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.
Table of Contents
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
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).