1st Edition

Body, Self and Melancholy The Self-Narratives and Life of the Nobleman Osvaldo Ercole Trapp (1634-1710)

By Siglinde Clementi Copyright 2024

    This book addresses early modern concepts of the body and the self – focussing on three self-narratives authored by the nobleman Osvaldo Ercole Trapp (1634–1710), a body description from head to foot, autobiographical writings, and a brief chronicle of the House of Trapp-Caldonazzo.

    Approaching the complex theme of the question of the early modern self and the historical body, this book intertwines consistent contextualisation and historicisation of self-interpretation and biography. This is done in three steps: first, the content and function of these self-narratives are analysed with reference to current research on early modern self-narratives. In a second step, the life and family history of Osvaldo Ercole Trapp are examined from a microhistorical perspective and placed within the context of the early modern history of Tyrol’s nobility. A third step then goes into detail on individual contexts and discourses that refine one’s comprehension of these self-narratives: noble masculinity; family, house and line; theories of procreation and education; body experience and body images. It combines textual analysis, historical anthropology with a strong gender-historical perspective, microhistory and the history of the body as a history of experience and discourse. With this approach, the study makes an innovative contribution to early modern studies on self-narratives, social history of early modern nobility and the history of the body as the history of experience and discourse.

    This volume will be of interest to students and scholars alike interested in intellectual, social and cultural history.

    Part 1: The Self-Narratives of Osvaldo Ercole Trapp 1. The Texts 2. Approaches Part 2: Biography and Family History Part 3: Contexts and Discourses


    Siglinde Clementi is the Vice-Director of the Competence Centre for Regional History at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, where she leads the research area of gender and women’s history. She is currently working on a research project regarding the concept of the noble house in early modern economics. She has co-edited, among others, the volume Negotiations of Gender and Property through Legal Regimes (14th–19th century).