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Introduction - Michael Lynch And Sixteenth-Century Scotland

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Chapter Summary

This book opens new windows onto the study of sixteenth-century Scotland. It also functions as a Festschrift for one of the most distinguished historians of this crucial period: Professor Michael Lynch, the author of Scotland: a New History. Michael's scholarly achievement is to have changed the very way in which one now has come to think of topics as Mary queen of Scots, her son James VI and I, the city of Edinburgh, and the religious and political upheavals conventionally grouped under the term 'Reformation'. The primary importance of the long sixteenth century is demographic: it was between 1500 and 1650 that western Europe experienced a long upswing of its population, ending the stagnation of the later middle ages. In urban history it has always been one of Michael's contentions that the 'early modern town' had a distinct identity. Protestantism too features strongly in the book.

Keywords: early modern town; Edinburgh; English Reformation; King James VI; long sixteenth century; Mary queen of Scots; Michael Lynch; Protestantism; Scotland: a New History



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