Center of the periphery
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Print culture was a fundamental site in which new ideas about England’s role in world affairs were debated in the latter half of the sixteenth century. Print changed the ways in which new discoveries, proposals, grievances, and questions were assessed, and not always to the desired effect. In the face of the sphinx-like power of the press, a wide array of strategies emerged to control it. But people at many levels of the publishing process could use the rhetoric of the text, and of the printed book, to rearrange the relationships between authors and readers, to upset the thrust of a particular line of argument, to alter the aesthetic, moral, or pragmatic judgment a reader might exercise, or in a more subtle way to change the terms of the issue at hand. In view of the diversity of these possibilities, this report follows figures known to the London print world, some authors, some printers, and examines how they acted, reacted, and worked through, issues that arose from being on the cusp of England’s relationship with a wider world.