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The Victorians and the Renaissance

  • Kenneth Churchill

Abstract

Throughout the first half of the nineteenth century studies of Italian Renaissance art and history had flowed increasingly from the press. Not only in England, but all over Europe, a massive effort had been devoted to the elucidation and evaluation of the achievement of Italy between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries: the footnotes to Symonds’ Renaissance in Italy provide an extensive bibliography. It was on the Continent that the really significant work had been done. In Paris Michelet had excitingly discovered the very concept of the Renaissance as a coherent historical phenomenon of the first importance,1 and in Basel Burckhardt had laid the foundation for all subsequent work on that period of Italian history with his Die Kultur der Renaissance in Italien (1860; translated into English in 1878). But in England works on the Renaissance period had characteristically been either of specialist or of purely journalistic interest, with neither pretension nor title to literary esteem; rare indeed among their pages are those qualities which give a piece of writing a distinctive lasting value independent of changes of attitude towards its subject. One of the features of the last four decades of the century, however, was the appearance of a succession of studies of Italian cultural history of considerable literary quality and importance.

Keywords

Eighteenth Century English Literature Sixteenth Century Humanist Tradition Grand Tourist 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Chapter 10

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Copyright information

© Kenneth Churchill 1980

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  • Kenneth Churchill

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