SRS Book Series: Renaissance and Early Modern Worlds of Knowledge – 2022 Book Round-Up and Looking Ahead to 2023

January 4, 2023
By SRS Book Series

At the start of the new year, we want to take the opportunity to highlight some of the fantastic work being done in the field of Renaissance Studies by looking back at the books published with the Renaissance and Early Modern Worlds of Knowledge book series in 2022. We will also give a sneak preview of some of the up-coming works which will be published in 2023.

These authors cover a wide range of intellectual, religious, print, and political history across the Renaissance period, and links to all of the books mentioned here can be found via the Routledge website –


2022 Book Round-Up

Protestant Politics Beyond Calvin: Reformed Theologians on War in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, ed. Ian Campbell and Floris Verhaart (Routledge, 2022)
The Reformed (or Calvinist) universities of sixteenth and seventeenth-century Europe hosted rich, Latin-language conversations on the nature of politics, the powers of kings and magistrates, resistance, revolution, and religious warfare. Nevertheless, it is too often assumed that Reformed political thought did not develop beyond John Calvin’s Institutes of 1559. This book remedies this problem, presenting extracts from major Reformed theologians and intellectuals (including Peter Martyr Vermigli, Guillaume de Buc, David Pareus, Lambert Daneau, and Bartholomäus Keckermann) which demonstrate both continuity and change in Reformed political argument. These men taught in France, the Holy Roman Empire, the Low Countries, and England, between the 1540s and 1660s, but they were read in universities throughout the North Atlantic world into the eighteenth century. Should all political action be subject to God’s direct command? Were humans capable of using their own God-given reason to tell right from wrong? Was it ever just to resist tyrants? Was religious difference enough by itself to justify war? Their political doctrines often aroused the greatest controversy in their own time; this is generally the first time that these extracts from their works have been translated into English. These texts and translations are accompanied by an introduction placing these authors in the context of the great European religious wars, advice on further reading, and a full bibliography.

Francisco Gómez Martos, Staging Favorites: Theatrical Representations of Political Favoritism in the Early Modern Courts of Spain, France, and England (Routledge, 2022)
Staging Favorites explores theatrical representations of royal favorites in Spanish, French, and English dramatic production during the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. During this time, the courts of Spain, France, and England were dominated by all-powerful ministers who enjoyed royal favor. The politics of royal favoritism gave rise to a significant group of plays which constitutes the subject of this book. While scholars have studied this group partially and separately in national context, Staging Favorites approaches these “dramas about favorites” from a wider European point of view, and performs comparative analyses of a number of plays – including La paciencia en la fortuna; Le Favori, ou la Coquette; and Sejanus His Fall – and adds new detail and differentiation to the early modern perception and representation of the royal favorite. This book will appeal to scholars and students interested in early modern literature, history of theater, and cultural history.

Esther van Raamsdonk, Milton, Marvell, and the Dutch Republic (Routledge, 2022)
The tumultuous relations between Britain and the United Provinces in the seventeenth century provide the backdrop to this book, striking new ground as its transnational framework permits an overview of their intertwined culture, politics, trade, intellectual exchange, and religious debate. How the English and Dutch understood each other is coloured by these factors, and revealed through an imagological method, charting the myriad uses of stereotypes in different genres and contexts. The discussion is anchored in a specific context through the lives and works of John Milton and Andrew Marvell, whose complex connections with Dutch people and society are investigated. As well as turning overdue attention to neglected Dutch writers of the period, the book creates new possibilities for reading Milton and Marvell as not merely English, but European poets.

Katie Bank, Knowledge Building in Early Modern English Music (Routledge, 2022)
Knowledge Building in Early Modern English Music is a rich, interdisciplinary investigation into the role of music and musical culture in the development of metaphysical thought in late sixteenth-, early seventeenth-century England. The book considers how music presented questions about the relationships between the mind, body, passions, and the soul, drawing out examples of domestic music that explicitly address topics of human consciousness, such as dreams, love, and sensing. Early seventeenth-century metaphysical thought is said to pave the way for the Enlightenment Self. Yet studies of the music’s role in natural philosophy has been primarily limited to symbolic functions in philosophical treatises, virtually ignoring music making’s substantial contribution to this watershed period. Contrary to prevailing narratives, the author shows why music making did not only reflect impending change in philosophical thought but contributed to its formation. The book demonstrates how recreational song such as the English madrigal confronted assumptions about reality and representation and the role of dialogue in cultural production, and other ideas linked to changes in how knowledge was built. Focusing on music by John Dowland, Martin Peerson, Thomas Weelkes, and William Byrd, this study revises historiography by reflecting on the experience of music and how music contributed to the way early modern awareness was shaped.

