By Frances E. Dolan

ISBN-10: 0812244850

ISBN-13: 9780812244854

In the motley ranks of seventeenth-century print, one usually comes upon the name True Relation. Purportedly actual family members describe monsters, miracles, failures, crimes, trials, and apparitions. in addition they express discoveries completed via exploration or scan. Contemporaries trusted such bills for entry to info at the same time they distrusted them; students this present day proportion either their dependency and their doubt. What we take as proof, Frances E. Dolan argues, usually increases extra questions than it solutions. even supposing historians have tracked dramatic alterations in evidentiary criteria and practices within the interval, those alterations didn't resolve the matter of ways to interpret actual kin or ease the reliance on them. the load continues to be on readers.

Dolan connects early sleek debates approximately textual facts to contemporary discussions of the worth of seventeenth-century texts as historic facts. Then as now, she contends, literary suggestions of research have confirmed valuable to staking and assessing fact claims. She addresses the categories of texts that circulated approximately 3 worrying events—the Gunpowder Plot, witchcraft prosecutions, and the London Fire—and appears to be like at criminal depositions, suggestion literature, and performs as genres of facts that hover in an area among truth and fiction. whilst doubts linger approximately their documentary and literary price, students count seriously on them. Confronting and exploring those doubts, Dolan makes a case for possessing as much as our service provider in crafting actual kinfolk one of the textual fragments that survive.

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True Relations: Reading, Literature, and Evidence in Seventeenth-Century England by Frances E. Dolan

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