Memory before Modernity

Practices of Memory in Early Modern Europe


Many students of memory assume that the practice of memory changed dramatically around 1800; this volume shows that there was much continuity as well as change. Premodern ways of negotiating memories of pain and loss, for instance, were indeed quite different to those in the modern West. Yet by examining memory practices and drawing on evidence from early modern England, France, Germany, Ireland, Hungary, the Low Countries and Ukraine, the case studies in this volume highlight the extent to which early modern memory was already a multimedia affair, with many political uses, and affecting stakeholders at all levels of society.

Contributors include: Andreas Bähr, Philip Benedict, Susan Broomhall, Sarah Covington, Brecht Deseure, Sean Dunwoody, Marianne Eekhout, Gabriela Erdélyi, Dagmar Freist, Katharine Hodgkin, Jasmin Kilburn-Toppin, Erika Kuijpers, Johannes Müller, Ulrich Niggemann, Alexandr Osipian, Judith Pollmann, Benjamin Schmidt, Jasper van der Steen
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Erika Kuijpers is a postdoctoral researcher at Leiden University. She has published widely on the history of migration, literacy, and personal memories of the Dutch Revolt.

Judith Pollmann is professor of early modern Dutch history at Leiden University. She is the director of the NWO VICI project Tales of the Revolt. Memory, oblivion and identity in the Low Countries, 1566-1700.

Johannes Müller is a PhD candidate at the Institute for History at Leiden University, where he is currently completing a dissertation on the memory cultures of Dutch exile networks in early modern Europe.

Jasper van der Steen is a PhD candidate at Leiden University’s Institute for History. He is currently completing his dissertation on memory politics after the Revolt of the Netherlands.
‘’This is […] a valuable contribution to the genre of memory studies’’.
Brian G. H. Ditcham, University of Gillingham. In: Sixteenth Century Journal, Vol. 45, No. 3, 2014, p. 752.
List of Contributors
List of Illustrations

Introduction. On the Early Modernity of Modern Memory .
Judith Pollmann and Erika Kuijpers


1. The Usable Past in the Lemberg Armenian Community’s Struggle for Equal Rights, 1578–1654
Alexandr Osipian

2. A Contested Past. Memory Wars during the Twelve Years Truce (1609–21)
Jasper van der Steen

3. ‘You Will See Who They Are that Revile, and Lessen Your Glorious Deliverance’. The ‘Memory War’ about the ‘Glorious Revolution’
Ulrich Niggemann

4. Civic and Confessional Memory in Conflict. Augsburg in the Sixteenth Century
Sean F. Dunwoody

5. Tales of a Peasant Revolt. Taboos and Memories of 1514 in Hungary
Gabriella Erdélyi

6. Shaping the Memory of the French Wars of Religion. The First Centuries
Philip Benedict


7. Celebrating a Trojan Horse. Memories of the Dutch Revolt in Breda, 1590–1650
Marianne Eekhout

8. ‘The Odious Demon from Across the Sea’. Oliver Cromwell, Memory and the Dislocations of Ireland
Sarah Covington

9. Material Memories of the Guildsmen. Crafting Identities in Early Modern London .
Jasmine Kilburn-Toppin

10. Between Storytelling and Patriotic Scripture. The Memory Brokers of the Dutch Revolt
Erika Kuijpers

11. Lost in Time and Space? Glocal Memoryscapes in the Early Modern World
Dagmar Freist

12. The Spaces of Memory and their Transmediations. On the Lives of Exotic Images and their Material Evocations
Benjamin Schmidt


13. Disturbing Memories. Narrating Experiences and Emotions of Distressing Events in the French Wars of Religion
Susan Broomhall

14. Remembering Fear. The Fear of Violence and the Violence of Fear in Seventeenth-Century War Memories
Andreas Bähr

15. Permeable Memories. Family History and the Diaspora of Southern Netherlandish Exiles in the Seventeenth Century
Johannes Müller

16. Women, Memory and Family History in Seventeenth-Century England
Katharine Hodgkin

17. The Experience of Rupture and the History of Memory
Brecht Deseure and Judith Pollmann


All those interested in memory studies, the history of memory, early modern history, autobiographical memory, memory politics, and memory landscapes.
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