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Library Journal Review
Italian artist Giorgio Vasari was said to have first used the term Renaissance, meaning "rebirth," a flowing of knowledge. The movement began in Italy during the 1300s and spread through Europe until the 1600s, bringing about a period of scientific and artistic revolution and leaving an intellectual heritage still important today. Written by knowledgeable and reputable authors, both of these Facts On File resources allow students to explore the impact of this cultural revitalization. Sider (Renaissance art history, Cooper Union, New York) covers 12 aspects of the Renaissance, giving a compact description and explanation of each topic. Organized thematically, the entries vary in length from one to two paragraphs to a full page and cover geography, religion, art, architecture, language and literature, warfare, exploration, science, education, and daily life. The useful glossary describes over 185 terms, including numerous non-English words. The work also boasts 70 black-and-white illustrations and maps, listings of museums and other collections, a useful bibliography, a chronological chart, and an index. Since it is difficult to encompass such a large topic in so few entries, readers are bound to find omissions. Overall, however, this handbook is a good entry point to more in-depth study. Cook, who has written on Chaucer, Lorenzo de' Medici, and Petrarch, offers a unique guide to the works, writers, and concepts of Renaissance literature. In his own words, "this reference volume looks at literature written during the Renaissance epoch from an atypical perspective-a global one." Although the focus has always been on Europe and its literary transition, Cook boldly targets significant literary achievements at the time in other parts of the world. In more than 600 A-to-Z entries, he treats a wide variety of cultures and languages, including English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, and many more. Writers covered include Milton, Descartes, Dante, and Cervantes, among many others. Cook also investigates humanism, an important intellectual movement of the period. Other useful features include cross references, author time lines, and more. Bottom Line Both titles make for good introductory sources to the period, but more detailed resources are needed for serious research. Appropriate for public, high school, and undergraduate libraries.-Bobbie Wrinkle, McCracken Cty. P.L., Paducah, KY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
School Library Journal Review
Gr 10 Up-This well-organized volume concentrates on Italy's impact on the Renaissance in both northern and southern Europe 1400- c.1600, covering the major movements in government, religion, art and architecture, literature, music, science, education, warfare, commerce, exploration, and daily life. The introduction provides an excellent overview of the origins of the Renaissance and the political landscape of Europe at the time. Numerous subheadings within chapters facilitate access to information. For example, the chapter on Visual Arts covers painting, tapestries, sculpture, prints, and decorative art, with each topic further subdivided. Most chapters end with a list of major figures and a chronology; all contain a list of recommended additional resources. Line maps and average quality, black-and-white reproductions and photographs enhance the content, and the volume concludes with a detailed index. This is an excellent introduction to the Renaissance, and will be especially useful to students researching a particular aspect of the period.-Madeleine G. Wright, New Hampton School, NH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.
Sider (Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art) offers an excellent introduction to the period. The Handbook furnishes a good, general introduction to the Renaissance, and does so succinctly and with some of the breadth usually found in longer works. It is profusely illustrated with several portraits, a half dozen maps, miniatures, and additional examples augmenting the text. Topical subdivisions include history, government, and society; religion; art and visual culture; architecture and urban planning; literature and language; music; warfare; commerce; exploration and travel; science and medicine; education; and daily life. The conclusions of each chapter are furnished with capsule synopses of major figures prevalent in the respective disciplines. The chapter on music is notably eclectic and well researched, especially given the length of the work. In this engagingly written and enlightening chapter, Sider gives ample treatment to composers and musical genres within an historical context. The work includes a glossary, a chronological chart (beginning with the death of Chaucer and ending with the death of Shakespeare), and a section on museums and other collections. Suffixes within the index point the reader to the various maps, chronologies, and glossaries scattered throughout the primary text. The index, numbering some 40-odd pages, is well constructed and gives particular care to related subdivisions. Boldface entries provide the primary subject emphases, and pagination in italics signifies illustrations within the text. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and graduate students. S. D. Atwell Ferris State University