No catches, no fine print just unadulterated book loving, with your favourite books saved to your own digital bookshelf.
New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop Plus lots lots more…Find out more
See below for a selection of the latest books from Early modern history: c 1450/1500 to c 1700 category. Presented with a red border are the Early modern history: c 1450/1500 to c 1700 books that have been lovingly read and reviewed by the experts at Lovereading. With expert reading recommendations made by people with a passion for books and some unique features Lovereading will help you find great Early modern history: c 1450/1500 to c 1700 books and those from many more genres to read that will keep you inspired and entertained. And it's all free!
Unlike other biographies, which have focused on the court politics of the Tudor era, the romantic desires of Henry VIII that drove his serial marriages, and the military and economic challenges to England at the time, this Lutheran interpretation focuses on the central influence of religious belief on the king and queen, and explains how Katherine's devotion to the self-questioning protestant ethos had a directing influence on her actions. In particular, the author identifies her seminal work, 'The Lamentation of a Sinner', as the key to unlocking Katherine's personality. These were more religious times than secular readers today might at first appreciate,but this book shows it is crucial to our understanding of why the last years of Henry VIII's reign played out as they did, and how his last queen survived when her predecessors suffered divorce and execution.
Approaching the Stuart courts through the lens of the queen consort, Anna of Denmark, this study is underpinned by three key themes: translating cultures, female agency and the role of kinship networks and genealogical identity for early modern royal women. Illustrated with a fascinating array of objects and artworks, the book follows a trajectory that begins with Anna's exterior spaces before moving to the interior furnishings of her palaces, the material adornment of the royal body, an examination of Anna's visual persona and a discussion of Anna's performance of extraordinary rituals that follow her life cycle. Underpinned by a wealth of new archival research, the book provides a richer understanding of the breadth of Anna's interests and the meanings generated by her actions, associations and possessions. -- .
On 28 January 1547, the sickly and obese King Henry VIII died at Whitehall. Just hours before his passing, his last will and testament had been read, stamped and sealed. The will confirmed the line of succession as Edward, Mary and Elizabeth; and, following them, the Grey and Suffolk families. It also listed bequests to the king's most trusted councillors and servants. Henry's will is one of the most intriguing and contested documents in British history. Historians have disagreed over its intended meaning, its authenticity and validity, and the circumstances of its creation. As well as examining the background to the drafting of the will and describing Henry's last days, Suzannah Lipscomb offers her own, illuminating interpretation of one of the most significant constitutional documents of the Tudor period.
Thomas Gresham was arguably the first true wizard of global finance. He rose through the mercantile worlds of London and Antwerp to become the hidden power behind three out of the five Tudor monarchs. Today his name is remembered in economic doctrines, in the institutions he founded and in the City of London's position at the economic centre of the earth. Without Gresham, England truly might have become a vassal state. His manoeuvring released Elizabeth from a crushing burden of debt and allowed for vital military preparations during the wars of religion that set Europe ablaze. Yet his deepest loyalties have remained enigmatic, until now. Drawing on vast new research and several startling discoveries, the great Tudor historian John Guy recreates Gresham's life and singular personality with astonishing intimacy. He reveals a calculating survivor, flexible enough to do business with merchants and potentates no matter their religious or ideological convictions. Yet his personal relationships were disturbingly transactional. SHe was a figure of cold unsentimentality even to members of his own family. Elizabeth I found herself at odds with Gresham's ambitions. In their collisions and wary accommodations, we see our own conflicts between national sovereignty and global capital foreshadowed. A story of adventure and jeopardy, greed and cunning, loyalties divided, mistaken or betrayed, this is a biography fit for a merchant prince.
This book explores the political construction of imperial frontiers during the reigns of Ferdinand the Catholic and Charles V in the Iberian Peninsula and the Mediterranean. Contrary to many studies on this topic, this book neither focuses on a specific frontier nor attempts to provide an overview of all the imperial frontiers. Instead, it focuses on a specific individual: Juan Rena (1480-1539). This Venetian clergyman spent 40 years serving the king in several capacities while travelling from the Maghreb to northern Spain, from the Pyrenees to the western fringes of the Ottoman Empire. By focusing on his activities, the book offers an account of the Spanish Empire's frontiers as a vibrant political space where a multiplicity of figures interacted to shape power relations from below. Furthermore, it describes how merchants, military officers, nobles, local elites and royal agents forged a specific political culture in the empire's liminal spaces. Through their negotiations and cooperation, but also through their competition and clashes, they created practices and norms in areas like cross-cultural diplomacy, the making of the social fabric, the definition of new jurisdictions, and the mobilization of resources for war.
