The Universal Register (text 1 – p. 14 in the brochure)

Before you do anything, you should read the short introduction I’ve written to the Universal Register p. 13 in the brochure.

Then read the text p. 14 and look at some of the advertisements in the first issue of the Universal Register p. 16.

The text p. 14 is a scan from the original and the typography is therefore 18th-century typography. The main peculiarity is that the letter “s” at the beginning and in the middle of words almost looks like the letter “f”. To help you read, I have made an audio recording of the text.

Text 1 – The Universal Register

How should I work on the text?

After you have read the text attentively with the help of the notes below,

  1. Reflect on what the author attempts to do in writing the text given the historical context (both as you know it from the lecture and as it described in the text itself).

2. Try to answer the following question: what does the author say is special about the Universal Universal?

3. Then attempt to write the introduction to a commentary:

  • you should present the nature, origin and author of the document. You should also put it back in its immediate historical context and, if relevant, in a (slightly) broader historical context too.
  • You should sum up the content of the document.
  • You should present the aims and intentions the author had in writing the document and say what these aims and intentions can tell historians (historical interest of the document).

Vocabulary notes

sanguine (6) = optimistic

intelligence (45) = information

the happy medium (58) = le juste milieu

advertising correspondents (69-70) = people who paid for advertisements to be published in the newspaper (they usually sent the text of their advertisement by post, which is why they are called “correspondents”).

the Members (84) = Members of Parliament, MPs.

the metropolis = London

This entry was posted in 18th Century Anglo-American World. Bookmark the permalink.