There is nothing new about 'fake news', as Jack Avery will show in this free online talk about the bitter Anglo-Dutch Wars of the 1600s.
Speaker: Jack Avery (Royal Museums Greenwich)
Title: 'Sea-Gibberish': Fake news and the Anglo-Dutch Wars
'The noise, the smoke, the sweat, the fire, the blood / are not to be expressed nor understood', wrote Andrew Marvell about the difficulties of accurately reporting about naval warfare during this period. These difficulties were even greater if the battle hadn’t gone as hoped; worse still, your opponent would already be busy spinning their version of events. Allegations of false reporting flew back and forth during these conflicts and the navy’s leaders kept a close eye on the news to make sure they were given the right amount of coverage. Politicians of the 1660s and 1670s realized that getting the right story believed could determine the course of a war but they faced sceptical news consumers at home and abroad.
Why should historians be interested in 'fake news'? What techniques did government journalists use when writing about the wars? Did readers notice or care, and how did they respond?
Using new archival findings, this talk will shed light on these questions and reveal the complex interactions that took place between propagandists and poets, news consumers and naval heroes.
This event, which is free and open to everyone, will take place via Zoom.