|dc.description.abstract||The thesis deals with the party journalism of the years
1710-1712 as it concerned Marlborough, relating it to its political
context and discussing the techniques of controversy employed.
The introduction outlines Marlborough's popular status
during the earlier years of Anne's reign, the uneasiness aroused by
his family's monopoly of royal favour, the growing discontent with
the war, despite his repeated victories, and Marlborough's personal
reactions to such criticism.
The first three chapters concern the issues arising from
the ministerial changes and General Election of 1710, measures which
many pamphleteers justified by censuring Marlborough's abuse of royal
favour and conduct as general and plenipotentiary. The important
contribution of Marlborough's principal apologist, Francis Hare, to
this latter controversy is discussed in detail. Chapter III demonstrates
that journalistic. pressure was also a determining factor in Marlborough's
retention of his command under the new ministry.
Chapters IV to'VI trace the efforts of Marlborough's
Journalistic supporters during his last campaign to make his continuing
military success the spearhead of their opposition to the ministry's secret
peace negotiations, a procedure more favoured by the Duchess of
Marlborough than by the Duke, and culminating at the end of 1711 in
major ministerial press attacks on the latter and finally in his
dismissal on charges of financial malpractice.
The last two chapters describe the controversies of the year
following Marlborough's dismissal, including the journalists'
unscrupulous exploitation of the peculation charges, and the numerous
publications purporting to expose plots of Marlborough's devising
against the Queen and ministry. The difficulties facing his defenders
and the effect of this massive and damaging press campaign on the
Duke himself are also examined.
An epilogue deals briefly with journalistic reactions to
Marlborough's period of self-exile on the Continent from December
1712 until August 1714.||en_US