Researching Early Modern History

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Research blog entry 14 – T.D. Jacobs

Last Wednesday, I attended a masterclass in Den Haag given by Prof. Dr Barbar Stollberg-Rilinger. Her work focusses on taking a cultural approach to political history, with particular reference to the Holy Roman Empire. And yet it goes beyond that. She posits that political history is, in fact, cultural history. After reading some of her work, and considering what I have found in my source materials over the last year, I am inclined to agree.

The fact that the organization of political institutions (and offices) cannot be taken for granted, is readily apparent in the case of Interregnum English diplomatic culture and practice. Moreover, the symbols used to negotiate this space by players ranging from the Lords Protector, the Master of Ceremonies, career English diplomats such as William Strickland, and the representatives of other lands and groups, were very much culturally derived and influenced. And they do change over the period. My doctoral research will focus on this fluctuating field of negotiation and competition, the symbols used and how they were employed, and their origins and evolutions.

And so the draft of my research question begins…


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