Italy 1530-1630 by Eric Cochrane

Italy 1530-1630 by Eric Cochrane soon to be presented for sale on the fabulous BookLovers of Bath web site!

Published: London & New York: Longman, 1988, Hardback in dust wrapper.

Contains: Black & white plates [12]; Maps [1];

From the cover: Italy 1530-1630 is the latest volume to appear in the distinguished Longman History of Italy, edited by Professor Denys Hay. It covers what is, for most English-speaking readers, one of the most obscure periods of Italian history. What we do hear of it is almost always pejorative, an unrelieved tale of political absolutism, rural refeudalization, economic crisis, religious repression, and cultural decline. But this picture is both incomplete and inaccurate, and in his eagerly-awaited survey Eric Cochrane has at last given the period its due. It magnificently sums up a lifetimes study of this neglected century.

The period begins with the Sack of Rome in 1527 and the chaos of foreign invasion, and it ends with a series of destabilizing shocks the War of Monferrato, the conflict between Pope Paul V and Venice, and the ravages of plague. Yet this century also saw the completion of the great masterpieces of the High Renaissance by Michelangelo and his contemporaries and the audacious experiments of their Mannerist and early Baroque successors. Professor Cochrane examines the achievements of these later masters with a seriousness and sympathy they have not always received from English-speaking historians. Their work, he argues, must be seen as a development, and not as a rejection, of their High Renaissance models.

But the achievements of the age were not solely artistic. The Treaty of Cateau-Cambresis in 1559 brought fifty years of peace, stability, and development a time of political reconstruction, population increase, and industrial and commercial recovery. This was an age of profound religious piety and ecclesiastical reform: the age of Ignatius Loyola and the Society of Jesus, of Carlo Borromeo, and above all of the Council of Trent and the Counter-Reformation. Indeed, it was also an age of intellectual ferment, before the trial and abjuration of Galileo in 1633.

The history of Italy in the century after the Renaissance is a giant puzzle. Finding all the pieces, let alone fitting them together convincingly, is a quixotic goal. Yet Eric Cochrane, in his final challenging testament, not only gives shape to the period but also brings it exuberantly alive.

In the Longman History of Italy series.

Very Good in Good Dust Wrapper. Dust wrapper has slipped a little, moving the titling off-centre on the spine and exposing the original fold on the leading edge of the upper panel. Text complete, clean and tight.

Black boards with Silver titling to the Spine. [XIII] 313 pages. Index. 9½” x 6¼”.

Of course, if you don’t like this one, may I persuade you to have a look at more books within my History Italy catalogue?

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