'Arcana imperii': a history of espionage in early-modern Britain, 1598-1715

Marshall, A (2021) 'Arcana imperii': a history of espionage in early-modern Britain, 1598-1715. Manchester University Press, Manchester. (Forthcoming)


This book is the first full academic historical analysis of the varied roles, context and organization of government espionage systems and their personnel during the history of the long seventeenth-century in Britain. Historically it ranges from the methods and background of the nascent court ‘intelligence systems’ in Queen Elizabeth I’s reign, when such matters were often awkwardly overseen by courtiers, through to a detailed investigation of the emergent state controlled espionage and intelligence systems that can be found in the eras of the early Stuarts, the Civil War, and Republican and Restoration Britain. The book will end historically with an analysis of the period when nascent ideas of a ‘secret service’, that was centrally located in the governments of William III and Queen Anne, emerged at the beginning of the eighteenth-century and it will give a full review of the slow, and often stumbling, march of the idea of the ‘secret state’, something that lay in direct opposition, of course, to the parallel emergent concept of the ‘public sphere’ within the English, Scottish, Irish and, post-1707, British polity.

Item Type: Book

Part of the 'Politics, culture and society in early modern Britain' series.


Introduction: ‘Suspicious minds’: the history of espionage in the long-seventeenth century
Chapter One: Spying, philosophy and early-modern government
Chapter Two: The mechanics and structure of early-modern espionage
Chapter Three: Texts, readers, contemporary administrative practice, and espionage
Chapter Four: The politics and finance of espionage
Chapter Five: Eight spies and their masters
Chapter Six: A social and cultural history of informers
Chapter Seven: The early-modern press and intelligence and espionage
Chapter Eight: Plots, conspiracies, intrigues, and espionage

Keywords: espionage ; early modern Britain; spies ; intelligence; Tudor and Stuart Britain
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Divisions: School of Humanities
Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2016 11:55
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2021 09:43
Request a change to this item or report an issue Request a change to this item or report an issue
Update item (repository staff only) Update item (repository staff only)