More than ever before, the Renaissance stands as one of the defining moments in world history. Between 1400 and 1600, European perceptions of society, culture, politics and even humanity itself emerged in ways that continue to affect t only Europe but the entire world. This wide-ranging exploration of the Renaissance sees the period as a time of unprecedented intellectual excitement and cultural experimentation and interaction on a global scale, alongside a darker side of religion, intolerance, slavery, and massive inequality of wealth and status. It guides the reader through the key issues that defined the period, from its art, architecture, and literature, to advancements in the fields of science, trade, and travel. In its incisive account of the complexities of the political and religious upheavals of the period, the book argues that Europe's reciprocal relationship with its eastern neighbours offers us a timely perspective on the Renaissance as a moment of global inclusiveness that still has much to teach us today.
Dr Jerry Brotton is Senior Lecturer at the School of English and Drama, Queen Mary, University of London. He is the author of Trading Territories: Mapping the Early Modern World (Reaktion, London, 1997 and Cornell University Press, 1998), and with Lisa Jardine, Global Interests: Renaissance Art between East and West (Reaktion, London, 2000).