A Companion to Eighteenth-Century Europe


This Companion contains 31 essays by leading international scholars to provide an overview of the key debates on eighteenth-century Europe.
  • Examines the social, intellectual, economic, cultural, and political changes that took place throughout eighteenth-century Europe
  • Focuses on Europe while placing it within its international context
  • ...
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This Companion contains 31 essays by leading international scholars to provide an overview of the key debates on eighteenth-century Europe.
  • Examines the social, intellectual, economic, cultural, and political changes that took place throughout eighteenth-century Europe
  • Focuses on Europe while placing it within its international context
  • Considers not just major western European states, but also the often neglected countries of eastern and northern Europe
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is a useful book. It starts the student off with the idea if interrelationships between social, economic, cultural and political change.... University libraries catering for a wide range of courses in historical subjects will want to consider this for acquisition." (Reference Reviews, 2009)

"This is an impressive volume, with leading experts providing a wide-ranging coverage that should satisfy most requirements for effective and thoughtful introductory surveys.... All specialists on this period will find much of value in this excellent volume." (History, January 2009)

"A vivid portrait of 18th-century Europe…. Inclusion of diverse interpretative methodologies, including gender studies … brings fascinating illumination to period sociology. Recommended for European history collections." (Library Journal)

Library Journal

In 31 engaging essays, Wilson (From Reich to Revolution) and 29 international scholars offer a vivid portrait of 18th-century Europe, including many previously under-recognized northern and eastern states. Also significant is the book's inclusion of diverse interpretative methodologies, including gender studies-which brings fascinating illumination to period sociology. The essays are thematically divided into five segments: communities and their economic realities, the development of culture, geographically disparate sociopolitical concerns, Europe's connection to the outside world, and variations in government. Intended for field specialists, the essays sometimes make references that may seem obscure to general readers. Recommended for European history collections.

—Savannah Schroll Guz
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Peter H. Wilson is Grant Professor of History at the University of Hull. His books include From Reich to Revolution: German History 1558-1806 (2004); Absolutism in Central Europe (2000) and The Holy Roman Empire 1495-1806 (1999).
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations viii

Notes on Contributors xi

Acknowledgments xv

Maps xvi

Introduction 1
Peter H. Wilson


1 Eighteenth-Century History and the European Environment 11
Dennis Wheeler

2 Gender 27
Deborah Simonton

3 Rural Economy and Society 47
Markus Cerman

4 Manufacturing, Markets, and Consumption 66
Beverly Lemire

5 Towns and their Inhabitants 82
Marc Schalenberg

6 The Eighteenth-Century Nobility: Challenge and Renewal 94
Hamish Scott

7 Poverty 109
Peter H. Wilson


8 The Public Sphere 125
Michael Schaich

9 Enlightened Thought, its Critics and Competitors 141
Thomas Munck

10 Medicine, Medical Practice, and Public Health 158
Mary Lindemann

11 Religion 176
Joachim Whaley

12 Popular Culture and Sociability 192
Beat Kümin

13 The Arts 208
Mark Berry


14 Russia 227
Lindsey Hughes

15 Poland-Lithuania 244
Jerzy Lukowski

16 The Empire, Austria, and Prussia 260
Peter H. Wilson

17 The Scandinavian Kingdoms 276
Michael Bregnsbo

18 The Dutch Republic 289
J. L. Price

19 The Italian States 304
Gregory Hanlon

20 Iberia: Spain and Portugal in the Eighteenth Century 322
Christopher Storrs

21 France 338
Michael Rapport

22 Britain and Hanover 354
Torsten Riotte


23 Diplomacy and the Great Powers 371
Andrew C. Thompson

24 Islam and Europe 387
Molly Greene

25 Europe and the World 402
Philippe R. Girard

26 Europe and the Sea 418
Jan Glete


27 Dynasticism and the World of the Court 435
Clarissa Campbell Orr

28 Absolutism and Royal Government 451
Ronald G. Asch

29 War, 1688–1812 464
Ciro Paoletti

30 Participatory Politics 479
David M. Luebke

31 The French and European Revolutions 495
Alan Forrest

Bibliography 512

Index 556

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