In a famous essay on the tenacity of the Burckhardtian conception of the Renaissance, Johan Huizinga wrote that '[A]t the sound of the word ‘Renaissance’ the dreamer of past beauty sees purple and gold.' After reading Carole Collier Frick’s engrossing, multi-layered book, Huizinga’s romantic dreamers will have to become far more nuanced in their visual imaginings of the past.
Although the Electorate of Saxony was one of the most influential Protestant territories in the Holy Roman Empire, it has received little attention from English scholars.
The book I have before me feels rather expensive, well-made, a hardback with a striking dust jacket bearing an enlarged portion of an historic print. Inside, the paper is silky smooth, the ink dark and clean, the layout elegant with generous outer margins. The illustrations too are clean and clear, dropped into the text.
This is an ambitious book, attempting as it does to span the whole of Europe and cover six hundred years of urbanism. It is also ambitious in trying to bridge the conventional divide drawn between the ‘medieval’ and ‘modern’ ages usually placed by historians and archaeologists somewhere between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries.
Professor Robert Bireley SJ in his study The Jesuits and the Thirty Years War: Kings, Courts, and Confessors proposes to answer three closely interrelated questions.
On the cover of Gerald MacLean’s engaging new study, The Rise of Oriental Travel: English Visitors to the Ottoman Empire, 1580-1720 is a ‘Portrait of a European Man’ by the Ottoman Artist Abdelcelil Celebi, known as Levni, and painted c.1720. MacLean does not discuss this portrait, but its selection as a cover image is calculated and significant.
Some books enlighten and disappoint at the same time. This is how I felt having read Oleg Tarasov’s book. Originally Tarasov’s doktorskaia dissertatsiia (the second PhD), the book was first published in Russian and has now been painstakingly translated by Robin Milner-Gulland and lavishly published by Reaktion Books.
Early Stuart foreign policy remains a relatively neglected topic, despite mounting evidence for the importance of international religious conflicts in British political culture and the strains imposed by the demands of war on the British state.
It is not often that a tutor is handed an entire course on a plate, ready for consumption, served up complete with material for the lectures, case studies, points for seminar discussion, essay questions, as well as primary and secondary readings for student use. But that is exactly what the pair of books under review provide.
The narrow streets of ancient Naples are like the bottoms of chasms that meet at right angles.