More Difficult from Dublin than from Dieppe’: Ireland and Britain in a European Network of Communication


Recent early modern news histories have tended to emphasise the international scope of the networks on which news travelled. New techniques, falling under the umbrella term ‘digital humanities’, allow for the examination of news as a complete network, and this article explores the ways in which, using these techniques, the connections between Ireland and Britain can be thought of as not only local, peripheral and bilateral but also within a larger, European news system. Using network science, originally developed for the analysis of the World Wide Web, this article shows that the European system has universal network properties:it is scale-free, divided into clusters and exhibits the ‘small world’ phenomenon, explaining its resilience to interruption and the relative efficiency of early modern information transfer.

Media History, 24 (3-4)
Yann Ryan
Yann Ryan
Research Fellow, Networking Archives Project

I’ve been at Queen Mary, University of London since 2014 and recently completed a PhD in the history of early modern news.