This introductory chapter sets out the book's purpose: to examine the political and social culture of Parliament, concentrating on the rapidly changing parliamentary practices in the 1620s in print culture, rhetorical strategy, and lobbying as Parliament moved toward the center stage of politics, becoming a “theater of state” and the “point of contact” for a national audience. The study engages with the recent intellectual approaches to early Stuart political culture, typified by Tom Cogswell, Richard Cust, and Alastair Bellany, and draws upon material approaches first identified by “old-school” historians such as Wallace Notestein on printed parliamentary material and Sir J. E. Neale on the ethos of the Commons chamber. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.
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