Early Modern (16th-18thC)

Despite the modern obsession with a good night’s rest, more of us are sleeping less. Perhaps we should pay attention to the advice of early modern doctors, says Katharine A. Craik.

During the fifteenth century, writes Christopher Hibbert, the Medici banking house in Florence ‘almost passed belief’ in power and influence.

The discoverer of oxygen - a man of ‘singular energy and varied abilities’ - was, writes A.D. Orange, also a bold progressive thinker.

John E. Holehouse considers the factors that led to a sudden and rapid improvement in cartographic scope and technique from 1480 onward.

Presided over by this difficult, capricious yet highly gifted London hostess, Holland House, wrote a contemporary diarist, became ‘the house of all Europe’. By Prudence Hannay.

During the eighteenth century female authors became increasingly numerous and industrious; while as readers, writes Robert Halsband, thanks to the spread of the new circulating libraries, women began to form ‘a significant sector’ of the literary public.

Anthony Babington describes life in an eighteenth century London prison for felons, debtors and rebels.

Shafirov accompanied Peter the Great on his grand embassy to western Europe and, writes W.E. Butler, was one of the Tsar’s closest advisers on foreign affairs.

The first professional revolutionist was a descendant of Michelangelo’s brother; W.J. Fishman describes how, in Italy, France, and in exile, Filippo Buonarroti spent his life in radical conspiracy.

During the eighteenth century, writes Bill Hooper, ‘barbaric anarchy’ reigned at Eton.

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