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European History


In the Red and in the Black

Erika Vause

"The most dishonorable act that can dishonor a man." Such is Félix Grandet’s unsparing view of bankruptcy, adding that even a highway robber—who at least "risks his own life in attacking you"—is worthier of respect. Indeed, the France of Balzac’s day was an unforgiving place for borrowers. Each... More


Recollections

Alexis de Tocqueville. Edited by Olivier Zunz. Translated by Arthur Goldhammer

Alexis de Tocqueville’s Souvenirs was his extraordinarily lucid and trenchant analysis of the 1848 revolution in France. Despite its bravura passages and stylistic flourishes, however, it was not intended for publication. Written just before Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte’s 1851 coup prompted the great... More


The Executioner's Journal

Joel F. Harrington

During a career lasting nearly half a century, Meister Frantz Schmidt (1554-1634) personally put to death 392 individuals and tortured, flogged, or disfigured hundreds more. The remarkable number of victims, as well as the officially sanctioned context in which they suffered at Schmidt’s hands, was... More


Gun Culture in Early Modern England

Lois G. Schwoerer

Guns had an enormous impact on the social, economic, cultural, and political lives of civilian men, women, and children of all social strata in early modern England. In this study, Lois Schwoerer identifies and analyzes England’s domestic gun culture from 1500 to 1740, uncovering how guns became... More


Nationalizing France's Army

Christopher J. Tozzi

Before the French Revolution, tens of thousands of foreigners served in France’s army. They included troops from not only all parts of Europe but also places as far away as Madagascar, West Africa, and New York City. Beginning in 1789, the French revolutionaries, driven by a new political ideology... More


Hometown Religion

David M. Luebke

The pluralization of Christian religion was the defining fact of cultural life in sixteenth-century Europe. Everywhere they took root, ideas of evangelical reform disturbed the unity of religious observance on which political community was founded. By the third quarter of the sixteenth century, one... More


Enlightenment Underground

Martin Mulsow. Translated by H. C. Erik Midelfort

Online supplement, "Mulsow: Additions to Notes drawn from the 2002 edition of Moderne aus dem Untergrund": full versions of nearly 300 notes that were truncated in the print edition. Hosted on H. C. Erik Midelfort's website. Martin Mulsow’s seismic reinterpretation of the origins of the... More


Unnatural Frenchmen

E. Claire Cage

In Enlightenment and revolutionary France, new and pressing arguments emerged in the long debate over clerical celibacy. Appeals for the abolition of celibacy were couched primarily in the language of nature, social utility, and the patrie. The attack only intensified after the legalization of... More


Crossing the Boundaries of Belief

Duane J. Corpis

In early modern Germany, religious conversion was a profoundly social and political phenomenon rather than purely an act of private conscience. Because social norms and legal requirements demanded that every subject declare membership in one of the state-sanctioned Christian churches, the act of... More


The Evil Necessity

Denver Brunsman

A fundamental component of Britain’s early success, naval impressment not only kept the Royal Navy afloat—it helped to make an empire. In total numbers, impressed seamen were second only to enslaved Africans as the largest group of forced laborers in the eighteenth century.In The Evil Necessity,... More


Crime and Culture in Early Modern Germany

Joy Wiltenburg

With the growth of printing in early modern Germany, crime quickly became a subject of wide public discourse. Sensational crime reports, often featuring multiple murders within families, proliferated as authors probed horrific events for religious meaning. Coinciding with heightened witch panics... More


Mad for God

Sara Tilghman Nalle

Convinced he was the Elijah Messiah, the Spanish peasant Bartolomé Sánchez believed that God had sent him in divine retribution for the crimes committed by the Inquisition and the Church. Sánchez's vocal and intolerable religious deviance quickly landed him in the very court he believed he was sent... More


Cautio Criminalis, or a Book on Witch Trials

Friedrich Spee. Translated by Marcus Hellyer. Introduction by Marcus Hellyer

In 1631, at the epicenter of the worst excesses of the European witch-hunts, Friedrich Spee, a Jesuit priest, published the Cautio Criminalis, a book speaking out against the trials that were sending thousands of innocent people to gruesome deaths. Spee, who had himself ministered to women accused... More


