Thirteen of the most important critical essays on the Italian Renaissance are brought together in this volume. Designed to introduce readers to both recent and classical interpretations, the collection provides an ideal starting point for study of this period. Topics covered include the structures of power, urban life and values, gender, family and society, the power of knowledge, and patronage and art. Taken together, the readings illuminate the origins, course and outcome of the Italian Renaissance. Editorial introductions and annotations to each essay provide a helpful framework for students engaging with critical aspects of the subject for the first time. An overall introduction discusses the themes and approaches that have dominated the recent historiography of the Renaissance, as well as the debates about how to define the Renaissance and its relationship to Italy; it also considers different approaches to the 'end' of the Renaissance.Findlen, Paula is the author of 'Italian Renaissance The Essential Readings', published 2002 under ISBN 9780631222835 and ISBN 0631222839.