All the News That Is Fit to Steal: Charles Gildon, Ferrante Pallavicino, and the Geopolitics of Rifled Mailbag Fiction

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Charles Gildon (1665–1724) is known today as the ultimate hack writer of Restoration England. Nonetheless, his two fiction collections in the ‘rifled mailbag’ genre — The Post-Boy Rob'd of His Mail (1692) and The Post-Man Robb'd of His Mail (1719) — contain insights concerning the structures and practices of information gathering in early modern Europe. This essay places these fictions by Gildon in their historical and literary contexts, including his repurposing of the Italian Il Corriero svaligiato by Ferrante Pallavicino, the relation to John Dunton's Athenian Mercury, and the use of addresses and occupations of letters to describe the geopolitics of Restoration London and its surround.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-44
Number of pages14
JournalJournal for Eighteenth-Century Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Literature and Literary Theory

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