Robbe Devriese

BA and MA in History (Ghent University)



Contact Details

Thesis Title: Diplomacy and the Printed Media in Seventeenth Century Europe
Supervisor: Prof. Andrew Pettegree and Dr Arthur der Weduwen



Research Interests

I obtained my BA (2014) and MA (2015) in History from Ghent University with a thesis on the relations between the exiled Charles II and the Spanish Monarchy during the Interregnum. Additionally, I obtained an MA (2017) in European politics from the same university. In the summer of 2018 I was an intern with the Universal Short Title Catalogue project at the University of St Andrews.
My current doctoral research is a study of the use of printed news media by diplomats in the second half of the seventeenth century. Diplomats were avid collectors of news. To this end they relied on agents and spies, but they also collected and read newspapers and pamphlets. Some diplomats went as far as to incorporate news publishers directly into their intelligence networks and not a few of these publishers catered to this demand for sensitive information by operating parallel manuscript newsletter services. At the same time, diplomats also tried to meddle in what was being printed and distributed, as they understood the importance of print in the shaping of opinions both in their home countries and abroad. By examining the links between diplomats and news publishers in the Dutch Republic and the Spanish Netherlands, I hope to shed new light on the print and news culture in the both the northern and southern parts of the Low Countries, as a whole a vital region for European politics and diplomacy at the time.

Concurrently, together with Arthur der Weduwen and Panagiotis Georgakakis, I am working on a bibliography of French and Spanish newspapers published in the Low Countries during the seventeenth century. This book, intended as a companion volume to Arthur der Weduwen’s survey of Dutch and Flemish newspapers, will be published in Brill’s Library of the Written Word series.