly, sometimes daily, fare were the dissenting pamphleteers of the seventeenth century. By Cromwell's Commonwealth, according to one estimate, 30,000 pamphlets and journals with a political motive were being published in a single year. Were they journalists? The pamphleteers didn't think of themselves as reporters in a modern sense but as partisan political players, and often religous bringers of Truth and Enlightenment."

Marr then moves on to genius, tradesman's son, government spy, novelist and traveller Daniel Defoe who "wrote excellent, clear, uncluttered, reporterly English full of relatively short sentences of plain description." Eat your heart out Pliable! (And wait until you see the upcoming post Monteverdi in Cambridge. It grew like mould on a dirty coffeee cup in my drafts folder, and has ended up like the blogging equivalent of Havergal Brian's Gothic Symphony)

Update 13th May - Andrew Marr is stepping down as the BBC's political editor to take over Sir David Frost's Sunday interview show, see this link for the full story.

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