This reference spans two centuries of European discovery, from 1400 to 1600, covering all aspects of life in that period. Each chapter presents an aspect of the Renaissance, such as religion, art and visual culture, literature and language, warfare, commerce and exploration and travel. Each chapter includes a list of recommended readings for further study and all, except for the essay on daily life, contain brief biographies of major figures. Black and white photographs and maps are interspersed throughout the text. The volume is aimed at middle school and high school students. Annotation ©2005 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
Italian artist Giorgio Vasari was said to have first used the term Renaissance, meaning "rebirth," a flowing of knowledge. The movement began in Italy during the 1300s and spread through Europe until the 1600s, bringing about a period of scientific and artistic revolution and leaving an intellectual heritage still important today. Written by knowledgeable and reputable authors, both of these Facts On File resources allow students to explore the impact of this cultural revitalization. Sider (Renaissance art history, Cooper Union, New York) covers 12 aspects of the Renaissance, giving a compact description and explanation of each topic. Organized thematically, the entries vary in length from one to two paragraphs to a full page and cover geography, religion, art, architecture, language and literature, warfare, exploration, science, education, and daily life. The useful glossary describes over 185 terms, including numerous non-English words. The work also boasts 70 black-and-white illustrations and maps, listings of museums and other collections, a useful bibliography, a chronological chart, and an index. Since it is difficult to encompass such a large topic in so few entries, readers are bound to find omissions. Overall, however, this handbook is a good entry point to more in-depth study. Cook, who has written on Chaucer, Lorenzo de' Medici, and Petrarch, offers a unique guide to the works, writers, and concepts of Renaissance literature. In his own words, "this reference volume looks at literature written during the Renaissance epoch from an atypical perspective-a global one." Although the focus has always been on Europe and its literary transition, Cook boldly targets significant literary achievements at the time in other parts of the world. In more than 600 A-to-Z entries, he treats a wide variety of cultures and languages, including English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, and many more. Writers covered include Milton, Descartes, Dante, and Cervantes, among many others. Cook also investigates humanism, an important intellectual movement of the period. Other useful features include cross references, author time lines, and more. Bottom Line Both titles make for good introductory sources to the period, but more detailed resources are needed for serious research. Appropriate for public, high school, and undergraduate libraries.-Bobbie Wrinkle, McCracken Cty. P.L., Paducah, KY Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.