This volume examines the determining role of context in the production and reception of news texts from the seventeenth century until the first half of the twentieth century. The context is understood as historical, social, political, professional, textual and material, with chapters focusing on how such a context or contexts influenced the language and reception of the news texts in question. The contributors to the volume are experts in their field of research and have employed a variety of methodological approaches in their analyses of the interrelationship between context and historical news discourse. These include historical pragmatics, historical discourse analysis, critical discourse analysis, appraisal theory, frame theory, and corpus linguistics.
The volume is divided into three sections: British News Contexts, International News Contexts, and Advertising Contexts. The first two sections offer a wide-ranging examination of how context has determined the writing and understanding of news in both the British and international domain. The third section in the volume on advertising contexts and discourse is not just justified by the fundamental importance of advertising in the development and history of the press but also by the social and political relevance of the topics examined in the advertisements. These include studies on mental health and asylum advertisements, runaway slaves classified advertisements, and embedded nationalistic content and ideology in Irish newspaper advertisements of the 1930s.