Synopses & Reviews
In this provocative and wholly absorbing work, Lisa Jardine offers a radical interpretation of the Renaissance, arguing that the creation of culture during that time was inextricably tied to the creation of wealth -- that the expansion of commerce spurred the expansion of thought. As Jardine boldly states, "The seeds of our own exuberant multiculturalism and bravura consumerism were planted in the European Renaissance." While Europe's royalty and merchants competed with each other to acquire works of art, vicious commercial battles were being fought over who should control the centers for trade around the globe. Jardine encompasses Renaissance culture from its western borders in Christendom to its eastern reaches in the Islamic Ottoman Empire, bringing this opulent epoch to life in all its material splendor and competitive acquisitiveness. "A savvy, street-smart history of the Renaissance."--Dan Cryer, "Jardine's lively book is specific and down-to-earth. A particularly fascinating section recalls how books suddenly ceased to be principally collector's items or aids to scholars and became the sixteenth century's Internet, dispensing fact and fancy to high and low."--
Provocative and wholly absorbing, this fascinating work presents a radical interpretation of the Renaissance, arguing that the creation of culture during the time was inextricably tied to the creation of wealth. Illustrations. NPR feature.
"Fascinating. . . . A notable achievement. . . . Real history is in the details, the small stories, of which is a treasure house."--Richard Bernstein,
Includes bibliographical references (p. 437-452) and index.
About the Author
Lisa Jardine is professor of English and dean of the Faculty of Arts at Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London. She is the author of many works, including Erasmus, Man of Letters.