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Aristocratic Book Consumption in the Seventeenth Century: Austrian Aristocratic Book Collectors and the Role of Noble Networks in the Circulation of Books from Spain to Austria

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the book collections of seventeenth-century Austrian aristocrats, and particularly draws attention to Spanish literature in these libraries. The chapter shows how the aristocracy operated in establishing their impressive libraries, and more importantly, why early modern aristocrats became so interested in augmenting their libraries with foreign literature. The baroque aristocratic library was of an encyclopaedic nature, covering all different genres of literature. Some of the most amazing book collectors of this epoch possessed several thousand books. The impact of Spanish writings on the development of German baroque literature has been intensively studied by literary scholars. The establishment of huge private libraries is a phenomenon which can be observed in early modern noble society all over Europe. Spain's cultural prosperity is also mirrored in its literary exports. The works of Spanish baroque writers were read all over Europe.

Keywords: aristocracy; baroque aristocratic library; foreign literature; German baroque literature; seventeenth-century Austrian aristocrats; Spain's cultural prosperity; Spanish literature

10.1163/9789004262904_007
/content/books/b9789004262904s007
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