Anglo-French Information Exchange in the Long Sixteenth Century: An Interdisciplinary Workshop

Event Date: 
26 Jun 2015


Institute for Historical Research, London


The sixteenth century represents a critical moment in the history of England’s complex relations with France. At the beginning of the century, only Calais remained of the once-extensive English possessions on the other side of the Channel. The early 1560s saw an intriguing new development as England gained important allies in France, the Huguenots. The reign of Elizabeth I was characterised by both the marriage negotiations between the Tudor Queen and the sons of Catherine de’ Medici and a somewhat problematic English interest in the French Civil Wars, an interest that reached through to the 1620s.


These political connections between England and France were mirrored by cultural links between the two countries, particularly in the area of non-literary exchange. Drawing on the recent scholarship in the field of both cultural and book history, this study day aims to investigate the various kinds of networks that were channelling information between France and England during the sixteenth century. Attention will be given not only to printing, but also to the circulation of information, intelligence and news in oral form and in manuscripts.


By bringing together both emerging and established scholars interested in this research topic, this workshop aims to re-evaluate the importance of Anglo-French information networks during the long sixteenth century, and to identify future areas of collaboration and research.


We invite papers on the following and related topics:

  • Translations of non-literary texts between English and French
  • The circulation of French books in England and English books in France 
  • Identifying intelligence and information
  • The circulation of news and information between England and France
  • Editorial practices concerned with printed news and information texts
  • Manuscripts and the circulation of information
  • Epistolary and Diplomatic Networks
  • People as information conduits
  • Oral information transmission

The deadline for proposals is 1st March 2015.

To submit a proposal or for more information, please contact the organisers: Sara Barker (University of Leeds), Stefania Gargioni (University of Kent) & David Potter (University of Kent). Email: 

Submission date for papers: 
01 Mar 2015
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