For early modern Europeans, the past was a measure of most things, good and bad. For that reason it was also hotly contested, manipulated, and far too important to be left to historians alone.
Memory in Early Modern Europe offers a lively and accessible introduction to the many ways in which Europeans engaged with the past and 'practised' memory in the three centuries between 1500 and 1800. From childhood memories and local customs to war traumas and peacekeeping , it analyses how Europeans tried to control, mobilize and reconfigure memories of the past. Challenging the long-standing view that memory cultures transformed around 1800, it argues for the continued relevance of
early modern memory practices in modern societies.
Judith Pollmann is Professor of Early modern Dutch history at Leiden University in the Netherlands. She has published widely on the experience and impact of religious and political change in early modern Europe, and on the history of the Dutch Revolt. Much of her work on identity and experience is based on diaries, memoirs and chronicles. Memory in Early Modern Europe is the outcome of a research project entitled Tales of the Revolt. Memory, oblivion and identity in the Low Countries, 1566-1700, that she directed from 2008-2013. She is a member of the editorial board of Past & Present.
Introduction 1: Scripting the self 2: Past and present: The virtues of anachronism 3: Customizing the past 4: Imagining communities 5: Living legends: Myth, memory, and authenticity 6: Acts of oblivion 7: Remembering violence: Trauma, atrocities, and cosmopolitan memories Conclusion Bibliography Index