Meeting Jacob Boehme in Dresden

I had a few days off work and went on a spontaneous trip to Dresden for some quiet writing time. Naturally, once I got there I spent more time wandering around the city and enjoying the sights in the last rays of the autumn sun than actually writing, and so I stumbled upon this little… Continue reading Meeting Jacob Boehme in Dresden

Creating and Preserving the Digital Republic of Letters

Earlier this week I attended the excellent Durham conference on ‘Intellectual Networks in the Long Seventeenth Century’. With a theme like this it seemed inevitable for participants to talk about the early modern Republic of Letters and to draw parallels between early modern and modern networks around the (known) world. So I had the honour… Continue reading Creating and Preserving the Digital Republic of Letters

‘The World is Our House’: A Midsummer’s Symposium of Jesuit Culture and Music, 1540-1700

Swansea University and Hereford Cathedral are holding a Midsummer symposium on international Jesuit culture, 1540–1700. The event on 21 June celebrates the re-evaluation of the Cwm Jesuit Library, housed at Hereford Cathedral since 1679. The library is the largest surviving seventeenth-century Jesuit missionary library in Britain. Scholars are currently analysing the library as part of a… Continue reading ‘The World is Our House’: A Midsummer’s Symposium of Jesuit Culture and Music, 1540-1700

On the economic power of God’s invisible Church

‘Brethren in Christ’ was the common form of address in correspondences among Calvinist elites in early modern Europe as they asked for each other’s support and solidarity, in particular in times of displacement and hardship caused by bouts of intolerance sparked by the Counter-Reformation. Among those forced into exile for their faith during the sixteenth… Continue reading On the economic power of God’s invisible Church

Continental Connections: Anglo-European Intellectual Networks, c1500-1800

A Day Workshop at Northumbria University 2 May 2013 Lipman Building, Room 121 Early modern England was more European in outlook than much of the (anglocentric) historiography suggests, and nowhere was this more obvious than in the Republic of Letters, which crossed both territorial and linguistic boundaries. However, this community of scholars and literary figures… Continue reading Continental Connections: Anglo-European Intellectual Networks, c1500-1800

The Holbein Stare and Other Works of Art

Be prepared for the Holbein stare. His sitters will look right at you, or through you – like Derich Born. Serious beyond his years, wealthy and confident, the 23-year-old merchant of Cologne was the youngest member of the London Hanseatic League and seems remarkably lifelike as his dark brown eyes look out from underneath his… Continue reading The Holbein Stare and Other Works of Art

Charitable Hatred, or the Trouble with Tolerance in Early Modern England

In her book on ‘tolerance and intolerance’ in early modern England Alex Walsham takes a swipe at the Whiggish notion of the ‘rise of toleration’ (7) and the domination of the field by the history of ideas. Emphasisng the point that it was the moral duty of every good Christian at the time to correct… Continue reading Charitable Hatred, or the Trouble with Tolerance in Early Modern England

The ‘Monarchical Republic’ and its Critics

Patrick Collinson first set out his idea of ‘The Monarchical Republic of Queen Elizabeth I’ in a journal article in 1987. In this article he emphasised in particular two ways in which Elizabethan subjects conceived themselves as ‘citizens’ and displayed considerable self-governing capacities. First, there were Elizabeth’s Privy Councillors at the centre, who were hatching… Continue reading The ‘Monarchical Republic’ and its Critics