The Civilization of Europe in the Renaissance

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9780007204632: The Civilization of Europe in the Renaissance

The masterpiece of Britain’s leading Renaissance scholar. Winner of the Time-Life Silver Pen Award and The Royal Society of Literature Award.

‘A superb evocation of the Europe of the “long 16th-century”, wonderfully fresh and rich in its copious illustrative detail, full of innumerable delights. The book is the summation of John Hale’s career as a historian, and as the crowning achievement of a master-designer whose richly fabricated works have given so much pleasure.’ John Elliot, Regius Professor of Modern History at Oxford.

‘The Civilisation of Europe in the Renaissance’ is the most ambitious achievement of Britain’s leading Renaissance historian. John Hale has painted on a grand canvas an enthralling portrait of Europe and its civilisation at a moment when ‘Europe’ first became an entity in the minds of its inhabitants. John Hale’s Renaissance has no compartments. With astonishing range and subtlety of learning, he paints a gigantic picture of the age, enlivened by a multiplicity of themes, people and ideas. It contains memorable descriptions of painting, sculpture, poetry, architecture and music, but Hale is not simply concerned with the arts. He examines the dramatic changes during the period in religion, politics, economics and global discoveries. And throughout his book approaches the art of war and the art created for princes from the point of view of their impact on the imaginations, sensibilities and lives of ordinary people.

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About the Author:

Sir John Hale was, until his death, a Fellow of the British Academy and Emeritus Professor of Italian History at University College, London. He is the author of many books, including England and the Italian Renaissance, Italian Renaissance Painting, Renaissance Europe 1480-1520, Florence and the Medici: the Pattern of Control and A Concise Encyclopaedia of the Italian Renaissance.

From Kirkus Reviews:

A deft survey by a leading British authority on the period's political, military, and art history. Hale presents the Renaissance as the age in which, first through cartography, the nations of Europe (Britain included) gained an awareness of being, however precariously, a cohesive entity. But he places as much stress on the countries' developing prejudices, antipathies, and insular ``mini-economies'' as on their sense of kinship or alliance. After chapters mapping the ``discovery'' of Europe as an idea, its countries, and its divisions, Hale crosses these borders to discuss ``transformations,'' ``transmissions,'' and ``migrating styles'' of art and culture. His examples of local adaptations of Italian works are particularly telling, e.g., a Polish translator of Castiglione's Courtier removed the women from its dialogues, sure that his readers would doubt ``their participation in such a cultivated debate.'' Hale, while furnishing essential information on the culture's immense achievements, ultimately stresses Renaissance Europe's blind spots and omissions, shortcomings and contradictions. Sensual indulgence as opposed to new social controls is exemplified by the fact that ``one out of seven'' Britons were accused of sexual misconduct in Elizabethan England and the inclusion of prostitutes as guests at Vatican entertainments; other problems range from the lack of practical theories of social reform to the excess of engineering ideas that were ``theoretically plausible but impractical'' yet were ``accepted by the wisest council of the soberest government[s] of Europe.'' Galileo, who destroyed the very premises of astrology, still ``cast horoscopes for his Medici patrons and their friends.'' While noting Europe's growing sense of modernity, Hale also traces the continent's cultural ``drawing in on itself,'' regions' rising separatism, cities' found-and-lost civility, and individuals' adoption of ``Melancholy'' out of ``hopeless... inner confusion.'' The art descriptions are wittily precise, the illustrations well-chosen, and the quotations often come from superb period translations. Masterful portraiture. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2005. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.The masterpiece of Britain s leading Renaissance scholar. Winner of the Time-Life Silver Pen Award and The Royal Society of Literature Award.`A superb evocation of the Europe of the long 16th-century , wonderfully fresh and rich in its copious illustrative detail, full of innumerable delights. The book is the summation of John Hale s career as a historian, and as the crowning achievement of a master-designer whose richly fabricated works have given so much pleasure. John Elliot, Regius Professor of Modern History at Oxford.`The Civilisation of Europe in the Renaissance is the most ambitious achievement of Britain s leading Renaissance historian. John Hale has painted on a grand canvas an enthralling portrait of Europe and its civilisation at a moment when `Europe first became an entity in the minds of its inhabitants. John Hale s Renaissance has no compartments. With astonishing range and subtlety of learning, he paints a gigantic picture of the age, enlivened by a multiplicity of themes, people and ideas. It contains memorable descriptions of painting, sculpture, poetry, architecture and music, but Hale is not simply concerned with the arts. He examines the dramatic changes during the period in religion, politics, economics and global discoveries. And throughout his book approaches the art of war and the art created for princes from the point of view of their impact on the imaginations, sensibilities and lives of ordinary people. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780007204632

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