The Account Books of the Reimarus Family of Hamburg, 1728-1780

Turf and Tailors, Books and Beer

In The Account Books of the Reimarus Family of Hamburg, 1728-1780, Almut Spalding and Paul S. Spalding offer a two-volume critical edition of domestic records that open windows onto early modern Europe and the Enlightenment. They detail economic realities, social circles, cultural and educational pursuits, leisure activities, religious communities, and institutions in the life of a great city and a distinguished family. Volume one consists of the transcription, with an introduction and illustrations. Volume two is an extensive index.

Hermann Samuel Reimarus and his daughter Margareta Elisabeth (Elise) Reimarus carefully maintained these records over fifty years. The former was a notable classicist, biblical scholar, animal behaviorist, and freethinker; the latter, leader of a literary salon, educator, translator, and author.
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Biographical Note

Almut Spalding, Ph.D. (2001, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), is Professor of Modern Languages at Illinois College. She has published Elise Reimarus (1735-1805): The Muse of Hamburg (Königshausen & Neumann, 2005) and many articles on the Reimarus family and Hamburg.

Paul S. Spalding, Ph.D. (1981, University of Iowa), is Professor of Religion at Illinois College. He has published Seize the Book, Jail the Author (Purdue UP, 1998), Lafayette: Prisoner of State (University of South Carolina Press, 2010), and related articles.

Table of contents


Acknowledgements ... ix
List of Illustrations and Charts ... xi
List of Abbreviations ... xv

Introduction ... 1
Hamburg—International Market and Metropolis ... 1
The Reimarus Family of Hamburg and Their Household ... 14
The Account Books Proper ... 28
The Present Edition of the Account Books ... 33
What Insights One Can Gain from the Account Books ... 38
Insights from the Account Books on Material Culture ... 38
Insights from the Account Books on Social Life ... 48
Insights from the Account Books on Intellectual Life ... 54
What the Accounts Do Not Contain ... 66

Charts ... 72
Members of the Reimarus Household ... 72
Family Trees ... 74

Transcription of the Account Books ... 81
Volume i (1728–1749) ... 81
Volume ii (1750–1758) ... 251
Volume iii (1759–1772) ... 392
Inserts to Volume iii ... 573
Volume iv (1773–1780) ... 582

Bibliography ... 663


Notes for Using the Index ... 705
Dates and Designations of Income vs. Expenditures ... 705
Names of Persons ... 705
Names of Places ... 706
Archaic German Terms ... 706
General Format and Abbreviations Used in Index Entries ... 706
Abbreviations Used for References in Notes ... 707

Index ... 709


Academic libraries, specialists, upper-level students, and all interested in primary sources for urban life, Europe, trade and consumption, and religious and intellectual life in the eighteenth century.


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