Readers interested in history, and in the development of the modern sensibility, will relish this large-scale yet intimately detailed examination of the blossoming of the ordinary and extraordinary people of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. This third in the popular five-volume series celebrates the emergence of individualism and the manifestations of a burgeoning self-consciousness over three centuries.
In the original sense of the term, A History of Private Life is a series of essays: attempts at a new, non-narrative kind of history. Sumptuously illustrated with pictures, maps, and photographs, the book is a feast for the eye; it is fascinating, often compelling in its exquisite details… A kaleidoscopic effect is doubtless part of the authors’ purpose: to question our assumption that we understand the history of Renaissance individualism and make us realize that it is as complicated as the variety of traces left by three centuries of private life.
This is a bold and seductive book… Richly illustrated, with contributions from foremost French historians, it is set fair to become the authoritative history of intimacy in the early modern West.
Its broad chronological scope, its remarkable effective integration of essays by different historians, and above all its ability to represent the seemingly frivolous details of private life in a challengingly theoretical matrix make this an important and exciting work for historians of Early Modern Europe.
The new emphasis on the history of everybody has now been consecrated in [this] ambitious five-volume series…masterfully translated by Arthur Goldhammer… Copious illustrative materials—paintings, drawings, caricatures, and photographs, all cannily chosen and wittily captioned to display domestic life… Magnificent.
Together these five compact volumes cover much of the history of the classical world, and do so with both ease and authority.
- 656 pages
- 7-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches
- Belknap Press
- Series edited by Phillippe Ariès and Georges Duby
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