chapter  1
24 Pages

The Pamphlets in London

Thomas Dekker wrote his pamphlets during a period of rapid change in the capital. Much of this change was part of longer-term trends the growth of the capital's economy, its population, and the physical city itself and its suburbs; and the consequent shifts in its economic, social and cultural systems. Like many of his contemporaries, Dekker was highly sensitive to these developments. For Dekker, the most immediately relevant economic developments of his time took place in the theatres and the book trade. Writing for the theatre and the press was, as we have seen, increasingly professional and commercial, and the changes in the ways that their livelihoods were funded were a source of anxiety for some writers. Joad Raymond notes an obsolete early sixteenth-century usage of pamphelet' meaning prostitute. Discursive exchange more generally could be associated with whoring. John Earle wrote of Paul's Walk, with its vast confusion of Languages', that it was the eares Brothell, and satisfies their lust and ytch'.