Monthly Archives: May 2013

Detail from Portrait of Cornelis de Bie at age 81, by Hendrik Frans Diamaer. 1695–1726, engraving (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam).

Intellectual Networks in the Long Seventeenth Century: Booking Open

Booking is open for Intellectual Networks in the Long Seventeenth Century, a conference taking place at Durham University on 30 June2 July 2013 under the auspices of Durham’s Centre for Seventeenth-Century Studies. The event explores the many novel varieties of intellectual exchange which emerged across Europe and the Atlantic world during the early modern period, and in particular promises to be 2013’s foremost feast of learned epistolarity. Among several great-looking sessions on correspondence, our very own Howard Hotson will be delivering a keynote talk on ‘Electrifying the Via Lucis: Communications Technologies and Republics of Letters, Past, Present and Future’, while we will be participating on a panel entitled ‘Electrifying the Republic of Letters’ with our good friends Professor Antony McKenna from St Etienne (Correspondance de Pierre Bayle) and Professor Charles van den Heuvel from Huygens ING (Circulation of Knowledge and Learned Practices in the Seventeenth-Century Dutch Republic). Further details and programme on the conference webpage, while here’s the booking form. Hope to see you there!

Detail from Street scene with heavy wind and rain, by Jan Luyken. 1698-1700, pen and brown ink (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam).

Letters in Focus: A January in May

To all who are far from these wet and windswept coastal lands of western Europe, we extend an apology for the choice of this record from Early Modern Letters Online and would point out the great good fortune of those of you for whom spring has sprung and who do not long for this rain and unseasonable chill to end. For all those whose thoughts of shorts and sandals are – for the present – thwarted, we’d like to offer reassurance that the May we have experienced this year is not unique. In May 1684, a twenty-three year old William Digby was travelling with his tutor through France. He wrote from Blois to Thomas Smith (Smith was, at this point, vice-president of Magdalen College, Oxford, Digby’s alma mater) that he had nothing to report but the unseasonable inclemency of the weather – it was, indeed, a January in May – and it had become so cold that he and his travelling companions had been forced to don winter clothes. Plus ça change.

Bess of Hardwick’s Letters Now Online

Bess of Hardwick’s Letters: The Complete Correspondence c.1550-1608 has recently gone online. Created by the AHRC Letters of Bess of Hardwick Project, led by Dr Alison Wiggins (University of Glasgow), this wonderful new digital edition makes freely available full texts of all 234 letters to and from Bess – one of Elizabethan England’s most famous figures – alongside colour images of 185 missives (with transcription facilities), contextualised by extensive commentaries on Bess and on the material and linguistic characteristics of early modern English correspondence that are alone worth the price of admission. Alison discusses the creation of this extraordinary resource in this super talk from our 2012 seminar series. Congratulations, Alison and team!