The University of Wisconsin Press

European History


The Renaissance
Its Nature and Origins
George Clarke Sellery

Here is the Renaissance at a glance, from the twelfth century to the fifteenth. Here are Dante and Chaucer, Machiavelli and Louis XI, the Medici, Villon, Pecock, Gutenberg, Columbus, Innocent III, Aquinas, Froissart, and the other great names of the Renaissance and the late Middle Ages. And yet this is not a history; it is an essay by a historian who for half a century has been a student of the Renaissance. It is one of those rare books which the general reader can enjoy thoroughly without a background in the literature and which the scholar will read with pleasure without finding it elementary. It is a book, furthermore, which no scholar of the subject will be able to ignore, whether he agrees with Sellery or not. The author considers one by one the politics of the period, its economics, literature, fine arts, its inventions, its works of philosophy, of criticism, and of history; he has selected the important figures and the significant events and weighed the conclusions of scholars. He states as his considered opinion that the Renaissance was not a revolution caused by the rediscovery of the ancient classics but a stage in the natural evolution brought about by the energies and activities of vigorous people all over western Europe.

George Clarke Sellery was, at the time of publication, a "free-lance historian" since his retirement from the University of Wisconsin—Madison.


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July 1950
LC: 50-004422 CB
522 pp.   6 x 9
ISBN-10: 0-299-00644-1
ISBN-13: 978-0-299-00644-0
Paper $6.95 s

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