Conceived and produced in association with the Renaissance society of America, this work presents a panoramic view of the cultural movement and the period of history beginning in Italy from approximately 1350, broadening geographically to include the rest of Europe by the middle-to-late-15th century, and ending in the early 17th century. Each of the nearly 1,200 entries provides a learned and succinct account suitable for inquiring readers at several levels. These readable essays covering the arts and letters, in addition to everyday life, will be appreciated by general readers and high-school students. The thoughtful analyses will enlighten college students and delight scholars. A selective bibliography of primary and secondary sources for further study follows each article.
--"Outstanding reference sources 2000", American Libraries, May 2000.
This new six-volume reference work will prove to be an indispensable resource on any topic imaginable (from cooking methods to midwifery) in Renaissance studies. Grendler (history, Univ. of Toronto) has assembled nearly 1200 clearly written articles of varying length by over 600 international contributors. Designed to be of use to both student and scholar, the articles cover the period from approximately 1350 to the eve of the 30 Years' War in 1618, treating the Renaissance as both a specific period in history and as a cultural movement. Editor Grendler believes that the Renaissance was marked by great social and cultural unity within Europe, a unity that Europeans would not experience again until the late 20th century. The articles reflect three modern trends in Renaissance studies: a recognition of the humanism that underlay the informed thought of the period, a close look at the fundamental social conditions of all classes of Renaissance society, and a consideration of women's roles during the Renaissance. Each alphabetically arranged entry includes a bibliography, and an index and chronology are included. One color plate is found at the beginning of each volume, while the rest of the 750 illustrations are in black and white. Although expensive, this reference will serve lay readers, students, and scholars. Highly recommended for academic libraries with significant holdings in Renaissance history and for larger public libraries.
-- Library Journal
Covering roughly three centuries (from 1350 into the late 1600s), this encyclopedia includes information on philosophers and scholars, artists and musicians, movements and theories, friars and aristocrats, playwrights and poets, and other individuals and terms likely to be encountered while studying European history, literature, art, or philosophy. A surprising number of women writers and artists are included, and several entries discuss the roots of the Renaissance, including Arabic influences.... Each volume includes a section of color plates (paintings mainly) as well as a comprehensive index. Each article concludes with a bibliography.