WHAT CAN ELIZABETHAN PAMPHLETS AND BALLADS TELL US ABOUT ELIZABETHAN MILITARY CULTURE?
THE BIRMINGHAM JOURNAL OF LITERATURE AND LANGUAGE , Vol.1:2 (2008)
In the early part of the sixteenth century, print culture in England was dominated by the publication of religious texts. In 1588, however, after the defeat of the Spanish Armada, England saw a proliferation of both religious and secular print. Some of the secular pamphlets were war-oriented ballads and some newsbooks. This explosion of interest in contemporary war-oriented ballads and news pamphlets is often disregarded due to the scholarly belief that such publications constituted a genre that was culturally negligible. Nevertheless, I argue that if topical war ballads and news pamphlets are investigated in the context of Elizabethan military culture they can be seen as voicing a genuine ‗Elizabethan‘ war experience. This article aims to locate the status of war-oriented ballads and news pamphlets as a means of determining the importance of cheap print to Elizabethan military culture. The first section surveys the critical assessments of Elizabethan cheap print as it attempts to locate a general understanding of the significance of news and military pamphlets within existing scholarly discourses.