Renaissance People, Lives that Shaped the Modern Age by Robert C. Davis and Beth Lindsmith

In this beautiful volume, almost one third of which is reprints of original Renaissance art and portraits, the authors introduce the reader to short biographies of 94 of the most important people of the European Renaissance era (1450-1550). Excellent articles are included on everything from popes to prostitutes, kings to jesters, artists to explorers, Reformation leaders to scientists and much more. Specifically, some of the best known names include: Jan Hus, Leonardo da Vinci, Columbus, Erasmus, Machiavelli, Copernicus, Raphael, Thomas More, Luther, Titan, Tyndale, Xavier, Calvin, and St. Teresa of Avila.

The Renaissance represents the “cultural rebirth started in the Italian peninsula, where the rediscovery of forgotten Latin letters led to a renewed interest in the Classical study of humanity and its place in the natural world. Its disciples called themselves humanists…[They rejected] superstition and custom for new literature, new science, new societies and, finally, the New World itself” (p. 9).

This fine volume gives a wealth of information about the Renaissance itself and important movers and shakers of the era. For anyone interested in these things I highly recommend it.

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