Someone should take me aside and gently advise me against pointing out the empty pages on my website.
You know, like that page that says Historical Bibliography.
I mean, it’s certainly not for a lack of historical reading that we find that page empty. But like my reviews and resources, I just find it hard to get anything up on there. You know, because of time and real life and jobs and family and all that nonsense.
Anyway, my first two time travel novels in The Journeymen series are partially set in Europe in 1578. Most people tend to describe that as the Renaissance, and since it’s a term people can easily embrace, I tend to go along with it.
But that whole “renaissance” thing kind of sets my teeth on edge. I consider myself a medievalist, and the idea of a renaissance as a “new birth” just seems like a big diss to the entire middle ages, which is undeserved and not helpful to understanding either period.
Renaissance is a bit nebulous as well. It, such as it is, happened at different times in different places. While many people like easy terms like renaissance that invokes images of Michelangelo and the Tudors, I tend to see the problems inherent with the oversimplification of historical periodization.
I’m pretty sure that last sentence just chased off half of my six blog readers.
Suffice to say, I’m adding a page of the books I’m reading to conduct my research in early modern Europe.
I like that term. Rolls off the brain very nicely, doesn’t it? Early Modern Europe…
Think about it. We think of modern Europe as the society that has explored the world and colonized the Americas and has modern-looking commercial enterprises. One that has a printing press and Protestants and vernacular literature and realistic art. Early modern Europe is simply the beginning of all this. Makes sense, right?
All this blathering to say, I’d love to expand my empty Early Modern bibliography. If you do research in the area, I’d love to get your recommendation for good books and resources that go deeper into the period than your garden variety web page. I’m especially interested in Italy, the Council of Trent, and everyday life in the late sixteenth century. I’ll put up what I’ve been reading as well.
Including this book that I just read that is absolutely revolutionizing my depth of understanding about Italian households in the sixteenth century. It not only discusses objects in Italian households, it tells the stories behind them, providing a depth of context that is proving invaluable as I put my characters in these same settings.
(I’ve quite forgiven the title. People like that “R” word. What are you going to do?)
I hope all these new pages will be something of a renaissance for my website. That would be a renaissance I can wholly embrace.