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This is a revisionist history of press censorship in the rapidly expanding print culture of the sixteenth century. Professor Clegg establishes the nature and source of the controls, and evaluates their means and effectiveness. The state wanted to control the burgeoning press, but there were difficulties in practice because of the competing and often contradictory interests of the Crown, the Church, and the printing trade. By considering the literary and bibliographical evidence of books actually censored and by placing them in the literary, religious, economic and political culture of the time, Clegg concludes that press control was not a routine nor a consistent mechanism but an individual response to particular texts that the state perceived as dangerous. This will be the standard reference work on Elizabethan press censorship, and is also a history of the Elizabethan state's principal crises.