1st Edition

Interpreting Early Modern Europe

Edited By C. Scott Dixon, Beat Kümin Copyright 2020
    526 Pages
    by Routledge

    526 Pages
    by Routledge

    Interpreting Early Modern Europe is a comprehensive collection of essays on the historiography of the early modern period (circa 1450-1800).

    Concerned with the principles, priorities, theories, and narratives behind the writing of early modern history, the book places particular emphasis on developments in recent scholarship. Each chapter, written by a prominent historian caught up in the debates, is devoted to the varieties of interpretation relating to a specific theme or field considered integral to understanding the age, providing readers with a ‘behind-the-scenes’ look at how historians have worked, and still work, within these fields. At one level the emphasis is historiographical, with the essays engaged in a direct dialogue with the influential theories, methods, assumptions, and conclusions in each of the fields. At another level the contributions emphasise the historical dimensions of interpretation, providing readers with surveys of the component parts that make up the modern narratives.

    Supported by extensive bibliographies, primary materials, and appendices with extracts from key secondary debates, Interpreting Early Modern Europe provides a systematic exploration of how historians have shaped the study of the early modern past. It is essential reading for students of early modern history.


    For a comprehensive overview of the history of early modern Europe see the partnering volume The European World 3ed Edited by Beat Kumin - https://www.routledge.com/The-European-World-15001800-An-Introduction-to-Early-Modern-History/Kuminah2/p/book/9781138119154.

    Introduction: Interpreting Early Modern Europe

    C. Scott Dixon and Beat Kümin

    Chapter 1: Medieval and Modern

    Euan Cameron

    Chapter 2: Identities and Encounters

    Charles H Parker

    Chapter 3: Gender and Social Structures

    Merry Wiesner-Hanks

    Chapter 4: Renaissance

    Edward Muir

    Chapter 5: Reformations

    C. Scott Dixon

    Chapter 6: Media and Communication

    Mark Greengrass

    Chapter 7: Material Cultures

    Bruno Blondé and Wouter Ryckboch

    Chapter 8: The State

    James Collins

    Chapter 9: War and the Military Revolution

    Christopher Storrs

    Chapter 10: Expansion, Space and People

    Dagmar Freist

    Chapter 11: Commerce and Industry

    Maarten Prak

    Chapter 12: Science and Reason

    John Henry

    Chapter 13: Popular Cultures and Witchcraft

    Kathryn Edwards

    Chapter 14: Political Thought

    Noah Dauber

    Chapter 15: Enlightenment Struggles

    Dorinda Outram

    Chaper 16: French Revolution

    Paul Hanson

    Chapter 17: Turns and Perspectives

    Beat Kümin







    C. Scott Dixon is Senior Lecturer at Queen’s University Belfast. His previous books include Protestants: A History from Wittenberg to Pennsylvania, 1517-1740 (2010), Contesting the Reformation (2012), and The Church in the Early Modern Age (2016).

    Beat Kümin is Professor of Early Modern European History at the University of Warwick, U.K. Publications include Drinking Matters: Public Houses and Social Exchange in Early Modern Central Europe (2007), Imperial Villages (2019) and the edited collection The European World 1500-1800: An Introduction to Early Modern History (3rd edn, 2018).

    Interpreting Early Modern Europe will provide generations of students with a secure guide to how their subject has evolved and is evolving. Its value is enhanced by the inclusion of extracts from important sources and from the writings of key historians.’ 

    Hamish Scott, Canadian Journal of History, 2022


    ‘[M]any [of the authors] are themselves responsible for the current shape of important fields in the discipline of history. […] No contribution merely dishes up a standard story; many offer strikingly imaginative rethinkings of the subject at hand. […] In the end, readers will find themselves struck by the ways in which a larger, more original picture of early modern Europe, as a whole, has emerged.’

    Mary Lindemann, Renaissance Quarterly, 2022