Padua and the Tudors: English Students in Italy, 1485-1603

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University of Toronto Press, 1998 - Education - 322 pages

One of the most famous and prestigious of Renaissance schools, Italy's University of Padua attracted a notable body of students from England, including such well-known alumni as Thomas Linacre, Thomas Starkey, and William Harvey. In this work Jonathan Woolfson looks at the reasons why so many Englishmen went to Padua, what they did there, and most importantly, the various ways in which their studies had an impact on Tudor life and thought.

Covering a formidable range of intellectual history, Woolfson explores the complex processes of cultural transmission between Italy and England in the areas of humanism, law, political thought, medicine, and natural philosophy. An impressive feature of the book is its biographical register of English visitors to Padua, which comprises 349 separate entries drawn from extensive archival research in Italy and England. From the collective biography that results, as well as from textual studies, Woolfson argues that Padua influenced England in ways that were profound and enduring, but also extremely diverse and sometimes surprising.

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About the author (1998)

JONATHAN WOOLFSON is Stipendiary Lecturer in History, Hertford College, Oxford.

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