Kaarlo Havu, Juan Luis Vives: Politics, Rhetoric, and Emotions (Routledge, 2022)
By looking at rhetoric and politics, this book offers a novel account of Juan Luis Vives’ intellectual oeuvre. It argues that Vives adjusted rhetorical theory to a monarchical context in which direct speech was not a possibility, demonstrated how Erasmian languages of ethical self-government and political peace were actualised rhetorically and critically in a princely environment, and finally, rethought the cognitive and emotional foundations of humanist rhetoric in his late and famous De anima et vita (1538). Ultimately, towards the end of his life, Vives epitomised a distinctively cognitive view of politics; he maintained that political concord was not a direct outcome of institutional or legal reform or of the spiritual transformation of the Christian world (an optimistic Erasmian interpretation) but that concord could only be upheld once the dynamics of emotions that motivated political action were understood and controlled through responsible rhetoric that respected decorum and civility.

Angela Andreani, Meredith Hanmer and the Elizabethan Church: A Clergyman’s Career in 16th Century England and Ireland (Routledge, 2022)
This is the first book-length study of the fascinating life of the clergyman and scholar of Welsh descent Meredith Hanmer (c.1545–1604). Hanmer became involved in the key scholarly controversies of his day, from the place of the Elizabethan Church in Christian history to the role of the 1581 Jesuit mission to England led by Edmund Campion and Robert Persons. As an army preacher in Ireland during the Nine Years War, Hanmer campaigned with the most acclaimed soldiers of his day. He nurtured connections with prominent intellectuals of his time and with the key figures of colonial government. His own career as a clergyman was colourful, involving bitter disputes with his parishioners and recurring aspersions on his character. Surprisingly, no study to date has centred on this intriguing character. The surviving evidence for Hanmer’s life and activities is unusually rich, comprising his published writings and a large body of under-exploited manuscript material. Drawing extensively on archival evidence scattered across a wide number of repositories, Dr. Andreani’s book contextualises Hanmer’s clerical activities and wide-ranging scholarship, elucidates his previously little understood career, and thus enriches our understanding of life, politics, and scholarship in the Elizabethan church.

Travel and Conflict in the Early Modern World, ed. Gábor Gelléri and Rachel Willie (Routledge, 2022)
This edited collection examines the meeting points between travel, mobility, and conflict to uncover the experience of travel – whether real or imagined – in the early modern world. Until relatively recently, both domestic travel and voyages to the wider world remained dangerous undertakings. Physical travel, whether initiated by religious conversion and pilgrimage, diplomacy, trade, war, or the desire to encounter other cultures, inevitably heralded disruption: contact zones witnessed cultural encounters that were not always cordial, despite the knowledge acquisition and financial gain that could be reaped from travel. Vast compendia of travel such as Hakluyt’s Principal Navigations, Voyages and Discoveries, printed from the late sixteenth century, and Prévost’s Histoire Générale des Voyages (1746-1759) underscored European exploration as a marker of European progress, and in so doing showed the tensions that can arise as a consequence of interaction with other cultures. In focusing upon language acquisition and translation, travel and religion, travel and politics, and imaginary travel, the essays in this collection tease out the ways in which travel was both obstructed and enriched by conflict.

Embodiment, Expertise, and Ethics in Early Modern Europe: Entangling the Senses, ed. Marlene L. Eberhart and Jacob M. Baum (Routledge, 2022)
Embodiment, Expertise, and Ethics in Early Modern Europe highlights the agency and intentionality of individuals and groups in the making of sensory knowledge from approximately 1500 to 1700. Focused case studies show how artisans, poets, writers, and theologians responded creatively to their environments, filtering the cultural resources at their disposal through the lenses of their own more immediate experiences and concerns. The result was not a single, unified sensory culture, but rather an entangling of micro-cultural dynamics playing out across an archipelago of contexts that dotted the early modern European world—one that saw profound transitions in ways people used sensory knowledge to claim ethical, intellectual, and practical authority.

Confessional Diplomacy in Early Modern Europe, ed. Roberta Anderson and Charlotte Backerra (Routledge, 2022)
Confessional Diplomacy in Early Modern Europe examines the role of religion in early modern European diplomacy. In the period following the Reformations, Europe became divided: all over the continent, princes and their peoples split over theological, liturgical, and spiritual matters. At the same time, diplomacy rose as a means of communication and policy, and all powers established long- or short-term embassies and sent envoys to other courts and capitals. The book addresses three critical areas where questions of religion or confession played a role: papal diplomacy, priests and other clerics as diplomatic agents, and religion as a question for diplomatic debate, especially concerning embassy chapels.

