Literacy in Early Modern Europe, R.A. Houston

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Literacy in Early Modern Europe

R.A. Houston

Tweedehandsboek

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Literacy in Early Modern Europe

R.A. Houston

Culture & Education 1500-1800

In Europe of 1500 few people could read and write; by 1800 the era of mass literacy had already arrived. The change was momentous, in itself and in its implications. Yet we tend to take it for granted. This, one of the most significant developments in the history of our era, is still surprisingly little studied. All the more welcome, therefore, is R.A. Houston’s impressively wide-ranging analytical survey.

In it, Dr Houston explores the importance of education, literacy and popular culture in Europe during this critical transitional period. He draws his examples from all over the continent, and concentrates on the experiences of ordinary men and women, rather than just the privileged, and exceptional, few.

His central themes are:

  • The nature of education in early modern Europe
  • The extent of reading and writing among the population
  • The uses to which literacy was put

In discussing these topics, Dr Houston shows that the ways in which education and literacy relate to political, economic and social structures are both more complex and more revealing than is usually allowed.

The value of the book lies in Dr Houston’s admirably clear and direct presentation; his use of material in all European languages; and his combination of shrewd analysis with fascinating factual detail. What emerges is more than just a specialized study; it is no less than a vivid and absorbing social history of early modern Europe itself.

R.A. Houston is Lecturer in Modern History at the University of St. Andrews.

Cover illustration: detail from The Account Keeper (The Housekeeper) by Nicolaes Maes, 1656. Reproduced by kind permission of the Saint Louis Art Museum (Museum purchase).

ISBN 0582552664
Uit 1988
266 pagina’s
Afmetingen boek: 14 x 21.5 x 1.6 cm

Boek heeft gebruikersschade, rug is wat schuingelezen, er is geschreven in het boek vooral onderstreept!

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