Drawing together common features of society from a range of different contexts throughout Europe, from Italy and Spain to Poland and Russia, Early Modern European Society surveys the sweeping changes affecting Europe from the end of the fifteenth century to the early decades of the eighteenth century.
Henry Kamen includes discussion on:
- European identities, frontiers and language
- leisure, work and migration
- religion, ritual and witchcraft
- the aristocracy, the bourgeoisie and the poor
- gender roles
- social discipline and absolutism.
|Publisher:||Taylor & Francis|
|Product dimensions:||6.25(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.72(d)|
Table of Contents
1. Identities and Horizons 2. Leisure, Work and Movement 3. Communities of Belief 4. The Ruling Elite 5. The Middle Elite 6. Solidarities and Resistance 7. Gender Roles 8. Social Discipline and Marginality 9. Modernization and the Individual 10. The Absolute State
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
At first glance, the book¿s topic, Early Modern European Society, sounds extremely broad and indeed when we open the book and read the preface, what the title suggests becomes absolutely apparent. This book is a broad book. The wide range of topics covered by Henry Kamen, who is the professor of the Higher Council for Scientific Research in Barcelona, Spain, is possibly the most positive aspect about the book. Early modern society has always been of high interest to the historian and publishing this book in the year 2000 happily reorganises the vast information from other historians¿ works on the Early Modern Period in Europe, selecting relevant information for the purpose of the book and providing a handy, all-together broad review of a number of topics ready for use by both undergraduates and qualified historians wishing to delve into this period. It is the most recent book of its kind and Kamen has done a fantastic job of bringing the topics in the book up-to-date. The book aims to ¿study the changes within European society over a period of well over two centuries, from the end of the fifteenth to the early decades of the eighteenth century¿ (p. ix). Kamen has set out to do this in ten reasonably concise, considering the amount of information available, chapters focusing on different strata of the Early Modern European society, broken down to look at smaller sections in more detail. The first chapter, `Identities and horizons¿ provides a clear and understandable, to even the general reader, introduction to how Europe was perceived throughout the Early Modern period by contemporaries, and outlines some of the key issues such as the plague, and the on-going wars of the period. Kamen is particularly good at arranging the information so that it all easily and obviously links together in a logical manner. The rest of the book covers broadly titled topics including what Europeans did for leisure, what they did for work, immigration and emigration, the ritual year, witchcraft, gender roles, social discipline including slavery and some groups of pariahs, and many other topics. Chapters four and five focus on `The Ruling Elite¿ and `The Middle Elite¿ respectively and Kamen quite rightly makes these groups out to be extremely important in Early Modern Europe. I can do nothing but praise Kamen for the selection of material provided in the book. He has chosen the most relevant and useful history there is. The book, pleasingly, does not simply focus on one aspect of history as some of its counterparts do, and indeed how one of Kamen¿s older books titled The Iron Century (1971) does. Kamen cleverly incorporates economic history into this book allowing it to take a back-seat role but more focusing on all the other aspects of history. He includes nearly every type of history there is in his book, which is therefore extremely beneficial to all historians studying the Early Modern Period. Kamen presents the material in an informative yet exciting manner and this makes the book truly stand out. Any historian with some knowledge of the topics covered would be able to see just how well this book is put together from everything to do with the content to the ordering of the chapters. This is the only comprehensive study of Early Modern European society and I agree with what is written on the back cover of the book saying that it is ¿essential reading for all those interested in this fascinating period¿. I would recommend it. Even the bibliography is completely without fault, there are both English books included and books from other European countries in other languages. Kamen obviously researched as deeply as he could for this book. The aims of this book are fully fulfilled and I would say the only downfall of this book is so minor it probably need not be mentioned, but some illustrations really would have finished the book off. The inclusion of some primary illustrative sources could have made this book even better and mor