Early Modern Privacy

Sources and Approaches


Privacy is often considered a modern phenomenon. Early Modern Privacy: Sources and Approaches challenges this view. This collection examines instances, experiences, and spaces of early modern privacy, and opens new avenues to understanding the structures and dynamics that shape early modern societies. Scholars of architectural history, art history, church history, economic history, gender history, history of law, history of literature, history of medicine, history of science, and social history detail how privacy and the private manifest within a wide array of sources, discourses, practices, and spatial programmes. In doing so, they tackle the methodological challenges of early modern privacy, in all its rich, historical specificity.

Contributors: Ivana Bičak, Mette Birkedal Bruun, Maarten Delbeke, Willem Frijhoff, Michael Green, Mia Korpiola, Mathieu Laflamme, Natacha Klein Käfer, Hang Lin, Walter S. Melion, Hélène Merlin-Kajman, Lars Cyril Nørgaard, Anne Régent-Susini, Marian Rothstein, Thomas Max Safley, Valeria Viola, Lee Palmer Wandel, and Heide Wunder.
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Michaël Green, PhD (2013, University of Groningen) is professor at the University of Lodz. He publishes widely on early modern education, religious minorities, and social networks, including The Huguenot Jean Rou (1638–1711): Scholar, Educator, Civil Servant (Honoré Champion, 2015).

Lars Cyril Nørgaard, PhD (2017, University of Copenhagen) is assistant professor at the Copenhagen Centre for Privacy Studies. His publications deal with the tension between religious seclusion and societal engagement and the ambiguous nature of pre-modern privacy.

Mette Birkedal Bruun, PhD (2000, Arhus University), dr.theol. (2017, University of Copenhagen) is professor of Church History and director of the Copenhagen Centre for Privacy Studies. She has published widely on medieval and early modern monastic culture and lay devotion.
List of Illustrations
Notes on the Editors
Notes on the Contributors

1 Past Privacy
Lars Cyril Nørgaard

2 Towards an Approach to Early Modern Privacy: The Retirement of the Great Condé
Mette Birkedal Bruun

Part 1: Approaching Notions of Privacy and the Private

3 Considering ‘Privacy’ and Gender in Early Modern German-Speaking Countries
Heide Wunder

4 ‘Privé’ and ‘Particulier’ (and Other Words) in Seventeenth-Century France
Hélène Merlin-Kajman

5 How to Approach Privacy without Private Sources? Insights from the Franco-Dutch Network of the Eelkens Merchant Family around 1600
Willem Frijhoff

6 Early Modern Swedish Law and Privacy: A Legal Right in Embryo
Mia Korpiola

Part 2: Crossing the Thresholds of Privacy and the Private

7 The Moment of Communion
Lee Palmer Wandel

8 How to Make Exemplarity with Secret Virtues: Funeral Sermons and Their Challenges in Early Modern France
Anne Régent-Susini

9 Entering the Bedroom through the Judicial Archives: Sexual Intimacy in Eighteenth-Century Toulouse
Mathieu Laflamme

10 Public and Private in Jewish Egodocuments of Amsterdam (ca. 1680–1830)
Michaël Green

Part 3: Secrecy, Knowledge, and Authority

11 The Paradox of Secrecy: Merchant Families, Family Firms, and the Porous Boundaries between Private and Public Business Life in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe
Thomas Max Safley

12 Chops and Chamber Pots: Satire of the Experimental Report in Seventeenth-Century England
Ivana Bičak

13 Dynamics of Healer-Patient Confidentiality in Early Modern Witch Trials
Natacha Klein Käfer

14 Examination Essays, Paratext, and Confucian Orthodoxy: Negotiating the Public and Private in Knowledge Authority in Early Seventeenth-Century China
Hang Lin

Part 4: Spaces and Places of Privacy and the Private

15 Jesus, Mary, and Joseph as Artisans of the Heart and Home in Manuscript MPM R 35 “Vita S. Joseph beatissimae Virginis sponsi” of ca. 1600
Walter S. Melion

16 Privacy and Exemplarity in Gianlorenzo Bernini’s Cornaro Chapel
Maarten Delbeke

17 Making Private Public: Representing Private Devotion in an Early Modern Funeral Sermon
Lars Cyril Nørgaard

18 Secret Routes and Blurring Borders: The New Apartment of Giuseppe Papè di Valdina (Palermo, 1714–1742)
Valeria Viola

19 What Lies between the Public and the Secret?
Marian Rothstein

Index Nominum
Because of its comprehensive disciplinary scope, this volume is of interest to scholars and students of early modern culture in all its facets. Keywords: early modern, intimacy, legal history, religious history, history of art, history of architecture, secrecy, theology, ego-documents, history of science, literary studies, China, Europe, private life, privacy, Jewish history, theory.
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