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Early modern war narratives and the Revolt in the Low Countries$
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Raymond Fagel, Leonor Álvarez Francés, and Beatriz Santiago Belmonte

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781526140869

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7765/9781526140876

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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 03 August 2021

‘Do not reveal that I wrote this’: diplomatic correspondence, news and narratives in the early years of the civil war in the Low Countries

‘Do not reveal that I wrote this’: diplomatic correspondence, news and narratives in the early years of the civil war in the Low Countries

Chapter:
(p.18) 1 ‘Do not reveal that I wrote this’: diplomatic correspondence, news and narratives in the early years of the civil war in the Low Countries
Source:
Early modern war narratives and the Revolt in the Low Countries
Author(s):

M.J. Rodríguez-Salgado

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7765/9781526140876.00008

The wars in the Low Countries in diplomatic correspondence between 1567 and 1577 are the starting point of this chapter: but a prelude, rather than the substantive part. Initial research on several of Philip II’s ambassadors revealed that it was often difficult to identify what materials they used for their communications to foreign courts. It was impossible to reconstruct adequately most of the narratives they transmitted, and ‘spin’ is often the essence of political narrative. The surviving papers of ambassadors allows an assessment of the kinds of information they received relating to events in the Low Countries. To what extent did they rely on official documentation describing events in the region? If they had private sources of information, did these include first-hand accounts of military encounters and life at the front? Did commanders and/or administrators inform ambassadors of their activities and, if so, can we detect whether it was as part of the habitual information and patronage exchanges, or if there was a clear intention to project their own role in these newsworthy events? How far were ambassadors aware of, or participants in, the propaganda wars?

Keywords:   Dutch Revolt, Spanish Habsburg Empire, diplomatic history, Philip II, war narratives, diplomatic correspondence

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