Patrick Murray, Intellectual and Imaginative Cartographies in Early Modern England (Routledge, 2022)
Taking as its focus an age of transformational development in cartographic history, namely the two centuries between Columbus’s arrival in the New World and the emergence of the Scientific Revolution, this study examines how maps were employed as physical and symbolic objects by thinkers, writers and artists. It surveys how early modern people used the map as an object, whether for enjoyment or political campaigning, colonial invasion or teaching in the classroom. Exploring a wide range of literature, from educational manifestoes to the plays of Marlowe and Shakespeare, it suggests that the early modern map was as diverse and various as the rich culture from which it emerged, and was imbued with a whole range of political, social, literary and personal impulses. Intellectual and Imaginative Cartographies in Early Modern England, 1550-1700 will appeal to all those interested in the History of Cartography.

Lucinda Byatt, Niccolò Ridolfi and the Cardinal’s Court: Politics, Patronage and Service in Sixteenth-Century Italy (Routledge, 2022)
Niccolò Ridolfi (1501–50), was a Florentine cardinal, nephew and cousin to the Medici popes Leo X and Clement VII, and he owed his status and wealth to their patronage. He remained actively engaged in Florentine politics, above all during the years of crisis that saw the Florentine state change from republic to duchy. A widely respected patron and scholar throughout his life, his sudden death during the conclave of 1549–50 led to allegations of poison that an autopsy appears to confirm. This book examines Cardinal Ridolfi and his court in order to understand the extent to which cardinalate courts played a key part in Rome’s resurgence and acted as hubs of knowledge located on the fault lines of politics and reform in church and state, hospitable spaces that can be analysed in the context of entanglements in Florentine and Roman cultural and political patronage, and intersections between the princely court and a more professional and complex knowledge and practice of household management in the consumer and service economy of early modern Rome. Based on an array of archival sources and on three treatises whose authors were closely linked to Ridolfi’s court, this monograph explores these multidisciplinary intersections to allow the more traditional fields of church and political history to be approached from different angles. Niccolò Ridolfi and the Cardinal’s Court will appeal to all those interested in the organisation of these elite establishments and their place in sixteenth-century Roman society, the life and patronage of Niccolò Ridolfi in the context of the Florentine exiles who desired a return to republicanism, and the history of the Roman Catholic Church.

Selected Essays on George Gascoigne, ed. Gillian Austen (Routledge, 2022)
This collection of essays situates George Gascoigne in context as the pre-eminent writer of the early part of Queen Elizabeth’s reign. His ceaseless experimentation was hugely influential on those later Elizabethans – including Spenser, Sidney and Shakespeare – who represent the great flowering of the English literary renaissance. Gascoigne rarely returned to a genre, writing prose fiction, blank verse, plays, sonnets, narrative verse, courtly entertainments, satire and many other literary forms, and the later Elizabethans were fully aware of his significance. These essays are organised into three main sections: influences upon Gascoigne, such as Skelton; Gascoigne’s influence on others, including Spenser; and finally a reassessment of his critical neglect and the story behind his marginalised status in the English literary canon. As only the second multi-authored essay collection on Gascoigne, this book makes a valuable contribution to our understanding of this important and often misunderstood writer.


Forthcoming Books to be published in 2023

Towards an Equality of the Sexes in Early Modern France, ed. Derval Conroy (Routledge, 2023) – January 9, 2023
This volume sets out to examine the ways in which an equality between the sexes is constructed, conceptualised, imagined or realised in early modern France, a period and a country which produced some of the earliest theorisations on equality. In so doing, it aims to contribute towards the development of the history of equality as an intellectual category within the history of political thought, and to situate “the woman question” within that history. The eleven chapters in the volume span the fields of political theory, philosophy, literature, history and history of ideas, bringing together literary scholars, historians, philosophers and scholars of political thought, and examining an extensive range of primary sources. Whilst most of the chapters focus on the conceptualisation of a moral, metaphysical or intellectual equality between the sexes, space is also given to concrete examples of a de facto gender equality in operation. The volume is aimed at scholars and graduate students of political thought, history of philosophy, women’s history and gender studies alike. It aims to throw light on the history of Western ideas of equality and difference, questions which continue to preoccupy cultural historians, philosophers, political theorists and feminist critics.

