Who's Who in Europe, 1450-1750

Who's Who in Europe, 1450-1750

Who's Who in Europe, 1450-1750

Who's Who in Europe, 1450-1750


Between 1450 and 1750 Europe underwent tremendous political, religious and cultural change - change which laid the foundations for the Europe we know today. Henry Kamen has compiled an accessible biographical guide to Europe in this most exciting of periods - the time of the Renaissance and the Reformation, the time of da Vinci and Erasmus, Elizabeth I and Oliver Cromwell.In over a thousand entries, which cover the whole of Europe and include politics, culture, religion and science, Professor Kamen and his international contributors, all experts in their field, shed new light on the key players in this extraordinarily rich and formative period of history.


This book is intended to be a quick reference source for scholars, students and members of the wider reading public. It aims to cover a notable gap in early modern studies, where there already exist specialised biographical dictionaries for certain disciplines, but none exists for those wishing to look at all disciplines. The work is directed in the first instance to historians, and lesser emphasis is given, for example, to explanations of art or literature. On the other hand, students of art or literature will also find information on persons mentioned in their reading about the period.

Shortcomings in any such compilation are inevitable. Like the other contributors to the volume, I have spent much time mulling over the entries and hope that this gives me the privilege of being able to add a brief personal note. I have come to think of the entries affectionately as 'Kamen's One Thousand', but of course they are not mine by choice, since many are there because their claim was undeniable and others, possibly more deserving, are not there because I reluctantly edged them out. Many popes and queens and saints have been erased; and because it was a man's world the male gender dominates. Every now and then, however, as compiler I felt that in the midst of the terrible conflicts of the early modern world I had come across names with whom I would as lief have tarried awhile: I name, at random, John Evelyn diligent in his garden in Deptford, an unhurried Lady Mary Wortley Montagu relaxing in the sunshine of the Mediterranean, Richard Baxter preaching in Restoration England.

The choice of names was in some measure arbitrary. Persons from the Ottoman Empire, which occupied part of Europe at the time, have been excluded; but a Barbary corsair has been allowed in. Persons of European origin but whose careers were almost entirely spent outside Europe (such as Pedro de Valdivia or Cotton Mather) have not been included; on the other hand, those whose careers linked Europe with the outside world (such as Cortés and Hudson) have been accepted.

The major problem has been over whether to give names in their original or their English form, and how to reconcile the usage of different countries. As a rough rule, names have been given according to the most common use in

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