The Witch in the Western Imagination

Lyndal Roper

In an exciting new approach to witchcraft studies, The Witch in the Western Imagination examines the visual representation of witches in early modern Europe. With vibrant and lucid prose, Lyndal Roper moves away from the typical witchcraft studies on trials, beliefs, and communal dynamics and... More


The Fuggers of Augsburg

Mark Häberlein

As the wealthiest German merchant family of the sixteenth century, the Fuggers have attracted wide scholarly attention. In contrast to the other famous merchant family of the period, the Medici of Florence, however, no English-language work on them has been available until now. The Fuggers of... More


My March to Liberation

Paul A. Strassmann

My March to Liberation: A Jewish Boy’s Story of Partizan Warfare is the compelling saga of a young Jewish boy coming of age during World War II. Paul Strassmann was fifteen when his family’s life in Trenčín, Slovakia, was turned upside down by the war. His memoir tells one man’s story of what it... More


Witchcraft and the Papacy

Rainer Decker. Translated by H. C. Erik Midelfort

When Rainer Decker was researching a sensational seventeenth-century German witchcraft trial, he discovered, much to his surprise, that in this case the papacy functioned as a force of skepticism and restraint. His curiosity piqued, he tried unsuccessfully to gain access to a secret Vatican archive... More


"Evil People"

Johannes Dillinger. translated by Laura Stokes

Inspired by recent efforts to understand the dynamics of the early modern witch hunt, Johannes Dillinger has produced a powerful synthesis based on careful comparisons. Narrowing his focus to two specific regions—Swabian Austria and the Electorate of Trier—he provides a nuanced explanation of how... More


The German Discovery of the World

Christine R. Johnson

Current historiography suggests that European nations regarded the New World as an inassimilable "other" that posed fundamental challenges to the accepted ideas of Renaissance culture. The German Discovery of the World presents a new interpretation that emphasizes the ways in which the new lands... More


Ending the French Revolution

Howard G. Brown

"Filled with critical insights, Brown’s revisionist study utilizes an impressive array of archival sources, some only recently cataloged, to support his thesis that the French Revolution survived until 1802 and the Consulate regime.... This volume should be a priority for all historians and serious... More


Re-Imagining Ireland

Andrew Higgins Wyndham, ed.

Over the past decade the historically strife-ridden and impoverished nation of Ireland has emerged as one of the economic and social miracles of Europe. A booming software-based economy dubbed "the Celtic Tiger" has spurred an escalating standard of living, an influx of diaspora returnees and other... More


Bacchus and Civic Order

B. Ann Tlusty

Lining the streets inside the city's gates, clustered in its center, and thinly scattered among its back quarters were Augsburg's taverns and drinking rooms. These institutions ranged from the poorly lit rooms of backstreet wine sellers to the elaborate marble halls frequented by society's most... More


Shaman of Oberstdorf

Wolfgang Behringer. Translated by H. C. Erik Midelfort

Shaman of Oberstdorf tells the fascinating story of a sixteenth-century mountain village caught in a panic of its own making. Four hundred years ago the Bavarian alpine town of Oberstdorf, surrounded by the towering peaks of the Vorarlberg, was awash in legends and rumors of prophets and healers,... More


If the King Only Knew

Lisa Jane Graham

In May 1758, a bailiff named Jean Moriceau de La Motte was arrested for carrying seditious flyers and uttering mauvais discours against Louis XV. When he was questioned at the Bastille over the next several months, La Motte was unequivocal in his loyalty to the king, but his insistence failed to... More


Domesticating the Empire

Julia Clancy-Smith and Frances Gouda, eds.

In Domesticating the Empire, Julia Clancy-Smith and Frances Gouda bring together twelve essays- most of them original- that probe issues of gender, race, and power in the French and Dutch Empires of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.This collection goes beyond the crude dichotomies of "... More


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