Library Talks Series: Book Launch: The Sacred Home in Renaissance Italy

7th November, 2018 @ 17:00 - 18:30

Woolf Institute, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0UB


In the first of our Library Talks Series 2018-19, the Woolf Institute is delighted to welcome Professor Deborah Howard on Wednesday 7 November 2018 at 5pm.

This talk marks the publication of the book, The Sacred Home in Renaissance Italy, by Abigail Brundin, Deborah Howard and Mary Laven (Oxford UP 2018). The book explores the rich devotional life of the Italian household between 1450 and 1600. Rejecting the enduring stereotype of the Renaissance as a secular age, this study reveals the home to have been an important site of spiritual revitalisation. Books, buildings, objects, spaces, images, and archival sources cast new light on the many ways in which religion infused daily life within the household. Acts of devotion, from routine prayers to extraordinary religious experiences such as miracles and visions, frequently took place at home amid the joys and trials of domestic life — from childbirth and marriage to sickness and death.

Deborah Howard is an architectural historian whose principal research interests revolve around the art and architecture of Venice and the Veneto, seen from an interdisciplinary perspective. Her books include Venice & the East (2000), Sound & Space in Renaissance Venice (2009, with L. Moretti) and Venice Disputed (2013). She is a Professor Emerita at the University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of St John's College. She was elected to the British Academy in 2010.

The talk and book launch will take place in the Woolf Institute Library and will be followed by a small drinks reception.

How to book

This is an open event. For further information, please contact Woolf Institute Subject Librarian, Susanne Jennings at

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