Handbook to Life in Renaissance Europe (Handbook to Life) by Sandra Sider (Author)
From School Library Journal
Grade 10 Up–This well-organized volume concentrates on Italy's impact on the Renaissance in both northern and southern Europe 1400- c.1600, covering the major movements in government, religion, art and architecture, literature, music, science, education, warfare, commerce, exploration, and daily life. The introduction provides an excellent overview of the origins of the Renaissance and the political landscape of Europe at the time. Numerous subheadings within chapters facilitate access to information. For example, the chapter on Visual Arts covers painting, tapestries, sculpture, prints, and decorative art, with each topic further subdivided. Most chapters end with a list of major figures and a chronology; all contain a list of recommended additional resources. Line maps and average quality, black-and-white reproductions and photographs enhance the content, and the volume concludes with a detailed index. This is an excellent introduction to the Renaissance, and will be especially useful to students researching a particular aspect of the period.–Madeleine G. Wright, New Hampton School, NH
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Daily life in various historical periods is a major paper topic in junior and senior high school, and doing research on that subject has just gotten easier with Facts On File's outstanding volume Handbook to Life in Renaissance Europe. Covering the period 1400 to 1600 in the Western European countries of Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, and England and emphasizing the changes in society that characterized the Renaissance, the book is organized into topical chapters that include history, religion, art, architecture, literature, music, warfare, commerce, exploration, science, education, and daily life. Each chapter is further broken down into subtopics and concludes with brief biographical profiles of the major people involved and a list of recommended readings. The book also has black-and-white illustrations and maps, a glossary of terms, a chronological chart of important dates, a list of museums, a 20-page bibliography, and an index.
Each chapter covers a wide time period and a large geographic area, and no subtopic is treated in more than a page or two. Nevertheless, there is great detail under each topic. In the discussion of the Inquisition, the author covers the derivation of the word, the four separate inquisitions, the rise of anti-Semitism, the procedure used in the investigations, and a summary of recent research findings. In the chapter "Art and Visual Culture," the author brings in furniture, ceramics, glass, and needlework beside the usual painting and sculpture. Everything is written in a direct, easy style that is accessible to good junior-high students and high-school and college students. The only thing that would have made the book even better would be the use of many more illustrations.Greenwood's Daily Life in History Series has two books that cover the Renaissance, Daily Life in Elizabethan England (Greenwood, 1995) and Daily Life in Renaissance Italy (Greenwood, 2001). Although the titles suggest that the Greenwood books and the Facts On File volume deal with similar subjects, the treatment is quite different, and there is very little overlap. The Handbook to Life in Renaissance Europe is an outstanding reference book that will introduce high-school and college students to this complex topic. Merle Jacob
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
The word renaissance means "rebirth," and the most obvious example of this phenomenon was the regeneration of Europe's classical Roman roots. The Renaissance began in northern Italy in the late 14th century and culminated in England in the early 17th century. Emphasis on the dignity of man (though not of woman) and on human potential distinguished the Renaissance from the previous Middle Ages. In poetry and literature, individual thought and action were prevalent, while depictions of the human form became a touchstone of Renaissance art. In science and medicine the macrocosm and microcosm of the human condition inspired remarkable strides in research and discovery, and the Earth itself was explored, situating Europeans within a wider realm of possibilities. Organized thematically, the Handbook to Life in Renaissance Europe covers all aspects of life in Renaissance Europe: History; religion; art and visual culture; architecture; literature and language; music; warfare; commerce; exploration and travel; science and medicine; education; daily life.
About the Author
Sandra Sider holds a Ph.D. in comparative literature, specializing in Renaissance studies, in addition to an M.A. in art history. She has taught Renaissance art history at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, in New York City. Her publications include several books and numerous articles pertaining to Renaissance history and visual culture including Bibliography of Emblematic Manuscripts (with Barbara Obrist) published by McGill-Queen's University Press, 1992, Maps, Charts, Globes: Five Centuries of Exploration published by the Hispanic Society of America, and "Getting past 1492: the Renaissance in recent Portuguese and Spanish publications," An article Renaissance Quarterly online.