This presentation uses computational techniques developed by social network scientists to reconstruct and analyse the epistolary relations between the Grand Duchy of Tuscany and the Dutch Republic in the seventeenth century. The lively epistolary exchange between these two societies allows for a comprehensive view on the transconfessional Republic of Letters, providing a framework to study the ways in which early modern scholars capitalised on opportunities in the social structure to which they were connected. Specifically, the differences between these two societies might have influenced the decisions Italian and Dutch scholars had to make in the formation of their network, as well as the strategies they adopted to secure their position therein. Continue reading “Balancing Openness and Closure in early modern correspondence networks (UCLDH, 6 March 2019)”
Fifty years ago, on 31 December 1966, Pieter Geyl passed away. He was arguably one of the most internationally known historians from the Netherlands, and one of the most controversial at that. Having come to the UK as a journalist in the first place, he started his academic career at UCL in the aftermath of World War I, with the first endowed Chair for Dutch Studies in the Anglophone world (1919). Known for his re-interpretation of the 16th century Dutch Revolt against the Habsburgs as well as for his political activism in favour of the Flemish movement in Belgium, and for his provocative debates with British historians like Arnold Toynbee, he left his stamp on the British perception of Low Countries history and culture, before leaving London in 1935 to accept a Chair in Utrecht.