By Robert MacBride

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63 Publicity is as continuous or discontinuous as the communication process from which it results. It undoubtedly gains in continuity when durable social relationships develop, since the players who shape the public sphere through their interactions develop fixed and recognizable roles, patterns of behaviour, and mutual expectations. An intensive social life and an extensive infrastructure are important preconditions. 64 Studies of actors in a public sphere will therefore always have to take account of the space the public infrastructure offers them.

86 The Wilhelmus, which has now become the national anthem of the Netherlands, was a popular Orangist song created by an anonymous poet in the tradition of the rhetoricians and for or in the circle of William of Orange. There is debate as to its author, the time of its origin and the aim of the song. 84 literary cultures and public opinion 31 function that literary texts fulfilled in the formation of opinion. They helped to develop and disseminate frameworks, templates and stereotypes by means of which an interested public could interpret the world, explain social developments, identify standpoints and groups and decide which party they preferred.

An appeal in rhyme to the people of Mechelen While in stage scripts like those by Jacob Duym and Job de Wael various ideas could be weighed up at the same time, in their incisive ballads, pointed songs, didactic ballads and other forms of verse, authors often took a more clearly defined stance. 88 Additional coherence is given to this collection of political and governmental documents (letters, placards, edicts and petitions) by the poems interpolated between them, such as a pasquil and a ballad from 1567, which comment upon 87 Compare Mah, ‘Phantasies of the Public Sphere’.

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Civil War ironclads: the dawn of naval armor by Robert MacBride


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