“Samuel Pepys, the Restoration Public and the Politics of Publicity”
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This thesis is situated in three fields of academic research. The first is the on-going reconceptualization of early modern political history conducted under the title of ‘post-revisionism’. Within this field of research, Jurgen Habermas’s notion of an emergent public sphere has proven a key, if contested, heuristic in the production of a more expansive and inclusive political field. The next field is Restoration studies. Whilst this period has enjoyed a much-heralded renaissance of interest in the past quarter century, this has largely bypassed its opening decade, the focus of this study. Finally, this thesis is an intervention in the field of Pepys studies: an extensive corpus of work spanning the academic-popular divide, and extending across traditional disciplinary boundaries. Despite this continued interest in Pepys, there has been no recent study focusing on his participation in the public sphere identified by recent research. This thesis then brings these fields of inquiry together in an attempt to raise questions about all three. In particular it examines questions of space and practice, agency and publicity, and identity and identification. Whilst this study confirms the post-revisionist notion of an expansive field of political discourse, it emphasizes different features of this space than those that have dominated recent research. First it suggests the need for a reconfiguration of public space, alternative modes of publicity and a more hierarchical understanding of interactions within it. Next, in the place of an inclusive and anonymous public, it emphasizes the exclusionary and disciplinary nature of the public and operation of the public sphere. Finally it emphasizes Pepys’ position as not merely spectator of, or participant in this public space/public, but also, increasingly, as its object or effect.
AuthorsMagliocco, David Charles
- Theses