Mariana Labarca, Itineraries and Languages of Madness in the Early Modern World: Family Experience, Legal Practice, and Medical Knowledge in Eighteenth-Century Tuscany (Routledge, 2023) – January 9, 2023
Drawing on a wide range of sources including interdiction procedures, records of criminal justice, documentation from mental hospitals, and medical literature, this book provides a comprehensive study of the spaces in which madness was recorded in Tuscany during the eighteenth century. It proposes the notion of itineraries of madness, which, intended as an heuristic device, enables us to examine records of madness across the different spaces where it was disclosed, casting light on the connections between how madness was understood and experienced, the language employed to describe it, and public and private responses devised to cope with it. Placing the emotional experience of the Tuscan families at the core of its analysis, this book stresses the central role of families in the shaping of new understandings of madness and how lay notions interacted with legal and medical knowledge. It argues that perceptions of madness in the eighteenth century were closely connected to new cultural concerns regarding family relationships and family roles, which resulted in a shift in the meanings of and attitudes to mental disturbances.

Euhemerism and Its Uses: The Mortal Gods, ed. Syrithe Pugh (Routledge, 2023) – January 9, 2023
Euhemerism and Its Uses offers the first interdisciplinary, focussed, and all-round view of the long history of an important but understudied phenomenon in European intellectual and cultural history. Euhemerism – the claim that the Greek gods were historically mortal men and women – originated in the early third century BCE, in an enigmatic and now fragmentary text by the otherwise unknown author Euhemeros. This work, the Sacred Inscription, has been read variously as a theory of religion, an atheist’s manifesto, as justifying or satirizing ruler-worship, as a fantasy travel-narrative, and as an early ‘utopia’. Influencing Hellenistic and Roman literature and religious and political thought, and appropriated by early Christians to debunk polytheism while simultaneously justifying the continued study of classical literature, euhemerism was widespread in the middle ages and Renaissance, and its reverberations continue to be felt in modern myth-theory. Yet, though frequently invoked as a powerful and pervasive tradition across several disciplines, it is still under-examined and poorly understood. Filling an important gap in the history of ideas, this volume will appeal to scholars and students of classical reception, mediaeval and Renaissance literature, historiography, and theories of myth and religion.

Anglo-Dutch Connections in the Early Modern World, ed. Sjoerd Levelt, Esther van Raamsdonk and Michael D. Rose (Routledge, 2023) – February 10, 2023
This ground-breaking collection reveals the networks of interrelation between Early Modern England and the Dutch Republic. As people, ideas and goods moved back and forth across the North Sea – or spread further afield in the vanguard of globalisation and empire – Anglo-Dutch relations shaped all aspects of life, with profound implications still relevant today. A diverse range of expert scholars share new research in their discipline, ranging across technology, trade, politics, religion and the arts. Different aspects of this history of competition, alliance, migration and conflict are taken up by each chapter, providing the reader with detailed case studies as well as the broader background and its historical roots. Anglo-Dutch Connections in the Early Modern World aims to be both accessible and innovative. It will be essential to students and researchers interested in European politics, intellectual history, and shared Anglo-Dutch society, while showcasing current research in multiple facets of the Early Modern World.

Nil Ö. Palabıyık, Silent Teachers: Turkish Books and Oriental Learning in Early Modern Europe, 1544–1669 (Routledge, 2023) – March 17, 2023
Silent Teachers considers for the first time the influence of Ottoman scholarly practices and reference tools on oriental learning in early modern Europe. Telling the story of oriental studies through the annotations, study notes and correspondence of European scholars, it demonstrates the central but often overlooked role that Turkish-language manuscripts played in the achievements of early orientalists. Dispersing the myths and misunderstandings found in previous scholarship, the book offers a fresh history of Turkish studies in Europe and new insights into how Renaissance intellectuals studied Arabic and Persian through contemporaneous Turkish sources. This story hardly has any dull moments: the reader will encounter many larger-than-life figures, including an armchair expert who turned his alleged captivity under the Ottomans into bestselling books; a drunken dragoman who preferred enjoying the fruits of the vine to his duties at the Sublime Porte; and a curmudgeonly German physician whose pugnacious pamphlets led to the erasure of his name from history. Taking its title from the celebrated humanist Joseph Scaliger’s comment that books from the Muslim world are ‘silent teachers’ and need to be explained orally to be understood, this study gives voice to the many and varied Turkish-language books that circulated in early modern Europe and proposes a paradigm-shift in our understanding of early modern erudite culture.


Information about all our books is available on the Routledge website and we will be posting updates on these as well as brief interviews with various authors in the coming months. In the meantime, Happy New Year from the Society for Renaissance Studies!

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