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Curiosity and reality: the context and interpretation of a seventeenth-century image

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Curiosity and reality: the context and interpretation of a seventeenth-century image. / Barber, Sarah.

In: History Workshop Journal, Vol. 70, No. 1, 2010, p. 21-46.

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Barber, Sarah. / Curiosity and reality: the context and interpretation of a seventeenth-century image. In: History Workshop Journal. 2010 ; Vol. 70, No. 1. pp. 21-46.

Bibtex

@article{a003265f331343e1a85af32c5054ebbf,
title = "Curiosity and reality: the context and interpretation of a seventeenth-century image",
abstract = "This article traces the varied uses made of a single woodcut image over the course of 350 years. Its repeated issue, first in interregnum tracts – ostensibly newsbooks – in 1644, 1648 and 1651, from which it was archived by picture libraries in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, led to its publication in schools{\textquoteleft} textbooks in the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries and to widespread use by teachers throughout Britain.In the course of its diverse deployment, interpretations of what it depicts have ranged widely. In the earliest depiction which the author has managed to trace, it illustrated a story of post-partum rape by detachments of French soldiers under Prince Rupert's command; subsequently, the image was slightly doctored, tailoring it to illustrate tales of Henry Marten's {\textquoteleft}Leveller{\textquoteright} troops; and finally in the Commonwealth period, it formed part of the {\textquoteleft}anti-Ranter literature published following the Blasphemy Act. The events depicted were reputed to have taken place in Dorset, Leicestershire and York respectively.The disparate employment of the image in the seventeenth century points to the interpretative interdependence of image and text, and makes possible a discussion of the nature of news – propaganda or reportage; {\textquoteleft}curiosity and reality{\textquoteright} as a contemporary journalist had it – in the depiction of truth and fiction when recounting violence and criminality.",
keywords = "English Civil War , woodcut , image , propaganda , text , context , National Curriculum , education , schools, history",
author = "Sarah Barber",
year = "2010",
doi = "10.1093/hwj/dbq021",
language = "English",
volume = "70",
pages = "21--46",
journal = "History Workshop Journal",
issn = "1363-3554",
publisher = "Oxford University Press",
number = "1",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Curiosity and reality: the context and interpretation of a seventeenth-century image

AU - Barber, Sarah

PY - 2010

Y1 - 2010

N2 - This article traces the varied uses made of a single woodcut image over the course of 350 years. Its repeated issue, first in interregnum tracts – ostensibly newsbooks – in 1644, 1648 and 1651, from which it was archived by picture libraries in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, led to its publication in schools‘ textbooks in the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries and to widespread use by teachers throughout Britain.In the course of its diverse deployment, interpretations of what it depicts have ranged widely. In the earliest depiction which the author has managed to trace, it illustrated a story of post-partum rape by detachments of French soldiers under Prince Rupert's command; subsequently, the image was slightly doctored, tailoring it to illustrate tales of Henry Marten's ‘Leveller’ troops; and finally in the Commonwealth period, it formed part of the ‘anti-Ranter literature published following the Blasphemy Act. The events depicted were reputed to have taken place in Dorset, Leicestershire and York respectively.The disparate employment of the image in the seventeenth century points to the interpretative interdependence of image and text, and makes possible a discussion of the nature of news – propaganda or reportage; ‘curiosity and reality’ as a contemporary journalist had it – in the depiction of truth and fiction when recounting violence and criminality.

AB - This article traces the varied uses made of a single woodcut image over the course of 350 years. Its repeated issue, first in interregnum tracts – ostensibly newsbooks – in 1644, 1648 and 1651, from which it was archived by picture libraries in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, led to its publication in schools‘ textbooks in the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries and to widespread use by teachers throughout Britain.In the course of its diverse deployment, interpretations of what it depicts have ranged widely. In the earliest depiction which the author has managed to trace, it illustrated a story of post-partum rape by detachments of French soldiers under Prince Rupert's command; subsequently, the image was slightly doctored, tailoring it to illustrate tales of Henry Marten's ‘Leveller’ troops; and finally in the Commonwealth period, it formed part of the ‘anti-Ranter literature published following the Blasphemy Act. The events depicted were reputed to have taken place in Dorset, Leicestershire and York respectively.The disparate employment of the image in the seventeenth century points to the interpretative interdependence of image and text, and makes possible a discussion of the nature of news – propaganda or reportage; ‘curiosity and reality’ as a contemporary journalist had it – in the depiction of truth and fiction when recounting violence and criminality.

KW - English Civil War

KW - woodcut

KW - image

KW - propaganda

KW - text

KW - context

KW - National Curriculum

KW - education

KW - schools

KW - history

U2 - 10.1093/hwj/dbq021

DO - 10.1093/hwj/dbq021

M3 - Journal article

VL - 70

SP - 21

EP - 46

JO - History Workshop Journal

JF - History Workshop Journal

SN - 1363-3554

IS - 1

ER -