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Cultural History of Early Modern English Cryptography Manuals

Condition: BRAND NEW
ISBN: 9781472457646
Author(s): Katherine Ellison
Format: Hardcover
Year: 2016
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Dimensions: 234 x 0 x 156 (w x l x h)
Pages: 232

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Description:
During and after the English civil wars, between 1640 and 1690, an unprecedented number of manuals teaching cryptography were published, almost all for the general public. While there are many surveys of cryptography, none pay any attention to the volume of manuals that appeared during the seventeenth century, or provide any cultural context for the appearance, design, or significance of the genre during the period. On the contrary, when the period's cryptography writings are mentioned, they are dismissed as esoteric, impractical, and useless. Yet, as this book demonstrates, seventeenth-century cryptography manuals show us one clear beginning of the capitalization of information. In their pages, intelligence-as private message and as mental ability-becomes a central commodity in the emergence of England's capitalist media state.
Publications boasting the disclosure of secrets had long been popular, particularly for English readers with interests in the occult, but it was during these particular decades of the seventeenth century that cryptography emerged as a permanent bureaucratic function for the English government, a fashionable activity for the stylish English reader, and a respected discipline worthy of its own genre. These manuals established cryptography as a primer for intelligence, a craft able to identify and test particular mental abilities deemed 'smart' and useful for England's financial
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