Alan Marshall
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Themes and issues
in Intelligence and espionage in the English Republic c. 1600–60
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Chapter 1 explores some of the major historical themes, roots, ideas and issues that underpinned the development of secret government activities in the 1650s. It examines the actual shape and visions of the mid-seventeenth-century covert business of the ‘secret state’. As such, this chapter introduces the reader to the major themes and issues (linguistic, social, cultural and political), that relate to intelligence and espionage in the early modern period, as well as the background and the significance of it as a subject. It deals with public and private morality, the meaning of words in the world of espionage, social and client–patron relations and the increasing importance of the office of the secretaries of state in the contemporary administrative and espionage world. The chapter also examines the world of espionage and European diplomacy. Lastly, the chapter explores the context of the early modern spies employed by contemporary intelligencers and their characteristics.

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