Pamphleteers Construct Concini
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Type of Work17 pages
Citation of Original PublicationSawyer, J.K. (1990). Pamphleteers Construct Concini. Cahiers du Six-Septième: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 3(1), 261-277.
This paper is built around a problem of textual analysis that I have been wrestling with for some time as a historian of early seventeenth-century political propaganda. Stated broadly the problem is how to use the texts of hundreds of political pamphlets to reconstruct the world of discourse within which pamphlet readers reacted to printed political tracts. Take for example the dozens of pamphlets concerning the rise to power and assassination in April 1617 of Concino Concini. Concini, also referred to as the Marechal d'Ancre, was for a time one of the principal ministers in the administration of Marie de Medicis during the youth of Louis XIII. The Bibliotheque Nationale holds over 100 pamphlets published against Concini between 1614 and 1617, and another 16 (or so) in his favor. It is interesting to note that almost half of the pamphlets published against Concini appeared after his death. In fact, carefully edited accounts of Concini's strange career and horrible demise formed the centrifugal center of a legally sanctioned (and no doubt subsidized) campaign of printed propaganda. Fifty-seven (57) of the one hundred one (101) pamphlets against Concini at the B.N. were published after the events of April 24th, and many of these were published well after the subsequent trial and execution of Concini's widow on July 8th of the same year.