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
Chapter 2: Identities and Encounters
Charles H Parker
Chapter 3: Gender and Social Structures
Chapter 4: Renaissance
Chapter 5: Reformations
C. Scott Dixon
Chapter 6: Media and Communication
Chapter 7: Material Cultures
Bruno Blondé and Wouter Ryckboch
Chapter 8: The State
Chapter 9: War and the Military Revolution
Chapter 10: Expansion, Space and People
Chapter 11: Commerce and Industry
Chapter 12: Science and Reason
Chapter 13: Popular Cultures and Witchcraft
Chapter 14: Political Thought
Chapter 15: Enlightenment Struggles
Chaper 16: French Revolution
Chapter 17: Turns and Perspectives
‘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