Description

Broadsheets were a common form of ‘mass media’ in the early 1800s: large single sheets of paper, sold cheaply in the streets, carrying a magazine-like mix of illustrations and text on a wide variety of subjects.

This example first appeared in the 1790s – hence the old-fashioned typesetting, with its long Ss – and subsequently copied and reprinted by several publishers; the version here dates from around 1838. 

It consists of a purported correspondence (‘translated from the original Hebrew’ – in fact the language would have been Syriac) between Jesus of Nazareth to the Syriac King Abgar, concerning the nature of the commandments, cures and miracles. The text is apocryphal – that is, not part of the standard Bible.

The same text was still being published at the end of the century.

Transcript