Walter Ralegh's History Of The World And The Historical Culture Of The Late Renaissance

Paperback | August 20, 2014

byNicholas Popper

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Imprisoned in the Tower of London after the death of Queen Elizabeth in 1603, Sir Walter Ralegh spent seven years producing his massive History of the World. Created with the aid of a library of more than five hundred books that he was allowed to keep in his quarters, this incredible work of English vernacular would become a best seller, with nearly twenty editions, abridgments, and continuations issued in the years that followed.

Nicholas Popper uses Ralegh’s History as a touchstone in this lively exploration of the culture of history writing and historical thinking in the late Renaissance. From Popper we learn why early modern Europeans ascribed heightened value to the study of the past and how scholars and statesmen began to see historical expertise as not just a foundation for political practice and theory, but as a means of advancing their power in the courts and councils of contemporary Europe. The rise of historical scholarship during this period encouraged the circulation of its methods to other disciplines, transforming Europe’s intellectual—and political—regimes. More than a mere study of Ralegh’s History of the World, Popper’s book reveals how the methods that historians devised to illuminate the past structured the dynamics of early modernity in Europe and England.

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Imprisoned in the Tower of London after the death of Queen Elizabeth in 1603, Sir Walter Ralegh spent seven years producing his massive History of the World. Created with the aid of a library of more than five hundred books that he was allowed to keep in his quarters, this incredible work of English vernacular would become a best selle...

Nicholas Popper is assistant professor in the Department of History at the College of William and Mary.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:368 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:August 20, 2014Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022621396X

ISBN - 13:9780226213965

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
General Notes and Abbreviations

Introduction
1. Context: Ralegh and Historical Culture
2. Sources: From Scripture to the Stars in Early Modern Chronology
3. Reading: Antiquarian Methods and Geographical Learning
4. Narration: Providence and Human Movement
5. Presentation: Political Practice and the Past
6. Reception: The Afterlife of the History of the World
Conclusion

Bibliography
Index

Editorial Reviews

"At long last, a truly comprehensive analysis of the most ambitious universal history—both sacred and profane—envisaged in Early Modern England. Armed with a thorough familiarity with the sources upon which Sir Walter Ralegh drew, as well as with a keen appreciation of the centrality of history to early modern culture, Nicholas Popper’s masterful examination of the context and content of the History of the World is destined to become the standard account."