The prelude to print
The rise of writing
in Reading Ireland
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A cross early modern Europe the development of the technology of print created the possibility of significant social transformations. In the course of the sixteenth century English and Anglo-Irish commentators on, and analysts of, the Irish world came into increasing contact with those parts of Ireland outside the pale. The process of drawing Ireland into a wider textual work was much accelerated by the process of colonisation from the late sixteenth century and especially after 1603. Thus in the course of the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries both Gaelic Ireland and Anglo-Irish Ireland were drawn increasingly into a dominant textual culture. During the early modern period the social boundaries which surrounded the act of writing shifted. Changing social relationships, particularly those controlled by the legal framework, shifted the boundaries which determined what should be written down and what should be remembered.

Reading Ireland

Print, reading and social change in early modern Ireland


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