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David Rundle

The Renaissance Reform of the Book and Britain

€ 99.00

`In the panoramic sweep of The History of Great Britain by the Edinburgh minister, Robert Henry (1718-1790), the fifteenth century was an unlovely low-point, an age with a total want of taste. He was not unaware that this was also the time of `the first restorers of useful and polite learning in the western world` but they were in a distant land: `that new and better taste in the study of letters, which had so long prevailed in Italy, was little known or regarded in Britain till the beginning of the sixteenth century`. These tardy apish peoples had not yet roused themselves even to base imitation. Robert Henry was admired by David Hume but so abused by some reviewers that his fate can even now make an author shudder for fear of the reception their offerings might suffer. In those diatribes, however, no issue was taken with Henry`s description of fifteenth-century culture. Moreover, whatever its perceived faults, Henry`s monumental work proved influential. True, he is rarely cited now but some of the assumptions in the passages just quoted still popularly pertain. None might speak in terms of darkness or, indeed, of taste; hyperbole about `an illiterate age` is no longer accepted style, and all would refer to what was happening in Italy as Renaissance humanism (two words invented since Henry`s day). Despite those differences, few would query his chronology of British engagement with humanism -- but we should. As is made clear in Chapter I, since at least the 1940s, scholars have been unearthing and interpreting examples of fifteenth-century interest in the activities of the Italian humanists. This monograph is indebted to that work and builds on it`-

Taal / Language : English

Extra informatie: 
362 pagina's
Januari 2019
419 gram
210 x 150 x 22 mm
Cambridge University Press gb

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