Property and Power: On James Harrington’s 400th birthday

Power is founded on property. Few people nowadays would deny this doctrine. The political philosopher James Harrington formulated it in the mid-seventeenth century. Living in per-industrial England he still considered land, not money, the most important form of property. The social group that held most of the country’s land also held the largest amount of… Continue reading Property and Power: On James Harrington’s 400th birthday

Eric Nelson’s Hebrew Republic and the Importance of Jewish Sources

In his book on The Hebrew Republic, Eric Nelson sets out to refute the commonly held assumption in early modern historiography that political science came to be separated from religion over the course of the seventeenth century. Instead, he argues that the concept of the respublica Hebraeica was seen as authoritative by many political thinkers,… Continue reading Eric Nelson’s Hebrew Republic and the Importance of Jewish Sources

Raphael: Cartoons and Tapestries for the Sistine Chapel at the V&A

The Raphael Cartoons at the V&A are quite impressive works of art in their own right. Roughly four metres wide and three metres high they show scenes from the lives of the Apostles Saint Peter and Saint Paul, such as  The Miraculous Draught of Fishes or The Sacrifice at Lystra. They are powerful reminders of… Continue reading Raphael: Cartoons and Tapestries for the Sistine Chapel at the V&A

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

Shakespeare, Chaucer and Joyce: A Conference on Medieval and Early Modern Authorship

If it has never occurred to you that Chaucer might have influenced Joyce as much as Homer then you should read more medieval literature – or listen to Helen Cooper (Cambridge). Even though Joyce decided to name his Ulysses after Homer’s classical Odyssey, Cooper argues, his true ‘poetic father’ in the English language was Chaucer,… Continue reading Shakespeare, Chaucer and Joyce: A Conference on Medieval and Early Modern Authorship

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

Conference: Medieval and Early Modern Authorship, 30 June-2 July

Swiss Association of Medieval and Early Modern English Studies Medieval and Early Modern Authorship 30 June – 2 July 2010, University of Geneva Authorship has come to the forefront of medieval and early modern English studies in recent years, as is shown by the wealth of important publications in this area. The objective of this conference is to… Continue reading Conference: Medieval and Early Modern Authorship, 30 June-2 July

Horace Walpole and Strawberry Hill at the V&A

The little blue-enamelled toothpick case left quite an impression. Not because it was so remarkably beautiful, but because it seemed so random, useless even – in a good way. Many of the items currently on display in the V&A’s exhibition on Horace Walpole and Strawberry Hill are of that quality, and that’s their attraction. There… Continue reading Horace Walpole and Strawberry Hill at the V&A

CFP: Durham C17th Conference – Ideals and Values

Durham University Centre for Seventeenth-Century Studies Elvet Riverside, New Elvet, Durham, DH1 3JT, England. Director:   Professor Richard Maber Tel: 0191-334 3431      Fax: 0191-334 3421      e-mail: R.G.Maber@durham.ac.uk THIRTEENTH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE DURHAM CASTLE 19-22 JULY 2010 CALL FOR PAPERS Proposals are invited for the thirteenth Conference of the Durham Centre for Seventeenth-Century Studies, which will focus on… Continue reading CFP: Durham C17th Conference – Ideals and Values