The oldest and most renowned Dutch university, Leiden was an attractive proposition for travelling foreign students in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Alongside offering an excellent academic program and outstanding facilities, Leiden was also able to cater to the desires of noble students providing various extra-curricular activities. Leiden was the most popular continental university among English students, and this book investigates the 831 English students who studied there between 1575 and 1650. The preference of English students for Leiden was, on the one hand, related to close Anglo-Dutch relations of the period, and these are investigated with respect to politics, economy, religion, culture, as well as to the large 'stranger' communities residing in the respective countries. On the other hand, Leiden's attraction resulted from its academic achievements, which are traced back to the conditions in the United Provinces, the limited influence of the Calvinist Church, Leiden's professors, as well as the university's facilities. The core of this study is an exhaustive quantitative study of the composition of the Leiden student population in general, and that of its English segment in particular. Information is provided on the duration of the studies of English students at Leiden, their age, social background and fields of study. We learn about the careers of English students both prior to and after their time at Leiden, and of the motivation that led the English to choose Leiden over other continental universities. More than a study of one group of students at one university, this book is a valuable contribution to the history of early modern universities and will appeal to a wide international readership interested in cultural and intellectual history as well as in Anglo-Dutch relations.
Daniela PrÃ¶gler studied history and archaeology in Frankfurt, Dublin, and Cambridge. Her research interests include university history, and social and cultural history in early modern times.
'... a remarkable achievement.' Renaissance Quarterly '... a welcome addition to the historiography. ... it will appeal to the specialist ...' History of Universities 'PrÃ¶gler has produced a careful study that tackles even more than the title advertises, and her data on the English students who matriculated will be of enduring value.' Isis