European Contexts for English Republicanism  book cover
1st Edition

European Contexts for English Republicanism

ISBN 9781138250475
Published September 22, 2016 by Routledge
288 Pages

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Book Description

European Contexts for English Republicanism offers new perspectives on early modern English republicanism through its focus on the Continental reception of and engagement with seventeenth-century English thinkers and political events. Looking both at political ideas and at the people that shaped them, the collection examines English republican thought in its wider European context during the later seventeenth and eighteenth century. In a number of case studies, the contributors assess the different ways in which English republican ideas were not only shaped by the thought of the ancients, but also by contemporary authors from all over Europe, such as Hugo Grotius or Christoph Besold. They demonstrate that English republican thinkers did not only act in dialogue with Continental authors and scholars, their ideas in turn also left a long-lasting legacy in Europe as they were received, transformed and put to new uses by thinkers in France, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany and Poland. Far from being an exclusively transatlantic affair, as much of the established scholarship suggests, English republican thought also left its legacy on the European Continent, finding its way into wider debates about the rights and wrongs of the English Civil War and the nature of government, while later translations of English republican works also influenced the key thinkers of the French Revolution and the liberals of the nineteenth century. Bringing together a range of fresh and original essays by British and European scholars in the field of early modern intellectual history and English studies, this collection of essays revises a one-sided approach to English republicanism and widens the scope of study beyond linguistic and national boundaries by looking at English republicans and their continental networks and legacy.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction, Gaby Mahlberg and Dirk Wiemann; Part I English Republicanism and Continental Thought in the 1650s: Liberty for export: ’republicanism’ in England 1500-1800, Blair Worden; Spectacles of astonishment: tragedy and the regicide in England and Germany, 1649-1663, Dirk Wiemann; Marchamont Nedham and the mystery of state, Rachel Foxley; Harrington, Grotius, and the Commonwealth of the Jews, 1656-1660, Marco Barducci; Irenic secularization and the Hebrew Republic in Harrington’s Oceana, Mark Somos; Why the Dutch didn’t read Harrington: Anglo-Dutch republican exchanges, c.1650-1670, Arthur Weststeijn; Popularizing government: democratic tendencies in Anglo-Dutch republicanism, Hans W. Blom. Part II The Wansleben Manuscript of Harrington’s Works (1665): The Wansleben manuscript, Thérèse-Marie Jallais; Wansleben’s Harrington, or ’The Fundations and Modell of a Perfect Commonwealth’, Gaby Mahlberg; A ’republican’ Englishman in Leghorn: Charles Longland, Stefano Villani; English Harringtonian republicanism in France and Italy: changing perspectives, Thérèse-Marie Jallais. Part III An English Republican Tradition in Europe?: The Harringtonian legacy in Britain and France, Rachel Hammersley; Lost in [French] translation: Sidney’s elusive republicanism, Pierre Lurbe; Prussian republicanism? Friedrich Bucholz’s reception of James Harrington, Iwan-Michelangelo D’Aprile; Bibliography; Index.

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Dirk Wiemann is Professor of English Literature at the University of Potsdam, Germany. Along with a keen interest in postcolonial studies, his research focuses on the areas of seventeenth-century English republicanism and radicalism, emotion studies and contemporary representations of the English Civil War. His publications include Genres of Modernity: Contemporary Indian Novels in English (Editions Rodopi B.V., 2008) and a number of articles on aspects of cultural politics in seventeenth-century England. Gaby Mahlberg is Senior Lecturer in Early Modern British History at Northumbria University, UK. She has previously taught at the University of East Anglia, Queen Mary College and Goldsmiths in the UK, and Humboldt University, Berlin and the University of Potsdam in Germany, and is author of Henry Neville and English Republican Culture in the Seventeenth Century: Dreaming of Another Game (Manchester University Press, 2009).


'... well written ... students of the period will find this a helpful addition to our understanding of the English Revolution.' Seventeenth-Century News '... highly interesting to scholars working on early modern political thought.' Renaissance Quarterly 'Gaby Mahlberg and Dirk Wiemann's excellent collection of essays, European Contexts for English Republicanism, is a much-needed, groundbreaking work. ... Early modern intellectual historians will find it useful and enjoyable for many years to come. Historians of the book, legal and political historians, as well as early modern European historians will only benefit from it.' Sixteenth Century Journal