This collection of essays is in part the result of an international research project “Revisiting the Renaissance: Poland and the Low Countries in Early Modern Europe – The Culture of Self-Deception”, which was carried out by the British and Commonwealth Department of the University of Lodz in Poland and the Vakgroep Nederlandse Literatur en Alegemene Literatuuretenschap of the University of Ghent in Belgium (2009–2012). The goal of this project was to validate the ongoing debate on the Renaissance by looking at its significance in European civilization through the prism of marginalized cultures. As the essays presented in this volume demonstrate, the scope of our interest has grown over time so that issues such as literature, religion, diplomacy, politics, and arts are seen not only from Polish and Netherland perspectives. This book is a unique publication on the sixteenth-seventeenth European culture, politics and societal studies. Although the book is primarily addressed to scholars and academics who study the Renaissance / Early Modern episteme, it can also attract the attention of many other circles of readers interested in an interdisciplinary discourse devoted to e.g. governance, theology, religion, politics, diplomacy and literature. Since the essays focus on facts, processes, texts and state formations, which do not generally belong to the general discourse, they pose a challenge to the conventional perception of the period under discussion.
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