Conversations about the past in Restoration and eighteenth-century England
Speaking of history
HISTORY READ ALOUD
While it was not as common a practice as it had been in antiquity and in
the early Renaissance, public readings of history books continued to occur
in earlymodernEurope, though there are relatively few documented occurrences of this in England.5 By the seventeenth century, with plenty of books
available and private homes furnished with libraries and closets, there was
little necessity for this among the literate, and the English have in any case
never possessed much in the way of a piazza sociability. The most obvious
(Allen 2009, Mokyr 2009). This growth
was clearly energy intensive – increasingly so, up until the 1880s (Warde 2007).
Is England thus an exceptional case of natural resource-based growth and
economic leadership, rather than the exemplary case for industrialization as
understood by earlier generations of economic historians (Rostow 1953)?
Unlike today, but rather like most of the world until well into the twentieth
century, earlymodernEurope was largely an ‘organic economy’. That is, nearly
all of its energy came from the process of photosynthesis in plants
internalized a set of Confucian political beliefs that made their efforts more than
the anxious instrumental acts of leaders who saw themselves as foreign and thus
in special need of acceptance by those they ruled. Part of the explanation no
doubt lies in the greater importance of warfare and military spending to earlymodernEuropean rulers than late imperial Chinese emperors.
In the two centuries before Lindert’s late eighteenth-century baseline for
observing a rise in social spending first in England and then on the nineteenth-
Bayly 04_Tonra 01 21
Philip Marc, who had significant financial scope and credit, played
an important role in this field, as they were part of far-flung
international financial and economic networks.44
Asche, Michael Herrmann, Ulrike Ludwig, and Anton Schindling, Herrschaft
und soziale Systeme in der Frühen Neuzeit vol. 9 (Berlin: Lit, 2008), pp.
11–36 (p. 14).
42 Marika Keblusek, ‘Introduction: Profiling the Early Modern Agent’, in Your
Humble Servant: Agents in EarlyModernEurope, ed. by Hans Cools,
Marika Keblusek, and Badeloch Noldus (Hilversum: Uitgeverij Verloren,
2006), pp. 9
less exclusively topdown process. The core of my argument on intellectual change,
however, is that it is rarely solely a top-down process and, on the
question of religion at least, public opinion is always a major factor.
Yet public opinion has usually been regarded as a modern phenomenon, of relatively less importance prior to the French Revolution. I
wish to assert, therefore, that religious change in earlymodernEurope cannot be understood without placing public opinion at
centre stage – as the case studies of France and England illustrate –
even though it was
An overview of the Catholic episcopate in earlymodernEurope comments that
‘one of the most far-reaching if usually under-remarked changes of the Reformation period as a whole concerns the function and necessity of bishops in the
church’.1 Although immediately applicable to those regions of the Reformation
where bishops disappeared altogether from the ecclesiastical and political landscapes, this observation might appear to have no relation to Catholic Europe.2
Here, bishops not only survived but also
Witchcraft and the symbolics of hierarchy in late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century Finland
Raisa Maria Toivo
authorities, points out that in
eastern Finland, especially in Viipuri Karelia, the demonological theories of
earlymodernEurope never gained much support among the local authorities.
According to Nenonen, demonological theory was what focused attention on
women, and so the eastern authorities never developed a particular interest
in female magic.46 On the other hand, as far as witchcraft was connected to
social and hierarchical confusion, which was not always the case, the more
formal eastern model of gender relations seems to have offered fewer possibilities for communal
Feijoo versus the ‘falsely possessed’ in eighteenth-century Spain
maniaco, sin primer lo haber aprendido (Seville, 1585), p. 357. See Roger
Bartra, El siglo de Oro de la melancolía. Textos españoles y novohispanos sobre las enfermedades del alma (Mexico City, 1998).
35 Velásquez, Libro de la melancolía, p. 360.
36 See Feijoo, ‘Demoniacos’, p. 17.
37 Feijoo, ‘Demoniacos’, p. 17.
38 Feijoo, ‘Demoniacos’, p. 17.
39 See Stuart Clark, Thinking with Demons. The Idea of Witchcraft in EarlyModernEurope
(Oxford, 1997), pp. 161–78.
40 In spite of this the girl and her father carried on their way to Paris where she was
examined by five doctors
Weisman, Witchcraft, Magic, and Religion in Seventeenth-Century Massachusetts
4 The project is funded by the Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation.
5 For a general overview of Swedish trials in this period see Bengt Ankarloo, ‘Sweden:
The Mass Burnings (1668–1676)’, in Bengt Ankarloo and Gustav Henningsen (eds),
EarlyModernEuropean Witchcraft: Centres and Peripheries (Oxford, 1993), pp. 285–317;
P. Sörlin, Wicked Arts: Witchcraft and Magic Trials in Southern Sweden, 1635–1754 (Brill,
6 Sentences 4/2 1671, Leksand, in C. G. Kröningssvärd (ed
recognition of painting as
the supreme model of mimetic representation. 20 In earlymodernEurope,
circulating alongside the notion of ut pictura poesis were the
paragone (‘comparison’) debates, which revolved
around the struggle for superiority amongst modes of
representation. 21 The paragone were known to English playwrights in
this period and shape a number of dramatic treatments of