419. Write Till Your Ink Be Dry: Humanism in Britain

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Humanism comes to England and Scotland, leading scholars like Thomas Eylot and Andrew Melville to rethink philosophical education.

Image: Queen Elizabeth's translation of Boethius



Further Reading

• E.R. Holloway, Andrew Melville and Humanism in Renaissance Scotland 1545-1622 (Leiden: 2011). 

• J. McConica, English Humanists and Reformation Politics under Henry VIII and Edward VI (Oxford: 1965).

• A. McLean, Humanism and the Rise of Science in Tudor England (London: 1972). 

• S.J. Reid, Humanism and Calvinism: Andrew Melville and the Universities of Scotland, 1560–1625 (Farnham: 2011).

• R.J. Schoeck, “Humanism in England,” in A. Rabil, Jr. (ed.), Renaissance Humanism, Volume 2: Foundations, Forms, and Legacy (Philadelphia: 1988), 5-38.

• R. Weiss, Humanism in England During the Fifteenth Century (Oxford: 1967). 

• J. Woolfson (ed.), Reassessing Tudor Humanism (Houndsmill: 2002).


Andrew on 23 April 2023

Wales, Ireland, and Cornwall

Hey Peter.

Been enjoying these episodes so far. I was wondering though, the reformation happened in Wales, Cornwall (since Cornwall was still quite separate culturally from England and even had their own Rebellion when the English tried to introduce the First Common Book of Prayer), and Ireland (I guess Ireland would be a different issue in a lot of ways though, considering we are still a bit away from Ireland's colonisation).

Did none of these three produce anything that was philosophically interesting enough during the reformation? For Ireland it would make some sense, given the aforementioned reason. For some reason I wouldn't be shocked if this was true for Cornwall, despite not being able to think of any reason unlike Ireland why that would be. But Wales would be a little shocking.

In reply to by Andrew

Peter Adamson on 23 April 2023

Elsewhere in the British Isles

Yes that's a good point and I have to say I had been thinking about it myself - especially with regard to Ireland. But I haven't really come across much about these other regions as I have read around; I'd be grateful if anyone has suggestions of things missed out that I should have covered. Obviously there would be a lot to say about the history of Ireland, Wales etc in these periods but this isn't a history podcast, I only delved so much into the history to give the context for philosophical developments. So the issue for our purposes is whether there were significant intellectuals there that I missed out in the 15/16th centuries.

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