Reporting the news in English and Italian diplomatic correspondence

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This contribution examines at both a textual superstructure and semantic macrostructural level (van Dijk 1985; 1988) two sets of diplomatic newsletters that envoys sent back to their respective Secretary of State at the turn of the eighteenth century. The first set of original manuscripts consists of letters sent in 1703 by Sir Lambert Blackwell, England’s envoy to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, to England’s Secretary of State, the earl of Nottingham. The other collection comprises the similarly weekly newsletters Francesco Terriesi, Tuscan envoy to England, wrote in 1690 to the Grand Duchy’s Secretary of State. The analysis shows that whilst the discursive context and aims of such correspondence results in a similar superstructure and macrostructure in the two sets of newsletters there are nevertheless significant stylistic differences in the reporting of the weekly news. Although this is the first cross-linguistic research of its kind, it draws on previous work by Fitzmaurice (2006; 2008) and Okulska (2006) regarding other aspects of English diplomatic correspondence.


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