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Provincial Families of the Renaissance

Private and Public Life in the Veneto

James S. Grubb

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Grubb's comprehensive analysis of his subjects' compelling, if inconspicuous, lives investigates every significant aspect of private experience during the Renaissance: marriage, birth, death, household relations, work, land, social status, and spirituality.

Winner of the Society for Italian Historical Studies's Howard R. Marraro Prize

Originally published in 1996. Historical writing on the Renaissance has usually focused on the social extremes that co-existed in the great metropolitan centers—on either elites or the underclass. As a result, the world of the middling families and provincial…

Grubb's comprehensive analysis of his subjects' compelling, if inconspicuous, lives investigates every significant aspect of private experience during the Renaissance: marriage, birth, death, household relations, work, land, social status, and spirituality.

Winner of the Society for Italian Historical Studies's Howard R. Marraro Prize

Originally published in 1996. Historical writing on the Renaissance has usually focused on the social extremes that co-existed in the great metropolitan centers—on either elites or the underclass. As a result, the world of the middling families and provincial societies remains largely unexplored. Daily experiences in the lesser cities are, however, no less rich and revealing than those of Florence, Venice, and Milan. In addition, writes historian James Grubb, these experiences offer new perspectives from which to reassess familiar assumptions about domestic life in the fifteenth century.

Based on memoirs and other records left by thirteen merchant families from the Veneto cities of Verona and Vincenza, Provincial Families of the Renaissance is an engrossing study of daily lives that have until now been overlooked by scholars. Grubb examines the attitudes and experiences of families undistinguished in their modest means and local ambitions from the majority of their compatriots, uncovering a detailed historical landscape rich in social obligations, commercial activities, and religious beliefs.

Grubb's comprehensive analysis of his subjects' compelling, if inconspicuous, lives investigates every significant aspect of private experience during the Renaissance: marriage, birth, death, household relations, work, land, social status, and spirituality. In reconstructing provincial life in the Veneto, Grubb discovers in his subjects an independence of mind that mediated their reception of metropolitan ideologies far more than the historiography of the Renaissance might suggest. These "unremarkable" provincials were agents of their own destiny, influenced in equal measures by prevailing attitudes, local customs, and personal convictions.

"James Grubb is exploring new terrain in this book. Distinguished by its clarity and eloquence, this is a superior work of historical writing and analysis that merits comparison with the best monographs on the social history of Renaissance Italy."—Gene Brucker, University of California at Berkeley

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Provincial Families of the Renaissance

James S. Grubb

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Reviews

Reviews

Grubb knows everything about the people he studies... [and] gives us an unusual view of Renaissance Italian life in that he concentrates on the busy mercantile class and not on the princes and prostitutes that are more usually the subject of scholars... [He] supplies a number of useful pieces for the great mosaic of Italian Renaissance history. Also, he writes well.

A good example of social and economic history that is well researched and written. It will be best used by upper-level and graduate students of Renaissance Italy as an example of what solid scholarship can produce and to illustrate and expand the works of the new social historians.

About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
370
ISBN
9781421431727
Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Chapter 1. Marriage
Chapter 2. Children
Chapter 3. Death
Chapter 4. Household and Family
Chapter 5. Work
Chapter 6. Land
Chapter 7. Patriciate
Chapter 8. Spirituality and Religion
E

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Chapter 1. Marriage
Chapter 2. Children
Chapter 3. Death
Chapter 4. Household and Family
Chapter 5. Work
Chapter 6. Land
Chapter 7. Patriciate
Chapter 8. Spirituality and Religion
Epilogue
Appendix
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Author Bio
Featured Contributor

James S. Grubb

James S. Grubb is professor of history at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. He is the author of Provincial Families in the Renaissance, also available form Johns Hopkins.