By Bernard Gagnepain

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Mistress Page’s father has a shop in which she makes the acquaintance of her lover, George Strangwich, who is a trusted employee there. There are many references to sums of money (paid to hire assassins) and dates and times. The murder of Page takes place on Wednesday, 11 February, a convenient date because Mistress Page is sleeping alone, having recently given birth to a dead baby. The method of the killing of Page is carefully described. He is beaten and strangled by the two hired assassins, and then ‘they laid him ouerthwart ye bed, and against the bed side broke his neck, and when they sawe he was surelye dead, they stretched him and layde him in his bed again, spreading the clothes in ordinary sort, as though no such act had been attempted’ (sigs.

This can take apparently authentic forms such as written testimony, for example, in Gilbert Dugdale, A True Discourse of the Practises of Elizabeth Dugdale (1604), or Fair Warning to the Murderers of Infants: being an Account of the Tryal Codemnation [sic] and Execution of Mary Goodenough (1691), or speeches made during interrogation at the trial, sometimes summarised. Elsewhere, direct speech is included in forms closer to those of fiction, such as dialogue between the participants or the expression of inner feelings, as in a soliloquy.

8). Newes from the Dead is not an occasionel as such in that it is comparatively long and written (purportedly by a ‘scholler in Oxford’) for readers who could appreciate donnish verses in Latin and it Early Modern News and Crime Writing 27 also appears to be based on an actual event; but the structuring of its story has origins in materials which are traditional and probably oral; the pamphlet (along with other reports of Anne Green’s miraculous return to life) testifies to the hybrid nature of ‘news’ and different meanings of truth claims in early modern England.

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La musique francaise du moyen age et de la renaissance by Bernard Gagnepain


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