Date: April 15, 2010
Creator: Fletcher, David & Wisecup, Kelly
Description: This presentation presents the results of archival research on True Reports from 1554 to 1685. The changes in the way these short pamphlets establish authority reflect the expansion of the English Empire. From their domestic beginnings, authors of True Reports faced the problem of convincing their audience that they wrote the truth. In the earliest True Reports - about Catholics and comets threatening God's punishment on England - the authors listed names of eyewitnesses who attested to the report's certainty. As England became more imperial-minded, the reports told the tales of heroic battles fought in foreign lands. As Europeans entered the New World, their reports encompassed the wonders and commodities of new lands. This made the truth more distant, however, and authority could only be established by appealing to noble figures who could attest to a report's truth on an author's behalf.
Contributing Partner: UNT Honors College