'The Civilization of Europe in the Renaissance' is the most ambitious achievement of Britain's leading Renaissance historian. John Hale has painted on a grand canvas an enthralling portrait of Europe and its civilization at a moment when it first became an entity in the minds of its inhabitants. The book does not simply survey "high" culture but with an astonishing range and subtlety of learning builds up a gigantic picture of the age, enlivened by a multiplicity of themes, people and ideas. It contains memorable descriptions of painting, sculpture, poetry, architecture and music; but Hale is not simple concerned with the arts: he examines the dramatic changes during the period in religion, politics, economics and global discoveries. At a time when we are thinking more and more about what "Europe" and European culture mean, this is a book which shows us more than any other where we can find the roots of both and how much the present and future can be illuminated by the past.
Winner of the 1993 Time-Life Silver Pen Award and the Royal Society of Literature Award.