'Enlightening and fascinating' John Banville, Wall Street Journal
Through the lives of major figures from the fifteenth to the seventeenth centuries, including Copernicus, Gutenberg, Luther, Catherine de Medici, Rabelais, van Eyck and Shakespeare, Paul Strathern tells the fascinating story of the northern European Renaissance, which rivalled its Italian counterpart.
There is no denying that many of the first developments of the Renaissance took place in Italy. However, a revolution of similar magnitude was also occurring across northern Europe, which would forever alter European culture in its own unique fashion. Initially centred on the city of Bruges, its influence was soon felt in France, the German states, England and even in Italy itself.
By vividly bringing to life the key players of the northern Renaissance, Paul Strathern explores some of the most significant advances of the whole era, revealing how they not only introduced new ways of thinking in art, literature, science, philosophy, mathematics and medicine, but also allowed for the evolution of an entirely different concept of life.
In this compelling and original history, Strathern shows how the 'Other Renaissance' would play a role at least as significant as the Italian Renaissance in shattering the constraints of medieval life and bringing our modern world into being.
Enlightening and fascinating... Mr. Strathern's canvas is immense, yet the picture he paints is never less than pellucid, and packed with lively detail and fascinating facts. -- John Banville * Wall Street Journal *
From art and astronomy to medicine and exploration, The Other Renaissance covers a lot of ground, and the author's biographical style is invariably engaging... Lively and wide-ranging. * Financial Times *
Lively... Strathern's entertaining cast of often garrulous northerners, their origins ranging from Paris to rainy London, discovered things that made us what we are today... He describes their contributions in clear-sighted and effective prose, making complex ideas instantly intelligible... Full of pleasing anecdotes, and myths are duly dispatched along the way. * The Times *
Entertaining... A rich and varied depiction of the extraordinary culture of northern Europe in the early modern period. Strathern has a good eye for striking details and arresting anecdotes... Vivid and interesting. * Literary Review *
Deeply fascinating * Kirkus Reviews *
A remarkable work * The Week *
Following the great minds of the [Renaissance] period in insightful biographical chapters, Strathern's book sets the record straight on this second revival. * The New Criterion *
Dimensions: 234mm x 153mm x 27mm