From the Back Cover
SEMINAR STUDIES IN HISTORY
General Editors: Clive Emsley & Gordon Martel
¿Seminar Studies in History...provide a means of bridging the gap between specialist articles and monographs and textbooks. They are written by acknowledged experts on the subject who are not only familiar with current thinking but have often contributed to it. Their format, well-tried and effective, combines information, analysis and assessment effectively. The selections of documents, included from the outset of the series when document work was hardly in vogue in schools, not merely illustrates points made in the text but provides an effective medium for discussion on the issues raised. The further reading guide has stimulated countless students to take their interests further. The structure of the series may not have changed through time but the format has, with attractive four-colour covers and larger pages....Seminar Studies are still, despite all the opposition, a market leader.¿
First published in 1988, Alison Brown¿s Seminar Study on the Renaissance soon established itself as one of the most popular and useful books on the subject. For this expanded Second Edition the book¿s basic structure remains the same, but the author has taken the opportunity to rewrite the text entirely in the light of the wealth of literature which has been published over the past decade and the new directions Renaissance studies have taken. In particular, there are two new chapters, one on the rise of lordships and the impact of the Black Death and one on Renaissance theatre; the bibliography has also been thoroughly updated. As before, the main focus of the book is on the influence of classical ideas on Italy, and although Florence is still central to the book its uniqueness is now viewed more critically.
Alison Brown argues that although the Renaissance was not a movement in isolation, it was unique in many ways. She identifies the elements in society, culture and politics which were influenced by the movement and assesses the speed and the extent to which changes actually took place. Central to her argument is the belief that although the republican language of freedom and individualism encouraged the revival of classical ideas, this should not itself be taken as evidence of progress. She also tackles the means by which the Renaissance movement laid down its roots and spread across Europe.
The author¿s incisive use of some of the mass of documentation that abounds for this period helps readers to focus on the central issues and arguments surrounding the Renaissance. Now revised and updated, this Second Edition is sure to be welcomed by a new generation of students struggling to get to grips with this complex topic.