Early Modern Hospitality

Edited by David B. Goldstein and Marco Piana - ES50

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Regulating relationships among strangers was a primary concern of the early modern world. Both the rediscovery of classical texts and new encounters between Europeans and Arabs, Asians, and Native Americans required a rethinking of the laws and customs of hospitality on both a local and a global scale. Theological conflicts and shifting national alignments in Europe itself also imperiled traditional conceptions of host and gust, forcing thinkers to envision their responsibilities to others in new ways. The thirteen articles in this collection offer case studies that examine the philosophies and dynamics of hospitality in early modern Italy, England, Central Europe, and the Ottoman Empire. In doing so, they explore practices, symbols, and philosophies of hospitality and obligation in the early modern world.

David B. Goldstein serves as Associate Professor of English and coordinator of the Creative Writing Program at York University in Toronto. He is the author of Eating and Ethics in Shakespeare’s England (Cambridge, 2013) and two books of poetry, as well as the co-editor of Culinary Shakespeare: Staging Food and Drink in Early Modern England (Duquesne UP, 2016) and Shakespeare and Hospitality: Ethics, Politics, and Exchange (Routledge, 2016).

Marco Piana is Visiting Assistant Professor in Italian at Smith College and Fellow at the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies at the University of Toronto. His field of research focuses on the literary representation of otherness, antiquity, and religious identity in Medieval and Early Modern Italy. Recent publications include special issues for the academic journals Renaissance and Reformation / Renaissance et RéformeConfraternitas, and Quaderni d’Italianistica (forthcoming).

392 pp., 15 ill.
ISBN: 978-0-7727-2208-9 softcover
Published: 2021


"This fascinating collection of articles and its suggestive juxtapositions extend the question of hospitality in early modern Europe, showing its implications across institutions, cultures, and social practices."
- Sean Lawrence, University of British Columbia

"Tracking hospitality in civic, religious, literary, and international places and spaces, this stunning new collection of essays crosses Europe in search of hospitality’s accommodations, achievements, and catastrophes."
- Julia Reinhard Lupton, University of California, Irvine

"In dialogue with contemporary theory and grounded on solid archival research, the essays in this volume make a compelling case for hospitality’s place in early modern thought and society from London to Rome and from Venice to the eastern frontiers of its commercial routes."
- Matteo Soranzo, McGill University


David B. Goldstein and Marco Piana, "Introduction"

Hosting the Ally, Hosting the Enemy (Political Hospitality)
1. Elena Brizio, "Ben Venga Carlo Imperadore!": Welcoming the Enemy to Siena in 1536
2. Sarah Rolfe Prodan, "Hosting the Enemy: Accommodating the French King and His Troops in Florence, 1494"
3. Pina Palma, "Hospitality and Power: Pontano's Book of Virtues

Piety at the Threshold (Ecclesiastical Hospitality)
4. Loek Luitten, "Hospitality, Government, and Informal Politics in Fifteenth-Century Rome: Cardinals' and Baron's Palaces as Social Hubs in the Farnese Political Network"
5. Isabel Harvey, "Visiting Convents: Hospitality Practices of Nunneries in the Papal States (1592-1605)"
6. Barbara A. Kaminska, "'Sheltering Strangers' or 'Welcoming Pilgrims'? Shifting Concepts of Hospitality in the Iconography of the Seven Works of Mercy"

Hosting Ideas (Literary Hospitality)
7. Marie-Alice Belle, "'Domestication' Revisited: Hospitality and the Foreign in Early Modern English Translation Discourse"
8. Madeline Bassnett, "'These Be The Bees Which I Keepe': Jack of Newbury's Beehive Hospitality"
9. Elizabeth Hodgson, "Mind Your Manors: The Hundred-Mile Host in English Renaissance Literary Culture"

Sharing Beds, Sharing Beliefs (Cross-Cultural Hospitality)
10. Thomas V. Cohen, "Hospitality Between the Sheets"
11. Salvatore Ciriacono, "Wealth and Forbearance: Economy and Hospitality in Early Modern Venice"
12. Hana Ferecova, "From England to Central Europe: Hospitality in the Bohemian Lands in the Eyes of Early Modern Travellers"
13. Fatima Ebrahim, "The Vulnerability of Anglo-Islamic Hospitality in the Early Modern Period"