This book offers a broad-ranging survey of violence in western Europe from the Reformation to the French Revolution. Julius Ruff summarizes a huge body of research and provides readers with a clear, accessible, and engaging introduction to the topic of violence in early modern Europe. Ruff examines the role of the emerging state in controlling violence; the roots and forms of interpersonal violence; violence and its impact on women; infanticide; and rioting. His book will be of great value to students of European history, criminal justice sciences, and anthropology.
List of illustrations; Acknowledgements; Introduction: the problem of violence in early modern Europe; 1. Representations of violence; 2. States, arms and armies; 3. Justice; 4. The discourse of interpersonal violence; 5. Ritual group violence; 6. Popular protest; 7. Organised crime; Conclusion; Index.
"...well written, clearly organized and laced with engaging evidence makes it an even more welcome contribution to the growing field of violence studies. Ruff's methodology is informed by cutting-edge concerns while giving well-established classics due credit and/or criticism. The result is a clear distillation of decades of detailed research and scholarly debate...This is an excellent achievement and a valuable addition to the field of violence history: it will be a useful summary and reference for specialists and a clear introduction to students or general readers interested in the topic of violence." Journal of Social History
"[This] theoretical and historical tapestry...designed to be accessible to readers at the undergraduate level, effectively sums up key issues that need to be considered by all students of history...Ruff is strong in his vivid and well-documented analysis...[this book] promises to be a valuable resource." Comitatus
"Julius R. Ruff's book is a solid addition to Cambridge University Press's New Approaches to European History series.... the book is both an excellent comparative introduction to a significant area of early modern cultural and historical studies and a useful reference work for those already familiar with the scholarship in the area." Renaissance and Reformation
"Ruff constructs a wide-ranging, clearly-argued, and well-written analysis of how violence functioned [...]an engaging text that should be considered for use in courses on early modern social and cultural history and recommended for those wanting a thorough introduction to the topic." H-FRANCE