Building on the historical study of cultural translation, this volume brings together a range of case studies and fresh approaches to early modern intellectual history by scholars from across Europe reflecting on ideological and political change from c. 1600 to 1840.

Translations played a crucial role in the transmission of political ideas across linguistic and cultural borders in early modern Europe. Yet intellectual historians have been slow to adopt the study of translations as an analytical tool for the understanding of such cultural transfers. Recently, a number of different approaches to transnational intellectual history have emerged, allowing historians of early modern Europe to draw on work not just in translation studies, literary studies, conceptual history, the history of political thought and the history of scholarship, but also in the history of print and its significance for cultural transfer. Thorough qualitative and quantitative analysis of texts in translation can place them more accurately in time and space. This book provides a better understanding of the extent to which ideas crossed linguistic and cultural divides, and how they were re-shaped in the process.

Written in an accessible style, this volume is aimed at scholars in cognate disciplines as well as at postgraduate students.

chapter 1|18 pages


Ideas across borders

part I|43 pages

Religious and scholarly translation

chapter 2|23 pages

From the Islamic world to Rome and Florence

Translations and prints across early modern Europe *

part II|36 pages

Translation networks and the dissemination of texts

chapter 4|18 pages

The tasks of the translators

Social networks and the publication of continental European writings during the English Revolution, 1641–60

part III|72 pages

Delayed translation

chapter 6|17 pages

Translation before translation

The dissemination of Harrington's republican ideas in French in the eighteenth century

chapter 7|18 pages

Translations of James Harrington's political works during the French Revolution

Genre, materiality, and intention

chapter 8|18 pages

Ancient wisdom for troubled times

Late eighteenth-century Dutch translations of the classics

chapter 9|17 pages

Non-contemporaneous contemporaries

Translating the (long) Enlightenment in Reform Era Hungary (1830s–40s)

part IV|38 pages

Translation as cultural mediation

chapter 10|17 pages

Anglo-Italian cultural relations ‘through the lens of translation’

The first Italian editions of William Robertson's History of Scotland

chapter 11|19 pages

Algernon Sidney in German

The reviewer as an agent of cultural translation*

part V|54 pages

Maps and images in translation

chapter 13|18 pages

Transforming the Carte de Tendre into A Voyage to the Isle of Love

The cultural transmission of a map of courtship from Madeleine de Scudéry's French salons to Aphra Behn's English readers

part VI|38 pages

Failed translation

chapter 14|18 pages

The manifold strategies of seventeenth-century translators

The case of Du Verdus as translator of Thomas Hobbes

chapter 15|18 pages

Untranslatable, unsellable, unreadable?

Obstacles, delays and failures in cultural translation in print, 1640–1800