1520 explores the characters of two larger-than-life kings, whose rivalry and love-hate relations added a feisty edge to European relations in the early sixteenth century. What propelled them to meet, and how did each vie to outdo the other in feats of strength and yards of gold cloth? Everyone who was anyone in 1520 was there. But why was the flower of England's nobility transported across the Channel, and how were they catered for? What did this temporary, fairy-tale village erected in a French field look like, feel like and smell like? This book explores not only the political dimension of their meeting and the difficult triangle they established with Emperor Charles V, but also the material culture behind the scenes. While the courtiers attended masques, dances, feasts and jousts, an army of servants toiled in the temporary village created specially for that summer. Who were the men and women behind the scenes? What made Henry rush back into the arms of the Emperor immediately after the most expensive two weeks of his entire reign? And what was the long-term result of the meeting, of that sea of golden tents and fountains spouting wine? This quinquecentenary analysis explores the extraordinary event in unprecedented detail. Based on primary documents, plans, letters and records of provisions and with a new focus on material culture, food, textiles, planning and organisation.
This book explores how human interaction in the frontier zones of the early modern Mediterranean was represented during the period, across genres and languages. The Muslim-Christian divide in the region produced an unusual kind of slavery, fostered a surge in conversion to Islam and offered an ideal habitat for Catholic martyrdom. The book argues that identities and alterities were multiple, that there was no war between Christianity and Islam and that commerce prevailed over ideology and dogma. Inspired by Braudel, who asserts that 'the Mediterranean speaks with many voices; it is a sum of individual histories', it endeavors to allow the people of the early modern Mediterranean to speak for themselves. -- .
When Erasmus, at Cambridge in 1512, began to mark up his copy of the Vulgate Bible with a few alternative Latin translations and a biting comment here and there in Latin, he could not have guessed that his work would grow over the next twenty-three years into the twenty volumes currently being produced as annotated translations in The Collected Works of Erasmus. Paraphrases vastly expanded the text of the New Testament books, and brought dynamic and controversial interpretations to the traditional reading of the Latin texts. A new translation based on the Greek text, the first ever to be published by a printing firm, became the basis for ever-expanding notes that explained the Greek, measured the contemporary church against the truth revealed by the Greek, taunted critics and opponents, and revealed the mind of a humanist at work on the Scriptures. The sheer vastness of the work that finally accumulated is almost beyond the reach of a single individual. By excerpts chosen over the entire extent of Erasmus' New Testament work, this book hopes to reduce that immensity to manageable size, and bring the rich, virtually unlimited treasure of the Erasmian mind on the Scriptures within the comfortable reach of every interested individual.
Until the middle of the nineteenth century, quarantine laws in all Western European nations mandated the detention of every inbound trader, traveller, soldier, sailor, merchant, missionary, letter, and trade good arriving from the Ottoman Empire and North Africa. Most of these quarantines occurred in large, ominous fortresses in Mediterranean port cities. Alex Chase-Levenson examines Britain's engagement with this Mediterranean border regime from multiple angles. He explores how quarantine practice laid the foundations for the state provision of public health and constituted an early example of European integration. Situated at the intersection of political, cultural, diplomatic, and medical history, The Yellow Flag captures the texture of quarantine as an experience, its power as an administrative precedent, and its novelty as an example of a continental border built from the ground up by low-level bureaucrats.
This is the first modern study of the Fellowship of Merchant Adventurers - England's most important trading company of the sixteenth century - in its final century of existence as a privileged organisation. Over this period, the Company's main trade, the export of cloth to northwest Europe, was overshadowed by rising traffic with the wider world, whilst its privileges were continually criticised in an era of political revolution. But the Company and its membership were not passive victims of these changes; rather, they were active participants in the commercial and political dramas of the century. Using thousands of neglected private merchant papers, Fellowship and Freedom views the Company from the perspective of its members, in the process bringing to life the complex social worlds of early modern merchants. For members, 'freedom' meant not just the right to access a privileged market, but also to trade independently, which could conflict with the 'fellowship' of corporate affiliation, and the responsibilities to the collective that it entailed. The study's major theme is the challenge of maintaining corporate unity in the face of this and other pressures that the Company faced. It restores the centrality of the Merchant Adventurers within three important historical narratives: England's transition from the margins to the centre of the European, and later global, economy; the rise and fall of the merchant corporation as a major form of commercial government in premodern Europe; and the political history of the corporation in an era of state formation and revolution.
This collection brings together historians, political theorists and literary scholars to provide historical perspectives on the modern debate over freedom of speech, particularly the question of whether limitations might be necessary given religious pluralism and concerns about hate speech. It integrates religion into the history of free speech and rethinks what is sometimes regarded as a coherent tradition of more or less absolutist justifications for free expression. Contributors examine the aims and effectiveness of government policies, the sometimes contingent ways in which freedom of speech became a reality and a wide range of canonical and non-canonical texts in which contemporaries outlined their ideas and ideals. Overall, the book argues that while the period from 1500 to 1850 witnessed considerable change in terms of both ideas and practices, these were more or less distinct from those that characterise modern debates. -- .