17th-century French street literature (1800 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

Silvia Liebel (Université Paris XIII)
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Peddled or colportage literature, ephemera, street literature. All these denominations apply to cheap printed materials intended for a broad public during the structuring of the print market in early modern France. Texts produced according to the needs of publishers, following the trends of the time (such as texts that described a newly seen comet, a religious controversy or a crime with shocking details), were developed with the mass of common people in mind, which is to say that they were inexpensive and often targeted those without a high degree of instruction – or even any instruction, as the practice of reading aloud would have expanded accessibility. Therefore, it is not a material that originated from the most modest social …

Citation: Liebel, Silvia. "17th-century French street literature". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 16 May 2017 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=19450, accessed 27 October 2020.]

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