A small workshop shows why I like the EU and Brexit is a bad idea

I have just returned from our annual workshop on Translating Cultures at the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel (HAB, Germany) which is always a great opportunity to catch up with friends and colleagues while discussing the significance of translation for the dissemination of ideas in early modern Europe. The spread of papers was amazing –… Continue reading A small workshop shows why I like the EU and Brexit is a bad idea

Royalist Republicans in the United Provinces

I have just finished reading Helmer Helmers’ The Royalist Republic (CUP, 2015), which offers a profound challenge to received views of Anglo-Dutch relations during the seventeenth century, in particular the idea ‘still influential among non-specialists – that Dutch republicanism somehow separated Dutch political culture from the kingdoms surrounding it.’ (262) In his book, Helmers explores the… Continue reading Royalist Republicans in the United Provinces

Translation Matters

I work at the Foreign Services Desk of a news agency and I moonlight as an intellectual historian of early modern Britain. Both jobs have been fostering my obsession with translation. Part of my day job consists in translating news stories into German – mainly from English, less frequently from Spanish, and occasionally bits and pieces… Continue reading Translation Matters

Translating Cultures in Early Modern Europe – What’s Next?

Sometimes a workshop is only a workshop, and sometimes it is the beginning of a whole new project. With the recent Translating Cultures event held at the Herzog August Library in Wolfenbüttel, Germany on 26 and 27 June, my co-convernor Thomas Munck and I soon had the feeling it could be the latter. We got… Continue reading Translating Cultures in Early Modern Europe – What’s Next?

Early Modern Political Thought and Twenty-First-Century Politics

I love Newcastle and the Lit&Phil, and this workshop on Early Modern Political Thought and Twenty-First-Century Politics in mid-May was probably one of the most fun public history events I have yet participated in. Rachel Hammersley managed to get together a panel of early modern historians who all had something to say about how the… Continue reading Early Modern Political Thought and Twenty-First-Century Politics

Translating Cultures – Workshop at the Duke August Library, 26/27 June

If you are an early modernist interested in translation, print and the book trade in Europe and you can make it to Wolfenbüttel this summer, drop in on our workshop on 26 and 27 June. We are gathering at the excellent Duke August Library (HAB) once in the charge of the Enlightenment philosopher Gotthold Ephraim… Continue reading Translating Cultures – Workshop at the Duke August Library, 26/27 June

An exile’s home: Algernon Sidney in Nérac

So, that’s the castle in France where the English republican Algernon Sidney (1623-1683) spent roughly five years of his exile during the Restoration period: le château de Nérac in the capital of the Pays d’Albret in the south west of the country. The area was traditionally protestant and associated with rebellion and resistance to monarchical… Continue reading An exile’s home: Algernon Sidney in Nérac

Uncertainty and the post-truth society

The word ‘Brexit’ entered the Oxford English Dictionary for the first time this month, only weeks after Donald Trump was elected as the next president of the United States and ‘post-truth’ was chosen as the word of the year. All three events are to a greater or lesser extent manifestations of anger with the establishment,… Continue reading Uncertainty and the post-truth society

Political Thought in Times of Crisis, 1640-1660 – Symposium, 1-3 Dec

Sponsored by the Folger Institute Center for the History of British Political Thought, Washington, US. Was the mid-seventeenth-century crisis in Britain and Ireland essentially one aspect of a broader “global” crisis? How might scholars theorize the relationships between political thought and other verbal and non-verbal expressions of change and instability (political, economic, social, cultural, and… Continue reading Political Thought in Times of Crisis, 1640-1660 – Symposium, 1-3 Dec

Improving the Nation

In his new book, The Invention of Improvement, Paul Slack sets out to do two things: first, to trace the ‘notion of improvement’ in seventeenth-century ‘public discourse’ (vii) in England; and secondly to show how ‘the quest for improvement distinguished England from other countries.’ (1) Slack has not set himself an easy task as he… Continue reading Improving the Nation