University of Arizona

The Elizabethan House and the Italian Renaissance

Illustration from De Architectura Libri Decem

The University Libraries Special Collections hosts The Early Book Lectures Series IX, an annual lecture series where University of Arizona scholars explore the treasure trove of medieval texts held by the University Libraries. Professors from UA’s History, English and German Studies departments will give their audiences new insights into 15th, 16th and 17th century historic texts.

In the second lecture of The Early Book Lectures Series, professor Frederick Kiefer from the UA department of English explores the architecture of Hardwick Hall, one of the most significant Elizabethan country houses in England.

Hardwick Hall in the north of England claims several distinctions: it was built by a woman, Bess of Hardwick, who married four times, accumulating the vast fortune that financed her home; it was designed by the most accomplished architect in Elizabethan England, Robert Smythson; and it is among the most perfectly preserved of Elizabethan homes. Thanks to the National Trust, the house looks today very much the way it did when Bess took up residence in 1597.


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