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Haunted by Headless Bears | Early Modern and Open Access

By November 8, 2015 No Comments

This is part of a weekly series here at TSS: Early Modern and Open Access regularly showcases peer-reviewed articles (or other resources) of interest to early modernists that are freely available in open access formats.

Citation and Link:

Simon F. Davies, “The Adventures of the Headless Bear and Other Reprinted News in Early Modern England,” APPOSITIONS: Studies in Renaissance / Early Modern Literature & Culture 8 (2015)


This article explores the practice of reprinting old news in disguise as new news in early modern England. It traces the story of the most well-known example of this practice, an account of a woman haunted by a headless bear, alongside a number of other examples. New instances are  presented, and new information about more well-known examples is offered. Conclusions are drawn about the reasons for the practice and its wider meaning for the early modern news trade. The article also adds new information on the development of the image of the headless bear itself.


Author Lindsay

Lindsay Ann Reid is a regular contributor to The Scrivener and Early Modern and Open Access. She holds a PhD from the University of Toronto and is a Lecturer in English at the National University of Ireland, Galway.

More posts by Lindsay

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