Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Culture II: Urban Culture (Mark Knights and Rosa Salzberg)

Essential Reading:

Phil Withington, The Politics of Commonwealth: Citizens and Freemen in Early Modern England (Cambridge, 2005), chapter 3 - and see also the depiction of the enemies of the commonwealth at - if you click on the image on the right hand side of that page you obtain a greatly enlarged version.

Edward Muir, “The Virgin on the Street Corner: The Place of the Sacred in Italian Cities.” In The Italian Renaissance: The Essential Readings, edited by Paula Findlen, 151-66 (2002).

A selection of documents about early modern Venice (available from Paulina)

Images relating to early modern London: Vauxhall Gardens, Covent Garden and again and again, A coffee house, The stocks market, triumphal arch, lord mayor's procession, pope-burning procession, trades

Images of Europe: a market scene


Seminar preparation: research a town or city (with the seminar questions in mind) so that you can offer its perspective to our discussions

Seminar and Essay Questions:

Who or what shaped urban culture and how was it controlled?

In what kinds of spaces was urban culture focused?

How did urban culture change over the period?

How did urban culture differ between northern and southern Europe?

What virtues and vices were associated with the town?

Locating communities in the Early Modern Italian City, special issue of the Journal of Urban History 37, special issue 3, 2010.
Edward Muir, “The Idea of Community in Renaissance Italy.” Renaissance Quarterly 55, no. 1 (2002): 1-18.

Stephen J. Milner, “The Florentine Piazza della Signoria as Practiced Place” in Roger J. Crum, and John T. Paoletti, eds. Renaissance Florence: A Social History, 83-103. Cambridge, 2006.
Karen Newman, Cultural Capitals: Early Modern London and Paris. Princeton, NJ, 2007.
Evelyn Welch, Shopping in the Renaissance: Consumer Cultures in Italy 1400 - 1600. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2005.
Riitta Laitinen and Thomas V. Cohen, eds. Cultural History of Early Modern European Streets. Leiden, 2009.
Iain Fenlon, The Ceremonial City. History, Memory and Myth in Renaissance Venice. New Haven, 2007.
Alexander Cowan and Jill Steward, eds. The City and the Senses: Urban Culture since 1500. Aldershot, UK, 2007.
Alexander Cowan, ed. Mediterranean Urban Culture, 1400 - 1700 Exeter, 2000.
Donatella Calabi and Stephen Turk Christensen, eds. Cultural Exchange in Early Modern Europe, Vol II: Cities and Cultural Exchange in Europe, 1400 - 1700. Cambridge, 2007.
Mark Knights, The Devil in Disguise (2011), chapters 1 and 2.
Phil Withington, Society in Early Modern England (2010), chapter 4 „What did “Society” mean in early modern England?‟
Joseph Monteyne, The Printed Image in Early Modern London: Urban Space, Visual Representation and Social Exchange (2007)
Robert Shoemaker, The London Mob. Violence and Disorder in eighteenth century England (2004)

Robert Tittler, Townspeople and Nation: English urban experience 1540-1640 (2001)

Peter Clark, The Cambridge Urban History of Britain 1540-1840 (2008)

Rawcliffe and Wilson, Norwich since 1550 (2004)

Rosemary Sweet, The English Town 1680-1840 (1999)

Anna Bryson, From Courtesy to Civility: changing codes of conduct in early modern England (1998)